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National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness

What is Alzheimer’s Disease? 

Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills overtime. Its slow progression could lead to dementia ultimately inhibiting a person from carrying out simple daily life tasks. Caregivers make a huge difference within these people’s lives. Alzheimer’s is not the same as memory loss from aging. Although during the preclinical phase of alzheimer’s disease people seem to be symptomless, there are actually big changes happening in the brain. 

According to the National Institute on Aging: (https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet#stages

Alzhiemers starts when “abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain.” This causes once-healthy neurons to stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and ultimately die. There are additional complex brain changes that occur that also play a role in Alzheimer’s. 

Photo source- https://www.drugwatch.com/health/alzheimers-disease/ 

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary depending on the stage.  As the stages progress, the symptoms increasingly interfere with daily life. The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s can vary from person to person and be difficult to catch.  Here are some of the symptoms throughout different stages.  

Mild symptoms: 

-trouble handling money and paying bills

– repeating questions

-taking longer to complete normal daily tasks

– personality and behavior changes. 

Moderate symptoms: 

-Memory loss worsens

-control of language weakens

-confusion

-difficulty recognizing family and friends

-Difficulty completing simply daily tasks

-hallucinations and paranoia 

Severe symptoms

-Can not communicate

-Depend fully on a caregiver

Caregivers: 

Caring for a person with Alzhiemers can be a difficult task both physically and mentally.  It’s challenging to provide the right care for the person you love. This is due to the need for daily care and switching of family roles. If you can’t care for a loved one, there are facilities and programs that can help. However, if you take on the responsibility for caring for  your loved one, here are some ways to get started:

  1. Become knowledgeable about the disease. 

Understand it. Think about your long term options for caregiving. There are programs that can help train you on how to take proper care of the person you love and strategies with helping deal with difficult behaviors. 

  1. Establish a support group

Ask the family if they too can contribute to caregiving for this family member. Reach out to support groups and learn from others who are also going through this experience.  

  1. Maintain your own health 

You can not help others if you are not healthy yourself. Make sure you have good coping skills and know how to calm down if needed. Maintaining physical exercise and a healthy diet can really help this. 

Here are some resources to help caregivers: 

First steps to caregiving- https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers/caregiving 

Care training- https://www.alz.org/help-support/resources/care-training-resources 

Online learning resources- https://www.endalznow.org/alzheimers-prevention-101/resources-for-alzheimers-caregivers 

If you have any questions about Alzhiemer’s disease, or need help caring for a loved one, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433 to schedule an appointment. As always, stay safe and healthy!

-Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide, affecting about 1 in 11 adults. Its prevalence means you probably know someone who has diabetes, so being aware of this disease and how it can affect one’s life is important. This American Diabetes Month, take the time to learn about what’s true—and what isn’t—about this condition.

MYTH: Diabetes is a single disease.

FACT: Diabetes is actually a group of diseases, all of which affect how your body metabolizes blood sugar. Chronic diabetes include Type 1 and Type 2, but some forms of diabetes are also potentially reversible, like gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. Although diabetes can develop at any age, Type 1 diabetes often shows up during childhood or adolescence, while Type 2 more commonly occurs in people over the age of 40.

MYTH: Eating a lot of sugar causes diabetes.

FACT: Diabetes is caused by your body either not making enough insulin or not using it well, both of which can increase your blood sugar levels, but eating sugar itself doesn’t directly cause someone to develop diabetes. However, excess sugar can lead to obesity, which is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

MYTH: If you don’t have a family history of diabetes, you won’t get it yourself.

FACT: While family history is a risk factor for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, other factors are also involved. In fact, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking. 

MYTH: People who have diabetes can’t eat sweets.

FACT: As long as you plan for them, you can have a few sweets in moderation, even if you have diabetes. This planning can include decreasing your carbohydrate intake from other sources or, if you take insulin, taking a higher dose than normal. Your healthcare provider can tell you about how you can safely indulge in the occasional treat while still keeping your diabetes under control.

MYTH: It’s unsafe to exercise if you have diabetes.

FACT: Exercise is in fact a vital step to managing diabetes, because it helps increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin. However, if you do have diabetes, you should talk to your healthcare provider about how to watch for potential problems that may arise with your eyes, feet, or heart when you exercise.

