What You Need to Know About Arthritis…

Arthritis, which includes more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, is the nation’s most common cause of disability. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis; other forms include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Arthritis is more common among adults over 65 years old, but people of all ages (including children) can be affected. Symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness and swelling in or around the joints; some form of arthritis can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms.

Why Arthritis is a Public Health Problem

  • An estimated 52.5 million U.S. adults (equivalent to about 1 in 5) report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The number of adults with arthritis is expected to increase sharply to 67 million by 2030
  • It is estimated that the lifetime risk of developing knee osteoarthritis that causes pain is 45%. Among those who have had a knee injury, an estimated 57% will develop osteoarthritis; an estimated 60% of people who are obese will develop osteoarthritis
  • Arthritis limits the activities of 22.7 million Americans
  • Arthritis occurs with other chronic conditions; among U.S. adults with arthritis, nearly half have at least one other disease or condition
  • Research has shown that people with arthritis are less likely to be physically active; not being physically active is a risk factor for other chronic diseases and makes it harder to manage these conditions

What People Can Do To Prevent and Control Arthritis

  • Self-management education interventions can teach people with arthritis how to manage their condition, lessen its effects and improve their quality of life
  • Physical activities (such as walking, bicycling, and swimming) can have many benefits for people with arthritis; these benefits include less pain and better physical function, mental health and quality of life
  • People can reduce their risk of developing osteoarthritis by controlling their weight and trying to avoid injuries; weight loss can also reduce symptoms for people with knee osteoarthritis who are overweight or obese
  • Recommendations from healthcare providers are among the most influential factors in convincing people to be physically active or join a self-management program

 

SOURCE: CDC

How to Stay Cool When the Temperatures are Heating Up!

The temperatures are rising quickly so we have decided today would be an appropriate day to reiterate the benefits and importance of staying hydrated. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles and helps the muscles work efficiently.

The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration. The easiest way to track your hydration level is to pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear urine means you’re well hydrated. On the contrary, dark urine means you need to drink more fluids. Speaking of drinking, thirst isn’t the best indicator of whether or not you need to drink. Multiple doctors have said, “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.”

Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke. Symptoms of dehydration include, but are not limited to: little or no urine; urine that is darker than usual; dry mouth; sleepiness or fatigue; extreme thirst; headache; confusion; dizziness or lightheaded feeling. It’s important that you don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. You should actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

Hydration isn’t just important during physical activity. You may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking if you have certain medical conditions, are pregnant, will be outside during hot weather, have a fever, have been vomiting or have diarrhea or if you are trying to lose weight.

Tips for staying hydrated:

  • Keep a bottle of water (preferably a plastic, reusable bottle) with you during the day
  • If you don’t like plain water, try to enhance its taste by adding a slice of lemon or lime
  • Be sure to drink water before, during and after a workout
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • When you feel hungry, drink water because thirst is often confused with hunger
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant

How much do you know about pink eye?

We all know someone who has had pink eye but how much do you know about the condition? We’ve compiled some basic facts about pink eye to keep you in the know. Conjunctivitis, better known as “pink eye,” is a common eye condition that causes inflammation (swelling) of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin layer that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. The most common causes of conjunctivitis are viruses, bacteria and allergens. The conjunctiva can also be irritated by foreign bodies in the eye and by indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Viral conjunctivitis is caused by infection of the eye with a virus; it can be caused by a number of different viruses, many of which may be associated with an upper respiratory tract infection, cold, or sore throat. Viral conjunctivitis usually begins in one eye and may progress to the second eye within days. It spreads easily and rapidly between people and can result in epidemics but is typically mild. Viral conjunctivitis usually clears up in 7-14 days without treatment and resolves without any long-term effects.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by infection of the eye with certain bacteria. Bacterial conjunctivitis usually begins in one eye and may sometimes progress to the second eye. It is the leading cause of children missing school or day care. Cases of bacterial conjunctivitis are typically mild; they can last as few as 2-3 days or up to 2-3 weeks. Although many cases improve in 2-5 days without treatment, topical antibiotics are often prescribed to treat the infection

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by the body’s reaction to certain substances to which it is allergic. These substances can include, but are not limited to, pollen from trees, plants, and weeds, dust mites, molds, dander from animals, contact lenses and cosmetics. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs more frequently among people with other allergic conditions, such as hay fever, asthma, and eczema. Allergic conjunctivitis can occur seasonally or year-round and usually occurs in both eyes. Unlike other forms of conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis clears up once the allergen or irritant is removed or after treatment with allergy medications.

