POW! Wham! Bam! To:
- Gradually work in changing eating habits and activity levels instead of focusing on weight
- Choose whole grain foods and eliminate highly processed foods
- Drink water rather than sugar sweetened beverages
- Include 30 minutes of moderate level exercise into your daily routine
- Weigh yourself regularly
- Get tested and know your partner’s HIV status
- Get tested and treated for STDs
- Don’t inject drugs
- Limit your number of sexual partners
- Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who don’t have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Lowering intake of sugar sweetened beverages will help fight the following:
- Obesity (weight gain)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- The rising costs of healthcare
Sickle Cell Disease
[Cell on the left is a healthy cell; the cell the right is a “sickle” cell]
Know the facts:
- In the United States, most people with sickle cell disease (SCD) are of African ancestry or identify themselves as black.
- About 1 in 13 African babies is born with sickle cell trait.
- About 1 in every 365 black children is born with sickle cell disease.
- There are also many people with this disease who come from Hispanic, southern European, Middle Eastern, or Asian Indian backgrounds.
There are many types of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), determined by the types of abnormal hemoglobin (Hb) a person makes. Hb protein in red blood cells carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. People with SCD have abnormal Hb, which doesn’t carry oxygen well, causing some of the medical problems of SCD. The most common types of SCD are:
HbSS People with this type of SCD inherit a sickle cell gene (“S”) from each parent. This is commonly called sickle cell anemia.
HbSC People with this type of SCD inherit a sickle cell gene (“S”) from one parent and from the other parent a gene for an abnormal Hb called “C”.
HbS beta-thalassemia People with this type of SCD inherit one sickle cell gene (“S”) from one parent and one gene for beta-thalassemia, another type of anemia, from the other parent. There are two types of beta-thalassemia: “zero” and “plus”.
Signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia can be mild or severe enough to require frequent hospitalizations. They may include:
- Anemia (looking pale)
- Dark urine
- Yellow eyes
- Painful swelling of hands and feet
- Frequent pain episodes
- Stunted growth
Treatment of the Disease
Unfortunately, no treatment will get rid of Sickle Cell, but there are ways to help control it:
- Patients can be given immunizations to prevent against certain infections, such as pneumonia and meningitis. They are also given penicillin antibiotic as a cover against possible disease
- Taking the vitamin folic acid (folate) daily to help make new red cells
- Daily penicillin until age six to prevent serious infection
- Drinking plenty of water daily (8-10 glasses for adults)
- Avoiding too hot or too cold temperatures
- Avoiding over exertion and stress
- Getting plenty of rest
- Getting regular check-ups from knowledgeable health care providers
- During a crisis, oxygen and fluids may be given. Painkillers can also help stop the chest and tummy pain often seen in a crisis
- If you suffer recurrent crises, blood transfusions can be given to try to reduce the number of abnormal red cells in the body
Know Your Numbers
Having regular screenings for the following can lower your risk of chronic disease:
- Blood Pressure (Take twice per day – morning and evening; however, avoid food, drink, etc., at least 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure; sit quietly before and during monitoring; make sure your cuff size is correct; place cuff on skin not over clothing; and take a repeat reading)
- Blood Glucose (A1C Screening)
- Maintain a Healthy Weight (weigh yourself every day, first thing in the morning and take the average at the end of the week) *Remember, muscle weighs more than fat!
- Cholesterol Levels (A cholesterol screening measures your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol [Good Cholesterol) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol [Bad Cholesterol] and triglycerides.
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Monitor your sleep *The following represent the optimum hours of sleep required at various ages
- Adults [18+] require 7.5 – 9 hrs. per day;
- 12 – 18 year olds require 8.5 – 10 hrs. per day;
- 5 – 12 years old require 10 – 11 hrs. per day;
- 3 – 5 year olds require 11 – 13 hrs. per day;
- 1 – 3 year olds require 12 – 14 hrs. per day; and
- 3 months – 1 year require 14 – 15 hrs. per day