The International Diabetes Foundation predicts that in the next 10 years, the number of people with diabetes around the world will rise from 463 million to 578 million, and in 25 years, it’ll reach 700 million. However, with proper knowledge about prevention and management, we can work towards slowing this growth. Have a great rest of the month, and as always, stay healthy and stay safe!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

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National Family Health History Day (Nov. 26)

With Thanksgiving festivities in full swing, and as surprising as it may seem, this past Thursday was the perfect opportunity to take an important step towards taking care of your health—and it doesn’t have anything to do with what you eat. Since 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General has designated Thanksgiving as National Family Health History Day. Whether you’re celebrating with your family virtually or in-person this year, it’s a great idea to start a conversation about your family’s health while everyone’s together.

Many health conditions appear to have some hereditary basis, including cancer, diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, and many more. Even though having family members with certain conditions doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get them too, knowing about your family health history can better equip you and your healthcare provider to take proactive steps, like lifestyle changes and early screening. For many families, having these types of conversations may not come that naturally, but the information they reveal could potentially benefit everyone’s health. A good place to start is by explaining why you want to know about your family members’ health by also sharing information of your own. 

In general, the more information, the better, but it can be helpful to know what type of information is the most important. You should know how each person included in your family history is related to you. Be sure to also ask about major medical issues and when they began, causes and ages of death, and your family’s ethnic background. You may also want to ask about allergies, any history of pregnancy loss or birth defects, and lifestyle and environmental factors. Injuries and diseases that don’t have a genetic basis (like Lyme disease, for example) aren’t as necessary to record.

If you were adopted or are estranged from your family, collecting your family history can be significantly more difficult, but it’s still possible. In the case of adoption, you can ask your adoptive parents if they have any information about your birth parents’ health history. You can also reach out to the adoption agency, but be sure to first familiarize yourself with the adoption statutes in your state. If you’re not close with your family, you can try reaching out only to the family members you are most comfortable with, or your healthcare provider may be able to reach out on your behalf.

Once you have all this information, write it down or use the Family Health Portrait tool developed by the U.S. Surgeon General and Department of Health & Human Services. This online tool is free and allows you to store and share your family health history with other members of your family and your healthcare provider, and it’s available in multiple languages. You should review your family history periodically and continue updating it whenever you learn new information.

While you’re feasting (perhaps in spirit) with your loved ones this Thursday, you can feel good knowing that you all empowered each other to lead healthier lives. Happy Thanksgiving, and as always, stay healthy and stay safe!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

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Bladder Chatter: Tips for taking care of Bladder Health

We may not think about our bladder on a regular basis, but our bodies certainly remind us with every trip to the restroom.  Bladder health month is intended to inform the public about how to best upkeep bladder health, and to increase awareness of potential bladder problems that can develop overtime. There’s no shame in bladder talk. It’s important and natural. So, we encourage you to talk openly! Often people opt to use code terms like “using the bathroom”, “peeing”, “taking a leak”, or “going potty” just to avoid the awkwardness of the topic.  But speak openly and honestly to your doctor if you are experiencing problems. They will understand, and it will help them better evaluate your symptoms. 

Healthy Bladder Tips: 

Here are some things to pay attention to maintain a healthy bladder: 

  1. Water intake

Drink lots of water! Drinking water helps flush your urinary tract and prevent an infection from accumulating.  It is recommended that a person drinks 11-15 cups of water per day.  For women it is recommended to consume 11.5 cups of water, and for men it is recommended around 15 cups of water.  Also, please note that weight, diet, temperature, and activity levels all impact these levels as well. 

  1. Cut down on caffeinated drinks

Coffee, sodas, and alcohol all heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage. Limit the amount consumed and pay attention to their effect on your body. 

  1. Stop smoking 

Smoking has shown a high correlation to bladder cancer. According to statistics, people who smoke are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than a non-smoker. 

  1. Use healthy bathroom habits

Don’t hold it! Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely. It is normal to go to the bathroom every 3-4 hours.  Regular use of the bathroom is important.  Also, take enough time when you’re using the bathroom. Don’t rush. If you don’t empty your bladder fully, over time, you could get a bladder infection. For wiping, wipe from front to back.  Specifically, Women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. 

  1. Urinate after sex 

Both women and men should urinate shortly after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex.

  1. Clothing 

Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Wearing loose, cotton clothing allows air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Clothes like tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.

