Health and Wellness
April Monthly Health News.... Honoring Our Bodies!
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20, NIV)
It is important to keep our "temples" healthy for service to God and to promote awareness of the importance of our overall good health. See your body as a gift and take care of it.
Spring is a time of new growth and revival after the colder winter months. What a good time to recommit to a healthier you.
April is High Blood Pressure Education Month. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms (which is why it is known as the silent killer). It is important to see a healthcare provider regularly to have your blood pressure checked and to talk about ways to lower your risks.
Everyone is encouraged to look at various lifestyle factors which may be contributing to high blood pressure. It is well documented that a high amount of sodium (salt) in the diet is linked to high blood pressure. In the United States, many people consume more than twice the recommended amounts of sodium. High risk groups include those who have diabetes, kidney disease, are overweight and African Americans. Lifestyle changes which can help reduce blood pressure, include maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, quitting smoking and following a healthy low sodium diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
As the season continues to get warmer, April gives way to May, Stroke Awareness Month. The Stroke Association is gearing up for a purple May to raise awareness about strokes and the impact they can have. A stroke is an attack on the brain; the effects will depend on which part of the brain is affected. The effects of stroke can be permanent. Recognizing the signs of stroke is important to outcome. It is important to think "FAST" when it comes to identifying a possible stroke.
- F=facial drooping- is one side of the face drooping or numb? Smile. Is the smile uneven?
- A=arm weakness- is one arm weak or numb? Raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
- S=speech- is speech slurred?
- T=time to call 9-1-1
Other signs of stroke may include numbness or weakness of leg, confusion, trouble seeing, trouble walking and/or severe headache with no known cause. Learning and sharing stroke warning signs can save lives. Early intervention makes a difference to outcomes and survival rates.
Want more information about health (and many other resources)?
Howard County Health Department, CAREAPP, is a web platform that helps connect people to a variety of community programs and services.
-Submitted by: Frances Reynolds MSN, RN