Three interesting things came out this past week. One, a small study of primary care physicians and how much they know (or don’t know) about diagnosing prediabetes. Turns out, a high percenta…
Three interesting things came out this past week. One, a small study of primary care physicians and how much they know (or don’t know) about diagnosing prediabetes. Turns out, a high percentage of them DO NOT know the 11 risk factors. This is sad as roughly 90% of people estimated to have prediabetes do not even know they are at risk and that means they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, amputations and a lifetime of chronic pain. To read more about this particular study click here Click.
The second thing that came out this past week was a PSA ad from the CDC to bring awareness about prediabetes. And who doesn’t like cute little Hedgehogs on vacation? I like this effort because it includes a quick risk assessment test for viewers. And again, because so many do not even know they are at risk the ad does a good job of simplifying it. Watch it Here. Although awareness is great, does it really actually make you pull the trigger to make a change? I am inclined to think it does not so that is why….
The third thing this week is this infographic. So now you know from your doctor or your own risk assessment that you are prediabetic. What now? Logging in steps or writing in a food journal is good, very good. The general advice from your doctor, eat better and exercise more is fine advice. There are many apps driven by computer learning to remind you to take medications or otherwise just input data, sort it and give it back to you. Is that all it takes?
Making a change is a complex process. We call it behavior modification. MyHealthStyle Coaches are specifically trained to guide you towards long lasting, sustainable change in your life. But habit change and behavior modification can all seem like psycho babble. And what is it EXACTLY anyway? It is actually a proven methodical approach that has been successful in many addictive and behavioral areas. The type of counseling skills our coaches learn is geared to helping you assess, replace and support habits. It does take time, and that’s why our shortest program is four months. Take a close look at this infographic and try to relate it to a small thing in your life, take sleep for example. If you don’t have the skills for good sleep hygiene then you are increasing your anxiety.
Today, CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) released the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. The report documents the “state of the disease” in our nation, providing the most recent scientific data on diabetes and its burden, including:
• Diabetes incidence
• Diabetes prevalence
• Short- and long-term complications
• Risk factors for complications
Data in the report show that while diabetes cases are still growing in the United States, the growth rate is slowing. However, the number remains incredibly large: more than 100 million people in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes. Much work still needs to be done.
The report, which analyzes health data through 2015, provides diabetes statistics across ages, races, ethnicities, education levels, and regions—credible, objective data that can be used to focus diabetes prevention and control efforts. Key findings include:
• 30.3 million Americans—close to 1 in 10—have diabetes.
• 84.1 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes.
• Over half of newly diagnosed diabetes cases were in adults 45-64 years old.
• Rates of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have increased among US youth.
• New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites.
• For US adults diagnosed with diabetes, prevalence was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
• Nearly 16% adults diagnosed with diabetes were smokers, nearly 90% were overweight, and more than 40% were physically inactive.
While this report reflects a point-in-time analysis, its data provides a vital perspective on the current status of diabetes and our nation’s health.
As more people develop diabetes or prediabetes at a younger age, as racial and ethnic minorities are hit harder by the disease, and as our nation’s population ages, we need to redouble our efforts in controlling and managing diabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes. And by addressing diabetes we are also addressing and preventing many other significant health problems.
MyHealthStyle App is currently engaging in a study with Guilford County NC expressly to reach out to underserved communities. Our ability to bridge the most common barriers, such as transportation, to these communities is a valuable asset in bringing education and support to detour diabetes.
(written by MyHealthStyle Coach Manager Trecy Marr)
With Father’s Day being in June it’s no surprise that it’s also Men’s Health Month. I happen to have a man in my life that I want to see live a long healthy life with me. We as wives, mother’s, daughter’s, sister’s, aunt’s and friends of men, need to encourage them to get regular health check-ups. Whether you like them or not, without a man, you wouldn’t be here today reading this.
“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” A quote by Congressman Bill Richardson.
According to Men’s Health Network, the purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. “There is a crisis in men’s health. Because of poor health habits, lack of health insurance, failure to seek medical attention, and dangerous occupations, men live sicker and die younger than women. Men die at higher rates for 9 of the top 10 causes of death. This includes deaths from cancer, diabetes, suicide, and accidents; and diseases of the heart, kidney, and liver.“
Most of us know about the signs and symptoms associated with heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer and other more common men’s health issues but I’ve added three concerns that men need to get checked for on a regular basis that tends to be overlooked.
- DIABETES: Did you know you can have diabetes and NOT know it? Diabetes can go undetected for years unless you get checked for it. Men who have diabetes are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems.