If you have any questions about Bladder Health, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433 to schedule an appointment. As always, stay safe and healthy!

-Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Resources: 

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/13-tips-keep-your-bladder-healthy

https://www.urologyhealth.org/healthy-living/care-blog/november-is-bladder-health-month

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day#other-fluids

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Did you know the discovery of penicillin, the world’s first mass-produced antibiotic, was an accident? In 1928, Alexander Fleming returned to his lab after a vacation and found that a fungus had contaminated the bacteria he had been studying, and the fungus was secreting a substance that was killing the bacteria. This happy accident earned Fleming a Nobel Prize and penicillin the nickname of a “wonder drug.” When used correctly, antibiotics do indeed have the power to save many lives, but now, their misuse is posing a significant threat to public health— the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Fortunately, by following these tips, you can get the maximum benefit from antibiotics when you’re sick, protect yourself from the dangers of antibiotic misuse, and do your part to combat antibiotic resistance in the world:

  1. Know what antibiotics can and can’t do. Antibiotics can help treat some bacterial infections, like strep throat, whooping cough and UTIs, just to name a few. They will not make you feel better if you’re infected with a virus, like the common cold, flu, or COVID-19, and taking antibiotics for a viral infection only puts you at risk for experiencing side effects.
  2. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, follow the instructions of your healthcare provider exactly. Don’t share your antibiotics with anyone else or take antibiotics prescribed to someone else, and don’t skip a dose, even if you think you feel better.
  3. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects or reactions while taking antibiotics. Some possible antibiotic side effects include rash, nausea, and diarrhea. They can be minor or life-threatening, and they may indicate an allergy or a more severe infection.
  4. Continue practicing good hygiene. This reduces your chances of falling sick, so that you don’t have to take antibiotics in the first place, and it also helps keep the people around you safe. This is a win-win situation, so keep washing your hands and covering your face with a mask!

Knowing how to use antibiotics correctly is so important that the CDC has designated the week of November 18-24, 2020, as Antibiotic Awareness Week. Now that you know what to do and what not to do, it would be a great idea to take a few minutes to tell a friend about what you’ve learned. And as always, remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Sources:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000959.htm

Health Literacy

October is Health Literacy Month, and even without knowing what that means, you likely already understand the importance of it. Not only that— if you’re reading this right now, you’re already actively taking steps to improve your health literacy.

Are you now curious about what this term means? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines personal health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.” In other words, health literacy describes your comfort level with the healthcare system and with your health. When you’re sick, having a limited health literacy can make an already-stressful situation even more overwhelming, and it can have very real consequences for your health.

Healthcare organizations and providers have a responsibility to make health-related information clear and easy to understand for all of their patients—that’s what they’re there for. However, by taking steps to improve your personal health literacy, you can facilitate communication with your healthcare provider and better equip yourself to make decisions about your health and that of your loved ones. Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Plan ahead. In the days leading up to your appointment, it may be a good idea to make a list about things you’d like to talk about with your doctor or nurse. Otherwise, it can be easy to forget to bring something up that you were wanting to talk about.
  2. Ask your healthcare providers questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up. You know your body best, so this is your chance to share your concerns. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a Question Builder tool that you can use before your next appointment if you’d like some ideas on questions you should be asking.
  3. Make sure you understand your provider’s instructions. A great strategy for this is to repeat back the instructions to your doctor or nurse, so that they can correct you if you say something that isn’t right. The medical field uses a ton of specialized words that the average person may not understand, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for clarification.
  4. If it makes you more comfortable, take a friend or family member to your appointments. In addition to putting you at ease, they may ask a question that hadn’t occurred to you, helping you to avoid confusion down the road.
  5. Be aware of your right to an interpreter. If you don’t speak or understand English well, tell your doctor’s office. You have the right to an interpreter at no cost to yourself.
  6. Continue educating yourself about your health. Like I mentioned earlier, if you read this blog, you’re already taking a significant step towards improving your health literacy— keep up the great work!