There’s a Science Behind Two Different Colored Eyes

Just 11 out of 1000 Americans have two differently colored eyes so the odds aren’t too high but they’re high enough that someone (or some group of people) declared July 12th National Different Colored Eyes Day.

Before you can understand how some people have two different colored eyes, it is important to understand how eyes get their color. Iris color develops during the first few months after birth with the levels of pigment melanin determining how dark eyes will become. The less melanin expressed in the iris, the lighter a person’s eyes look and vice versa. Sometimes the concentration and distribution of melanin isn’t uniform, which leads to a condition known as heterochromia.

There are many different forms of heterochromia. Complete heterochromia is when each eye is distinctly different, such as one blue and one brown. Central heterochromia is when the eyes show various colors, such as a blue iris with a golden-brown ring around the pupil. Sectoral heterochromia is when one iris has a splash of color that’s different from its overall hue.

Although some eye pigmentation abnormalities are inherited from a parent, heterochromia is a common feature of several inherited genetic disorders, such as Waardenburg syndrome and neurofibromatosis. Heterochromia can also be caused by glaucoma.

Please note that a sudden onset of heterochromia could be the sign of an underlying medical condition and a complete eye exam should be conducted by an ophthalmologist to rule out any serious causes.

 

Source: Live Science

Celebrating National Sugar Cookie Day

July 9th was National Sugar Cookie Day so in an effort to celebrate every wacky holiday with a positive and healthy mindset, we have decided to share our favorite healthy sugar cookie recipe, which replaces some butter with non-fat plain yogurt. The recipe makes 4 dozen sugar cookies in 25 minutes so check it out below:

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • ¼ cup of nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Stir flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Beat butter, yogurt, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth
  4. Add egg, allowing it to blend into butter mixture
  5. Beat in vanilla extract
  6. Mix in flour mixture until just incorporated
  7. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet
  8. Bake in preheated oven until golden, 8-10 minutes
  9. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks

We’re not the only ones who love this recipe, check out these reviews:

  • “Delicious! They turned out beautifully! They were fluffy and light and you couldn’t tell they were “healthier”” –Courtney
  • “Turned out great. Still nice and soft and it’s 4 days later!!” –Anna
  • “One of the best cookie recipes I have ever tried. I liked these better than the original recipe! Brought these to a picnic and everyone loved them.”—Anonymous

Do You Know Almond Allergy Facts?

July 8th is National Chocolate with Almonds Day so we have decided today would be a great day to further inform readers of almond allergies.

Allergy to almonds can be one of two types:

  • A primary food allergy—a person with this type of allergy will have had previous contact with almonds, resulting in their immune system producing antibodies to almond (this is known as sensitization). In some of these people, further exposure to almond results in an allergic reaction. This type of allergy has the potential to cause a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), which includes breathing difficulty.
  • A secondary food allergy—a person with this type of allergy is initially allergic to birch pollen, an important cause of hay fever, and then starts reacting to almond. This happens because of a process called cross-reactivity, where protein found in birch pollen has similarities with a protein found in almonds and therefore, some people react to almond. These reactions are usually mild and include itching or swelling in the mouth. The condition is known as pollen food syndrome.

 

Where are almonds used?

  • Products such as cakes, bread, biscuits, muesli, confectionary, marzipan, frangipane, praline and ice cream
  • Almonds are used to make some liqueurs, such as Amaretto. If in doubt about any liqueur, contact the manufacturer (or visit their website) to check for almond content.
  • Almond extract is made from almonds and should be avoided by people who are allergic to almonds
  • Almond flavoring may be made from almonds or may not be so it is best to be cautious
  • Almond oil, most commonly used in confectionery and pastries, should be avoided by anyone allergic to almonds
  • Almond oil and other almond derivatives are used in toiletries (such as creams, soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners) but when almond ingredients are used in toiletries, they are labelled in Latin. Watch out for the words Prunus amygdalus amara (bitter almond) and Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond).

