Our Health Ministry Team is dedicated to supporting the goal of wholeness in body, mind and spirit that enables us to love and serve others in the Name of Christ.
Some of us are previous or present healthcare workers; others have experience as patients or caregivers in illness, injury and rehabilitation. Together we have access to current information on healthcare issues, facilities and medical advances. We meet regularly to address specific needs and topics of interest to parishioners.
Our health-promoting efforts include:
- Blood-pressure screenings the first weekend of every month
- Regular Sunday Health Forums on major health topics by expert speakers
- Health tips and news in the weekly announcement sheet and on our bulletin board in the Narthex of the church
- Monthly article in the Tribune
- Response to specific health questions
- Personal visits or consultation on request
HEALTH NEWS AND EVENTS
Blood Pressure Screenings are available the first weekend of every month. Our plan is to have one or possibly two health professionals available on the west end of the Narthex (behind the screens) to do the screenings. Sign in when you arrive, and we'll then record your blood pressure and give you an information sheet if you desire. Your time invested is about eight minutes a month to know your numbers. The time schedule will be: Saturdays at 4:30 - 6:30pm, and Sundays from 8:15am - 12:45pm. The remaining dates for the 2017 BP screenings are:
Yoga for Health – a weekly class on Mondays from 6:00 to 7:15pm in Lewis Hall. In order to participate, you must be able to move from the floor to standing without assistance. Call Peggy Snead (321-242-9425) with questions. Sign up by calling the church office at 321-723-5272. The suggested donation per class is $5.
Exercise Class continues on Mondays at 2:00pm in Lewis Hall. IT'S FREE!
Health Forums: The Health Ministry sponsors regular health forums on a variety of topics. Check the NEWSLETTERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS for upcoming forum information.
The Health Ministry has an extensive Lending Closet which includes a variety of medical supplies, such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, portable commodes, etc. These supplies are loaned out to parishioners and friends of parishioners as needed. Should you need any supplies, please contact the Parish Nurse, Carolyn Wilt, R.N., or the church office at 321-723-5272.
- HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: For a lot of information to help you and your loved ones stay healthy, visit the US Department of Health and Human Service's Health Finder website.
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH
2.6 million family caregivers provide 2.4 billion hours of unpaid care valued at about $29.7 billion annually. Free resources can be found at these sites: aarp.org/preparetocare and aarp.org/caregiverguides. AARP Caregiving Resources Center has all aspects of family caregiving at your fingertips at aarp.org/caregiving. You may also call 877-333-5885.
NOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes occurs when blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are too high. Blood glucose comes naturally from the foods you eat, and it is your main source of energy. But sometimes your body doesn’t make enough of the hormone insulin to regulate how much glucose gets into your cells for energy production. When this is the case you are said to have diabetes. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that virtually everyone who reads this article knows someone who has diabetes or is likely to have the condition within 5 years.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This results when the body's system for fighting infection, the immune system, turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. While this form of diabetes typically shows up in childhood, it can occur in adults. Type 1 Diabetes is usually treated with insulin, but there is ongoing research into using stem cells to treat the disease.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in which there is a high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Being overweight is a contributing factor to the disease. There are many medications to treat this form of diabetes, including insulin. Although diabetes is a serious disease, it can often be managed through physical activity, diet, and appropriate use of insulin and other medications to control blood sugar levels.
Also of great concern is pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a wake-up call that you’re on the path to diabetes. But it’s not too late to turn things around. If you have it (like 86 million other Americans), your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than it should be, but not in the diabetes range. People used to call it "borderline" diabetes. Pre-diabetes makes you more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke. But you can take action to lower those risks. To see if you have a form of diabetes your doctor will give you three simple blood tests: Fasting Plasma Glucose Test, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and/or Hemoglobin A1C.
For the Fasting Glucose you won't eat for 8 hours before taking this blood test. If the results are normal your blood sugar is less than 100. Someone with pre-diabetes will have a blood sugar reading of 100-125. If the blood sugar comes back 126 or higher then diabetes is the diagnosis.
The Oral Glucose Tolerance test is given after the Fasting Glucose. Two hours after drinking a sugary drink another blood test is given. The results are normal if your blood sugar is less than 140 after the second test. Pre-diabetes is the diagnosis if your blood sugar is 140-199 after the second test. Diabetes is the diagnosis if your blood sugar is 200 or higher after the second test.
The Hemoglobin A1C (or average blood sugar) test shows your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months. Doctors can use it to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes or, if you already know you have diabetes, it helps show whether it's under control. The results are normal if the number is 5.6% or less; pre-diabetes if it is 5.7 to 6.4%, and diabetes if the number is 6.5% or above. The test may be given again to confirm the results.
Lifestyle changes can help many people with pre-diabetes delay or prevent it from becoming diabetes and can prevent complications in people who have type 2 diabetes. In a large research study called the Diabetes Prevention Program, these changes cut the odds of getting diabetes. The first change is weight control. If you're overweight, pre-diabetes is more likely to turn into diabetes. Losing even as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight makes a difference.
Exercise is another great weapon against this disease. Get moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, such as cycling, swimming, or brisk walking. It helps prevent and manage diabetes, studies show. Aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart rate up, is ideal. If you're not active now, check with your doctor first.
Change your diet! Go for meals that mix low-fat protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit calories, serving sizes, sugar, and starchy carbs. Favor fiber-rich foods, which help you feel full and not eat too much.
The body does show symptoms if your insulin-regulating capacity is not functioning well. Here are some to look for:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Increased hunger
- Fatigue and/or irritability
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in feet or hands
- Slow-healing sores or wounds
- Frequent infections
- Unexplained weight loss
Don’t take chances with your health; take control. Untreated high blood glucose can lead to: heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve disease and foot problems.
Get tested and get started on working toward good health and a healthy lifestyle!