Have a great rest of the month, and as always, stay healthy and stay safe!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

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Respiratory Care Week

This week is Respiratory Care Week, a week dedicated to promoting awareness of lung diseases and recognizing the hard work of respiratory therapists, nurses, and doctors to support lung health. When President Reagan announced the first Respiratory Care Week in 1982, over 17 million Americans were affected by chronic obstructive lung diseases. This number hasn’t gone down much in the past 4 decades, but that can change. Here are some ways you can take care of your lungs and contribute to lowering that number:

  1. Stop (or don’t start) smoking. Cigarette smoke is a significant cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States, and in 8 out of 10 cases, it’s caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. The good news is that COPD is preventable, and by avoiding smoking, you’re significantly lowering your risk and protecting the people around you from secondhand smoke, which can cause many of the same diseases as first-hand smoke. Once you start smoking, the nicotine in cigarettes makes it hard to quit, but it’s far from impossible, especially with plenty of online resources and support from your healthcare provider, peers, and loved ones.
  2. Exercise. On top of the already-numerous benefits of exercise for building muscle, losing fat, improving your mood, helping you sleep better, and keeping your heart healthy, getting enough physical activity (30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week) is important for your lung health, too. As you become more fit, your lungs become more efficient at oxygenating your blood and transporting it to the rest of your body. It’s equally important for people with lung disease to exercise, but you should consult with your healthcare provider to make a plan that works for you.
  3. Minimize your exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Both of these can cause or exacerbate symptoms of respiratory diseases, including asthma, which 25 million Americans currently suffer from. To keep your home safe, keep it smoke-free and test for radon and carbon monoxide regularly. For outdoor air pollution, try to minimize your time outside on days when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is high—this is something you can easily check from your phone’s weather app or from watching the local weather forecast.
  4. Wash your hands and wear a mask. As the weather gets colder and people spend more time indoors, respiratory diseases like the cold, flu, and COVID-19 can spread easily. Now, more than ever, it’s important to practice good hygiene and wash your hands to prevent infection. Keep your distance as much as you can, and when you can’t, be sure to mask up to protect not only yourself but those around you.


Taking steps to improve your own lung health is a wonderful way to celebrate Respiratory Care Week, and of course, if there are any respiratory care workers in your life, be sure to send a “thank you” their way! As always, stay safe and stay healthy!

–Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

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Basics of a Balanced Diet

Last Friday, October 16th, was World Food Day— one that is particularly special, because it marks 75 years since the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Since 1945, the FAO has been working towards the goal of eradicating hunger around the world, believing firmly that everyone has a right to have access to healthy food. World Food Day is the perfect opportunity to examine your own eating habits and make sure you are eating in a way that is nutritious and balanced. Luckily, there’s a tool that helps you do just that.

In 2011, Michelle Obama and the US Department of Agriculture launched MyPlate, a simple visual aid that you can use to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need with each meal you eat.

MyPlate makes healthy eating easier. Let’s break it down:

  • Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables. These can be raw, cooked, fresh, frozen, canned, or dried—the options are truly limitless. Try to eat a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables throughout the day. For example, you can eat dark-green vegetables like spinach with one meal, and red and orange vegetables with the next. A healthy plate is a colorful one!
  • Grains are an important source of fuel for your body. When you eat grains, try to choose whole grains (like whole wheat bread) over refined grains (like white bread), since they’re not only more nutritious, but they also cause your blood sugar to increase less than refined grains do.
  • Protein is another food group you should be consuming everyday, and meat isn’t the only way to eat it. You can also get your protein from nuts, seeds, eggs, beans, peas, and soy products.
  • Dairy products are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. For peak nutritional value, try to choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheeses over full-fat ones. If you can’t eat dairy, certain juices, cereals, soy products, non-dairy milks, and leafy greens can also be good sources of calcium.


Remember, a healthy lifestyle isn’t built overnight. Start by making small changes to your diet and committing to sticking to them, which will help you stay healthy in the long-term. A nutritious diet is a right that you, and everyone else in the world, deserves to have.

If you’re interested in learning more about the UN’s initiatives to end world hunger, you can check out the UN Food and Agriculture Organization website or support the World Food Programme (at no cost to yourself!) at FreeRice.com. Happy World Food Day, and as always, stay healthy and stay safe!

–Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Sources:

World Mental Health Day

This year’s World Mental Health Day fell on October 10th, and was acknowledged at an interesting time within history — during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many lives have been considerably changed since the pandemic started, with many people experiencing loss, sadness, grief, and even fear. Social isolation and fear of the unknown has caused many people to experience these feelings, which further cause more of the same feelings to be experienced. If you already have any mental health conditions, then these feelings might be compounded, which only exasperates the issue.