We’re Wearing Pink to the Park

As an organization, we pride ourselves on providing good help to those in need. On the days when we need some entertainment, we pride ourselves on supporting the Rockland Boulders. On Saturday July 10th, the 2014 Can-Am League Champions will trade their usually white jerseys for pink jerseys as they face the Trois-Rivieres Aigles but more importantly, they’ll be joining the fight against breast cancer. The first 1,000 fans at Provident Bank Park on Saturday will receive a pink tee-shirt. After the game, the team will auction off their jerseys to benefit The Center for Breast Health at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. The Boulders will also donate $1 for each fan who wears pink on that day with a portion of the 50/50 sales going to The Center for Breast Health. As we join the Rockland Boulders in the fight against breast cancer, we hope to see you at the stadium on Saturday!

Bon Secours Community Hospital to Sponsor Film at 17th Annual Arts Walk

Annual Arts WalkThe Summer Street Fair featuring the 17th Annual Arts Walk will be held Saturday, July 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on historic Front Street in Port Jervis. Local artists and businesses will show and sell their arts, crafts, products or services. (Rain date July 19)

As a special attraction, Bon Secours Community Hospital is sponsoring the cost of a free movie, “Frozen,” a spectacular Walt Disney animated production and winner of two Academy Awards, for the entire family to enjoy with their friends and family.

“Arts Walk is one of the most inspiring and wonderful events showcasing talented artists and musicians in our area,” said Tri-State Chamber Executive Director Charlene Trotter. “Artists touch the heart and the sponsorship of this film speaks to the heart of Bon Secours Community Hospital, which is bringing us together at this event.” 

The film will be shown at 9:00 p.m. that Saturday night on a professional 42-foot wide screen. Front Street will be blocked off to traffic and moviegoers are asked to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets or whatever to relax and enjoy an old fashion drive-in style event. Chamber Ambassador and movie theater entrepreneur Nelson Page is coordinating the screen production.

“At Bon Secours Community Hospital,” said Bon Secours Community Hospital Community Liaison Mary Decker, “we know that good health encompasses more than freedom from illness. Good Health includes body, mind and spirit and time for leisure and family activities. That is why it is our pleasure to offer our community an opportunity to enjoy a movie in the street of downtown Port Jervis for all to enjoy at no cost. Laughter and leisure are good for everyone, so I hope that people from all over the Tri-State Community come to enjoy this special event.”

Tips for a Safe and Festive Fourth of July Weekend

Summer is in full swing and we’re preparing for an exciting and festive Fourth of July weekend! As always, your safety is our number one priority so we’ve compiled a list of some must-have tips for the holiday weekend!

 

Firework Safety

  • Never give fireworks to small children and follow all instructions on packages
  • Make sure anyone lighting fireworks wears eye protection
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Don’t relight a “dud”
  • Don’t throw or point fireworks at people, animals, cars, homes or flammable material

Grilling Safety

  • Always supervise a grill when it’s on
  • Never grill indoors or in a camper or tent
  • Make sure kids and pets stay far enough away from the grill
  • Keep the grill away from your home, tree branches and other things that can catch fire
  • Use long-handled tools made for cooking on a grill

Lightning Storm Safety—just in case!

  • Always look at the weather forecast and cancel/postpone plans if it looks bad
  • Know your surroundings and identify the closest safe shelter and the quickest way to get there
  • Monitor weather conditions
  • Seek shelter if you hear thunder
  • Avoid open areas
  • Don’t stand near the tallest object
  • Don’t seek shelter under tall or isolated trees

 

Stay safe and have a great holiday weekend!

Be Water Savvy this Summer

Learn to swim. Never swim alone.

Wear a life jacket while boating.

Avoid alcoholic beverages while boating.

Watch children in and around water.

If you have a swimming pool at your home, install a four-sided fence.