- DEPRESSION: Men are more likely to commit suicide due to depression because more women tend to seek out help through medication and or counseling. If you are a man and just can’t seem to shake the blues or you think your man isn’t his normal perky, cheerful self for an extended period, you or your loved one may be suffering from depression. This isn’t something to take lightly or dismiss. There is never any shame in asking for help.
- SKIN CANCER: When it comes to any outdoor activities or playtime we don’t apply sunscreen as frequently as the directions tell us to. And if we are playing in or near the water we are less likely to reapply when it wears off. A tan might be nice, but being told you have to have part of your body removed due to cancer isn’t so nice. You should get a full body screening by a Dermatologist at least once a year.
For Men’s Health Month, let’s show our love for all mankind and let the men in your life know you want them around for a long time. Please share this information with your spouse, your father, uncles, brothers and your friends. You literally could be saving their lives through early detection and prevention.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this. Please stay healthy for your kids!
Written by Trecy C. Marr, INHC, AADP, MyHealthStyle Coach Manager
Our wonderful MyHealthStyle Coach Wendy wanted to share some thoughts on the summer solstice…
When most people picture summer time, visions of BBQs, campfires, and family vacations are usually what come to mind. Kids become giddy with thoughts of no more school books and sleeping in. Water balloon fights and swimming pools become favored activities. Adults tend to gardens and read books in the shade while they sip sun tea and complain about how much hotter it is outside
then it was last year. Through the changes of the season, in the midst of all these leisurely activities, there is one very special holiday that is almost all but forgotten, that is the Summer Solstice.
Known for its claim to fame as being the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice is actually so much more than just a long row of daylight hours connected together. Also referred to as Midsummer, the Summer Solstice has a long history of ancient traditions and rituals honoring the sun for being light giver and energy creator. Without the sun’s warmth shining down on us, we would simply cease to exist. Ancient traditions would honor this fact through lengthy preparations for ritualistic song and dance, that would last for many days and nights.
The sun should be, and throughout time has been, celebrated for the life-giving force that it is. There have been thousands of ancient sites created to celebrate and worship the abundance the sun brings to us, in our daily lives. From the food we eat, grown in the fertile grounds, to the solar energy that runs much of the technology in the world today, thanks is given to the sun for being the ultimate provider, while asking nothing of us in return.
So, on this Summer Solstice, as you sip your sun tea in the shade, take this moment to feel the sun’s warmth radiating down on your loved ones. Feel the energy that flows from your home out into your community. Take this moment to be truly thankful to the sun for being the powerful creator that it is. It does not need to be a long drawn out ritual and no one even needs to know that, in this moment, you are honoring the sun. Always remember, energy flows to where your thoughts go. What better way to bring about abundance and blessings into your life than to take this moment to be thankful.
Wishing you and your loved a safe, happy, and blessed Summer Solstice.
Wendy Hill, INHC
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What are the challenges African Americans face and how as a coach do you address race and genetic challenges that others may not face?
Happy Black History Month! While Black History month is a (short) time to recognize people of African American descent and their accomplishments, it can also be a time to be more aware about African Americans predisposition to certain diseases and health issues. As health coaches, I feel the best way to deal with culturally diverse individuals is by being observant, gentle and sensitive.
Specifically with African Americans, the reality is there are many diseases and health conditions that more commonly affect the race. Statistically,
- Diabetes is 60% more common in black Americans than in white Americans. Blacks are up to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a limb amputation and up to 5.6 times more likely to suffer kidney disease than other people with diabetes.
- African-Americans are three times more likely to die of asthma than white Americans.
- Deaths from lung scarring — sarcoidosis — are 16 times more common among blacks than among whites. The disease recently killed former NFL star Reggie White at age 43.
- Despite lower tobacco exposure, black men are 50% more likely than white men to get lung cancer.
- Strokes kill 4 times more 35- to 54-year-old black Americans than white Americans. Blacks have nearly twice the first-time stroke risk of whites.
- Blacks develop high blood pressure earlier in life — and with much higher blood pressure levels — than whites. Nearly 42% of black men and more than 45% of black women aged 20 and older have high blood pressure.
- Cancer treatment is equally successful for all races. Yet black men have a 40% higher cancer death rate than white men. African-American women have a 20% higher cancer death rate than white women.
While there can be many reasons and explanations as to why certain diseases strike African Americans the way they do (including genetics, socioeconomic status, and racism), our job as health coaches is to relate to the person first and most importantly. We should be open to any issues that a person may indeed feel is related to their race. We should be sensitive to things we don’t understand (like a person’s upbringing, social and economic environment and surroundings) and allow them to be open and honest. We should be observant and recognize where there could be any race related issues. Not in a way to make a spectacle of the person, but enough to get them to look inside themselves to see where there might be some correlation.