If you find that you are experiencing any of these feelings and you would like to talk with someone about them, then please contact the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis at (901) 306-5433 for free medical and social care. We’re here for you!

Resources to read:

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/world-mental-health-day-2020

https://www.rethink.org/get-involved/awareness-days-and-events/world-mental-health-day/

Resources in Memphis:

https://www.shelbytnhealth.com/businessdirectoryii.aspx

https://www.latinomemphis.org/mental-health?locale=en

https://www.tn.gov/behavioral-health/mental-health-services.html

https://www.shelbycountytn.gov/3645/Mental-and-Behavioral-Health-Resources

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is a topic that must be acknowledged and talked about more, as it is a serious issue that occurs everyday. The statistics are unnerving; according to the CDC, intimate partner violence affects more than 12 million people per year. More than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced physical/sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Every minute in the US, 20 people are victims of domestic violence. According to the World Health Organization, 8,000,000 paid work days are lost every year by women because of the abuse perpetrated against them by current or former male partners. This loss is equivalent to over 32,000 full-time jobs. And 10,000,000 children are exposed to domestic violence annually. 

Domestic violence affects millions of people each year, and includes physical abuse, stalking, manipulation, coercion, treats, isolation, non-stop texting, and so much more. If you feel afraid of your partner, wonder why they criticize you and put you down, or believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated, then you may be a victim of domestic abuse. The chart below from helpguide.org describes the signs that can help you or someone that you may know is in an abusive relationship.

You’re not alone in this, and there is help for people who are in abusive relationships. If you see yourself or others in your life in the chart above, then reach out for help. Talk to the resources below, or call us here (901) 306-5433 at the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis. Talk to a friend, pastor, physician, counselor, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website at http://www.thehotline.org/. We believe you, and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Local resources include:

Rape Crisis Center (901) 222 4350

Exchange Club Family Center (901) 276-2200

Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County (901) 222-4400

Memphis Area Legal Services (901) 523-8822

Memphis Area Women’s Council (901) 378-3866

Memphis Child Advocacy Center (901) 525-2377

Memphis Police Department Domestic Violence Investigative Unit (901) 636-3741

Shelby County Crime Victims Services (901) 222-3950

Shelby County District Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Unit (901) 222-1485

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Unit (901) 222-4400

Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (901) 578-4371

YWCA of Greater Memphis (901) 725-4277

References:

https://www.breakthecycle.org/blog/it’s-national-domestic-violence-awareness-month

https://www.methodisthealth.org/healthcare-services/employee-assistance-program/for-employees/eap-newsletters/2017/domestic-violence-awareness-month.dot

This Upcoming Monday…

Come by the clinic tomorrow for drive-thru COVID-19 tests (4-5:30) for anyone who wants to get tested and in-person primary care and social work services for the uninsured (6:00-8:00pm). To see a social worker or health care provider you must have an appointment.

Our phones are open from 3-5pm today and all day Monday. Call us at (901) 306-5433.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

More than 34 million American have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar, aka glucose. Glucose is an important source of fuel for the body, and if the body cannot metabolize sugar correctly, then you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck

When you have type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells in your body, or it doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. When your body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, you may start to experience the symptoms above.

If you suspect that you may have developed type 2 diabetes or that you are at risk of developing it due to environmental factors, genetics, and/or lifestyle factors, then it may be time to see a doctor. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed using the:

  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: This blood test indicates the average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months. Normal levels are below 5.7%, and a result between 5.7 and 6.4% is considered pre-diabetes, while an A1C 6.5% or higher means that you have diabetes.

To treat and manage type 2 diabetes, you may need to:

  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthily
  • Exercise regularly
  • Possibly include diabetes medication or insulin therapy
  • Monitor your blood sugar

By losing just 5-10% of your body weight, you can make a difference in your A1C because losing weight can lower your blood sugar levels. To do this, you may need to eat fewer calories, fewer refined carbohydrates, fewer foods that contain saturated fats, and more vegetables and fruits, especially those that contain a lot of fiber. Changing your diet plus aiming for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate (or 15 to 30 minutes of vigorous) mixed aerobic exercise and resistance training offers more benefits than either type of exercise alone. Examples of these exercises are:

  • Aerobic: Walking, Dancing, Biking, and Swimming
  • Resistance: Yoga and Weightlifting

If you have any questions about type 2 diabetes, or think that you may have it or be at risk for it, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433 to schedule an appointment. As always, stay safe and healthy!

-Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Coping During COVID-19

Does COVID-19 have you feeling stressed? Maybe depressed? Worried? Or possibly grateful? Blessed? Sometimes even happy? As each week, and sometimes each day, changes before our very eyes, I have come to realize that life during this pandemic is something that I cannot fully control nor plan out. This is coming from someone who loves to have every 30 minute-increment of the day planned out from when I wake up until I fall asleep, which basically went down the drain as soon as the quarantine started (cheers to all of the money lost by buying a 2020 calendar!). But, coming to let go of control and planning comes the realization that our emotions during this time might be on all ends of the spectrum and can cause us great grief and confusion if we do not have the accurate coping mechanisms and tools that are needed during this uncertain time. In this post, I’ll talk about the ways you can cope for some of the most commonly experienced emotions during COVID-19.

Stressed? DEPRESSED? ANXIOUS?

  • Get outside! Let the sun give you that much needed Vitamin D and try your best to relax.
  • Workout as often as you can, whether it is done inside or outside. Working out increases the production of endorphins, and like Elle Woods said, “Endorphins make you happy!”.
  • Keep a journal and write when you can. I find that making an entry everyday, even if it’s just a sentence or two, makes me feel better.
  • Distract yourself with productive work, but don’t try to not feel your emotions. It’s important to feel you feelings, but sometimes cleaning, learning something new, reading, etc,. helps to put us in another place mentally and emotionally so we can make our emotions work for us instead of against us.
  • All of these emotions are valid, but it is important to try our best to not live in them, as long term affects of stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to serious mental and physical health effects.

Denial? Anger? Fear?

  • It is completely okay to feel angry or to deny that this pandemic is happening, but we cannot control much in this situation, so it is important to try and control what you can: yourself. By making sure you follow the social-distancing and quarantining rules that are currently instated, you are helping to not only keep yourself safe, but others, too!
  • It’s normal to be angry that this is happening and possibly wreaking havoc on your life (mentally, financially, emotionally, physically, etc), but we cannot stay in this emotion for long, as anger and fear tend to go hand-in-hand.
  • If you can, try to meditate and say positive affirmations, as they will produce more positive feelings to combat the negative ones. Taking time to yourself to feel grateful and peaceful will help the fear and anger that occurs when thinking about how COVID-19 may have ruined a lot of things for us.
  • Remember, this will not last forever. This is just one part of our lives that is occurring and we will get through it.

Grateful? Blessed? HAPPY?

  • While for some it may be hard to understand how these feelings can occur right now, I have noticed that there are some who are experiencing these emotions as time goes on.
  • Feeling grateful/blessed/happy tends to come from looking on the bright side of things, and those who are experiencing this may be in a place where they went through the above feelings and came to the conclusion that they cannot control this situation, then became okay with that, and then remembered that will not last forever, so they decided to make the best out of the situation that they are currently in.
  • This may include journalling, trying to keep a bit of a new-normal schedule, and finding ways to keep busy and active.
  • Spending time with family and friends (social-distancing included, as usual!) will also help if you are in need of a happiness boost!
  • It is completely valid to feel happy that some things are cancelled and that you have more time to yourself, or that some of your responsibilities are on hold so now you have time to watch more TV/workout/relax/spend time with family/etc. This is a weird time, and finding what makes you happy is important!

We will get through this, one day at a time. The Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis will be open today, Monday April 20th, from 5-7:15pm. We will be offering Tele-Health Appointments during those times, which if you are interested in making an appointment, please call (901) 506-5433. If you would like any self-care tips, please refer to the “Self-Care and COVID-19” post from a few weeks ago. Stay safe and healthy, and remember to help #StopTheSpread in any way that you can.

