Your heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin all rely on one, often-overlooked, butterfly-shaped gland: your thyroid. Located just under your voice box, this little workhorse regulates several body functions and plays a huge role in metabolism — if you need more energy, for example, it pumps out more hormones to deliver it. When you were young, it was also a major driver of your growth and development.
This year, both National Influenza Vaccination Week and National Handwashing Awareness Week are being observed during the first week of December. While that may be a coincidence, it happens to be a happy one. Both a flu shot and good handwashing habits are instrumental in helping to prevent a communicable disease that’s uncommonly dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 37 million and 43 million Americans contracted the flu last year, leading to upwards of 647,000 hospitalizations and as many as 61,200 deaths. Needless to say, even if you’re able to outlast the flu at home (after a week or so of misery), avoiding the flu should be high on your priority list as we enter the heart of flu season.
Most people are familiar with physical therapy (PT) as a way to help with recovery from injuries, strokes or heart procedures. But the reality is that PT is far more comprehensive than that. From pain management to fall prevention, PT can prevent surgery, boost mobility, and treat, prevent and improve a wide array of health conditions.
From NFL fields to office break rooms, October will once again be filled with pink ribbons, frequent reminders and well-publicized initiatives to raise awareness of breast cancer — and for good reason. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in American women. Even though death rates have been decreasing since 1989, this disease still has the highest death rate of any cancer for women. It’s estimated that more than 268,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. And nearly 42,000 women will die.
Nearly every day, you’re reminded about the dangers of opioids. You’re reminded of the dangers and prevalence of breast cancer and prostate cancer, and urged to take preventive action. Rarely, however, do you hear about a condition that takes more than double the lives of those three public health threats combined: sepsis. During Sepsis Awareness Month, September 2019, please take time to learn about this devastating condition and the measures you can take to prevent and treat it.