Race and genetics can definitely play a role in some of the health issues that our clients may face. Though it can be important to recognize, I think as long as we show each individual respect, sensitivity, care and concern we will do right by them. At the end of the day, they are all human beings looking to us to help them get better. Whether it be mind, body or spirit, our goal is to help them achieve their goals and be healthier.
MyHealthStyle Coach Danica Lafortune
Your heart is a muscle and it is an organ.
What is heart failure?
The American Heart Association describes heart failure as a condition that occurs when this important organ, essentially a pump, cannot effectively push blood out through the arteries and circulatory system to the body’s other organs and tissues.
Congestive heart failure, a worsening of this general condition, means blood flow from the heart through the arteries has slowed while blood returning to the heart through the veins has begun to back up and combined they cause congestion — a blood traffic jam.
Conditions that can lead to heart failure include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and coronary artery disease: when plaque builds up in the walls of arteries causing them to narrow and increasing the difficulty of pumping blood.
Heart failure, then, is a medical condition that needs to be treated to prevent a life-threatening heart attack.
What is a heart attack (myocardial infarction)?
A heart attack is a circulation problem. When circulation is blocked and blood is no longer supplied to the heart muscle it can damage that muscle. Blockages causing heart attacks are mostly caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque forms when cholesterol combines with fat, calcium and other substances in the blood.
Major risk factors for heart attack are obesity, diabetes, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and lack of exercise. You do not need to have all of these to be at risk.
What is sudden cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the result of electrical disturbances that cause the heart to suddenly stop beating.
Your heart’s rhythm is rapid and irregular and your heart can’t pump effectively, so you suddenly collapse, as you might expect, a sudden, unexpected loss of heart function results in an equally sudden loss of breathing and consciousness.
One cause of cardiac arrest is heart attack!
Worldwide, heart disease is the leading cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths each year
Two things you can do:
- Learn CPR. The importance of chest compressions, using a Defibrillator, and knowing the warning signs cannot be understated. AND, it is not done like you see it on TV! Please go take a class, you could save someone’s life.
- Incorporate the necessary lifestyle changes in your life and your families lives to combat the leading causes applicable. You can’t do too much about the genetic factor, if you have one, but you certainly can address weight, activity, diet, and exercise.
Give your heart a fighting chance!
Taking care of your mental state is just as important as your physical state. As we close on 2016 and enter a new year we have a human cultural desire to define a tangible goal, or goals, to accomplish. We want to stick a label on it and declare to our surroundings our new or renewed commitments. This natural phenomenon is one of the reasons gym memberships soar and diet products sales dramatically increase the New Year. Our coaches at MyHealthStyleApp.com are preparing for increases in members too, as a result of this resolution clock, and we are doing some specific training in mindfulness.
Because we want long-term success for you. In three months when the gym memberships drop off and attendance to weight watcher’s meetings fall, we will be with you replacing old habits with new ones. Why does mindfulness matter? Because taking care of your mental and spiritual state is as important as your physical one. They go hand in hand. As do sleep and stress. But let’s stick with mindfulness today, because its Monday.
Learn Calmness: Mindfulness practices and principles serve as a reliable path to a state of calmness. Taking time-outs or “sacred pauses” throughout the day enables us to moderate the level of stress we are experiencing. It also gives us a pause to acknowledge what we are doing and why?
Learn Compassion: Yes, this is the season to give gifts and coin to bell ringers. However, we believe compassion starts with you, as in compassion for yourself. I feel safe saying that all our coaches have discovered that our member’s fiercest critic is themselves. It is ok to love and understand yourself.
Learn Clarity: Your wise inner voice (that you share with loved ones) can’t be heard very well if you’re constantly in motion. Remember the last time you gave into an impulse to call someone, fire off an email or say something while you were upset? Unskillful behavior leads to unskillful results. Practicing mindfulness causes a literal shift in the brain and nervous system which then creates space between stimulus and response. We move from habitual, reactionary patterns to skillful responding, and this is where our power lies.
Learn Choice: In this moment, in this very moment, we have the power to choose. You can alter relationships, a way of thinking about yourself, or an unhealthy habit. You can choose to release something that is no longer serving you. And when you learn that you have choice, you feel power and freedom swell within you.
This seems like a lot of holistic, outer space, mindful something mumbo jumbo. But you are an emulsion of mind and body, it doesn’t separate like oil and water. If you want to make any changes you must consider and respect both. Your team of MyHealthStyle coaches await to guide you.