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Spreading Kindness

Being kind is not only beneficial for others, but also for yourself! Recent research has shown that both giving and receiving kindness helps promote good health and general well-being. By infusing the community with kindness, you can help create a “ripple effect” that can branch into an entire network of positivity. It may seem hard to spread kindness during the quarantine, but I hope I can give you some ideas about how to create this ripple effect from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Smile
    • Whether you’re quarantining by yourself, with your pets, friends, or family, it will help you to spread kindness!
  2. Express Gratitude
    • Journal your appreciation and admiration, or tell your friends and family members how much you love and care for them!
  3. Act Generously and Give Back
    • Donate to charities, food banks, and people in need during this time. By giving back to the community, you’re spreading kindness and creating the ripple effect of positivity that the world needs right now!
  4. Post Positively
    • If you’re an avid poster (or re-poster), then make sure the content you are sharing is adding to people’s lives and creates a more positive and kind view. By sharing positive content, you’re helping to shape a more positive world.
  5. Practice Self-Kindness
    • Kindness starts with yourself. It’s important to treat yourself with the same love and care that you would treat others with. Take some time for yourself, practice self-love and self-care, and remind yourself that you deserve all of the goodness that the world has to offer.

By using these 5 tips, you can effectively spread kindness to all who need it, including yourself. If you are in need of any health services, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433. We are open tonight, April 13th, from 5-7:15pm CST and will be offering tele-health appointments. Stay healthy and safe, and remember to help #StopTheSpread by using these tips and through the use of social distancing.

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

CLINIC TELE-HEALTH SERVICES (04/06/2020)


The Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis is open today for tele-health appointments and we will be taking calls tonight from 5-7:15pm. If you are a current patient who needs prescription refills, test results, or an appointment, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact EMS. Thank you for your patience during this time, stay safe and healthy!

Coronavirus: what’s it all about?

The recent outbreak of respiratory disease has been caused by COVID-19, also known as coronavirus disease 2019. This disease has been detected in as many 60 countries internationally, which includes the United States. Coronaviruses are a very large family of viruses that are common in people and in many different species of animals. While rare, people can be infected by animals such as bats, cattle, and even cats. If you’re worried about possibly contracting and/or spreading this disease, then learning more about the disease and how it spreads will help keep you and others safe during this time.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

People with COVID-19 should receive as much supportive care to help relieve these symptoms since there is not a specific antiviral treatment recommended yet for this disease. If symptoms become severe, then treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, then make sure to visit your physician as soon as you can. The Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis can see you on Monday’s from 5-7pm, but if you’re in need of assistance before then try to see another provider as soon as possible to stop the spread of this disease.

There are also some simple things that you can do to keep yourself and others healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to do this after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose and/or coughing/sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash once you are finished. Do not reuse old tissues.

It is important to note that anyone can contract this disease and the chances of someone contracting and/or spreading this disease who is of Asian descent is not higher than someone who isn’t. Help us stop fear based racism by making sure that this is known, as it only creates more confusion and fear than necessary.

If you have any questions, please come by during our clinic hours on Monday’s from 5-7pm or email/call us with any comments, questions, or concerns. Have a happy and healthy week!

Links:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

Flu Season Tips & Tricks

Influenza, commonly known as the ‘flu’, is unpredictable. While the flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and the length of the season varies from one season to another. This is why it is important to get vaccinated against the flu with each season and to practice healthy habits.

At the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis, we use many proven methods to combat the flu, which if done correctly can reduce your chances of getting the flu and can also reduce the severity and longevity of the flu if you do catch it:

We can do this in-house at the clinic on any first three Mondays of the month from 5-7pm for free. The CDC recommends that you get your flu shot as early as possible. The beginning of flu season tends to be sometime in September or October of each year.

  • Wash your hands frequently and well.

Washing your hands as often as possible is one of the best ways to combat the flu because the virus is spread by droplets from infected people when they sneeze, cough, and even wipe secretions from their eyes and noses. Keeping your hands clean will help keep you and everyone around you safe from the flu.

  • Stay hydrated and Eat a Healthy Diet rich in Vitamins C and E.

Since foods that contain these vitamins are believed to help support the immune system, it is important to be eating them on a regular basis during flu season. If foods containing these vitamins are a concern for you, please come by the clinic so we can offer other options and make a plan with you. In the meantime, aim to reduce your intake of of concentrated sugars (e.g. soda, candy, etc) because excessive sugar has been shown to impair the immune system. Also aim to increase your water intake as much as possible, because drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by mucus, loosens mucus, and helps to keep your throat moist.

  • Get a good night’s sleep.

Getting a lack of sleep has shown to be detrimental to our immune system. By getting a full night’s sleep, you optimize your body’s natural defenses.

  • Talk to your doctor, and seek help if you get worse.

Come visit the clinic to learn more about staying healthy during flu season, and seek medical attention right away if your symptoms become significantly worse after the first three days of illness, especially if your fever subsides and then returns. The reason that the flu is considered a potentially dangerous infection is because it leaves the body vulnerable to other infections like pneumonia.

While the flu season is almost at an end, it is important to still take precautions. Listening to your body, being in contact with your doctor, and practicing these tips and tricks will help keep you and those around you healthy during this flu season. If you have any questions or concerns, come stop by on the first four Mondays of the month from 5-7pm or call us at (901) 306-5433 (LIFE).

If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to look at the graphic attached to this post. Have a happy and healthy week!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 This month is dedicated towards: 

  • Raising funds for breast cancer research (on treatment, prevention, and cures) 
  • Informing and supporting those affected by breast cancer
  • Increasing the population’s awareness of the breast cancer 

To begin, what is Breast Cancer? 

Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breasts grow out of control. In the U.S., 1 in 8 women have a lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. This disease can affect both men and women. Although it is less common in men, approximately 1 in 100 men will have breast cancer. 

There are different types of breast cancers. The type of breast cancer is determined by which cells in the breast turn cancerous. 

The two most common types of breast cancer are: 

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma- The cancer cells grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. 
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma. Cancer cells spread from the lobules to the breast tissues that are close by. 

Both of these types of breast cancer can be spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body which indicates the cancer’s stage (1-4). In addition, there are several other less common breast cancers such as  paget’s disease, medullary, mucinous, and inflammatory breast cancer

Early detection is key. How can one detect it? 

  • Regular breast checks for symptoms 
  • Mammograms 
  • Gene testing (if have family history) 

Symptoms to look for while doing a regular breast check: 

  • Any changes in breast size 
  • Nipple tenderness 
  • Pain in the breast area 
  • New lump in the breast or under the arm 
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk) either clear or bloody  

Mammograms: 

Mammograms are x-ray screenings of the breast to check for any cancerous growth. 

It is advised that women between the age of 45-54 should get annual mammograms.  

Some local mammogram centers in Memphis: 

  • Methodist Lebonheur healthcare

https://www.methodisthealth.org/healthcare-services/womens-health/breast-health/?gclid=CjwKCAjwoc_8BRAcEiwAzJevtX8vU3NxCk_tD20vtmjKyS3GVSXg4VnDUIK-lsQP-jCkeeJXDvcLIBoCro4QAvD_BwE

  • St. Francis Hospital Memphis 

https://www.saintfrancishosp.com/services/diagnostic-imaging/mammogram

  • Women’s care center of Memphis 

http://www.wccofmemphis.com/our-services/screening-mammography/

  • Mccdonald + Murrmann center for wellness and health
  • Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women 

https://www.baptistonline.org/services/womens-health/breast-health

Gene testing

It is true that family history is an unavoidable risk factor for developing breast cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer, it might be beneficial to have a genetic testing for the mutated BRACA1 or BRACA2 genes. The BRACA1 and BRACA2 gene mutations are the most known gene link to increasing your chances of breast cancer. However, just because you have the mutation, doesn’t necessarily mean one will develop breast cancer.  If you have tested positive for the mutated BRACA1 or BRACA2 gene, here are the steps you can take after knowing: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/what-to-do-if-youve-tested-positive 

What are some risk factors? 

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

There are both controllable and uncontrollable risk factors for breast cancer.Some controllable things you can do to lessen your chances of getting breast cancer include staying physically healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, eating fruits and vegetables, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption. 

Possible risk factors that can not be controlled include: 

  • Family history- inheriting a genetic mutation
  • Getting older- risk for breast cancer increases with age. Most are diagnosed after 50
  • Exposure to hormones- those who are exposed to hormones longer are more likely to develop breast cancer
  • Having dense breasts- this can sometimes make it difficult to see a tumor in a mammogram
  • Family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Previous treatment using radiation therapy near the chest area

Survivors: 

There are approximately 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. Life may look different as a survivor, but know there is a community of people there to support you. Read some stories and lessons about cancer survivor’s experience with breast cancer: https://www.sharecancersupport.org/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-stories/ 

If you have any questions about breast cancer, or think that you may have it or be at risk for it, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433 to schedule an appointment. As always, stay safe and healthy!

-Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

References: 

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/breastcancerawareness/index.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/what-is-breast-cancer.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/men/index.htm

https://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/BreastCancerScreeningforWomenatAverageRisk.html