It’s the first day of National Diabetes Month! If you’re living with diabetes, knowledge and management are key to preventing further problems and living a full life. Eating healthily, staying active, and monitoring your blood sugar and general health are the basics of managing diabetes. Having a team of people, including friends, family, and doctors to support your care is a very good practice, and can help with problem solving and reducing risk of other problems with eyes, feet and teeth.
The Critical Path Learning Center has several workshops related to diabetes this month. Whether you live with diabetes, are at risk, or simply curious about who is likely to be at risk, these free workshops offer knowledge and resources.One is even about what apps you can use to help manage your diabetes!A full list can be found at https://critpath.org/community-workshops/. You can also call 267-428-7352.
1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, is the 2nd leading cause of death for Native American women, and in some states is the leading cause of cancer-related death. General factors that increase risk are genetics, family history, breast density, and age. When the tumor is small and most treatable is when the least symptoms are present. Annual screenings are considered optional for people aged 40-44, are advised for people aged 45-54, and for those 55+ every year or two years. Suggested ways to help prevent and catch cancer early are breastfeeding, regular mammograms, weight management, exercise, regular breast exams, and limiting alcohol use.
We’re heading into flu season, and October is a great time to get that vaccination. Though the flu is a relatively normal part of human life, it is important to remember that many people are hospitalized and die every year due to the influenza virus. The flu vaccine helps not only to reduce your chance of catching the virus, but also protects more vulnerable members of our communities. Children and infants, older adults, people who are immunocompromised, and people who are pregnant are all people we are helping to protect when we get a flu vaccine.
IPV, or Intimate Partner Violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men. Even higher rates of IPV are true for certain populations of people. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Organization for Women report that LGBT people and women of color experience higher rates of intimate partner violence, yet those cases are underreported and the people involved do not receive supportive services. Over half of women living with HIV have experienced intimate partner violence.
This month, the Lutheran Settlement House is putting on a rally titled “Men Can Prevent Violence“
October 16, 2019
11:00am – 1:00pm
Thomas Paine Plaza
Learn how to get involved, hear inspiring stories of men’s work to end DV, and enjoy snacks, resources, and entertainment.
The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-866-723-3014
It is 24-hour, free, confidential, and anonymous
For more information the CDC and The Office of Justice have some reports:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness celebrates the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Month. About 1 in 4 adults experience mental illness in a year, and 1 in 17 adults lives with a serious mental illness. Some common symptoms to pay attention to for yourself or people you care about are:
Difficulty perceiving reality, or changes in one’s own feelings, thoughts, or personality
Multiple physical ailments with no apparent cause (headaches, stomachaches, etc)
Thinking about suicide
Inability to complete daily tasks, or handle daily stress and emotion
For more information, and specifics on different mental health concerns, a wealth of resources is available at https://www.nami.org/. There are also mental health services at places like the Diana Baldwin Mental Health Center, PHMC Health Connection, The Family Practice and Counseling Network, and other Federally Qualified Health Centers around the city.
The Center for Disease Control cites heart disease as the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Men have a greater risk of heart attack, and tend to experience one at an earlier age. Regardless of gender, prevention through primary care, testing, and heart-healthy activities and diets are important.Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack can be crucial. People have various warning signs of a heart attack, and in many cases men and women notice different symptoms. Nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, and chest, neck, or back pain are common symptoms. Others can include upper back pain, fainting, indigestion, and extreme fatigue.
Philadelphia Fight’s Men and Boys Health fair is this Saturday, come out and learn about important resources to stay healthy!
The CDC puts the prevalence of hypertension, or high blood pressure, at 1 in 3 adults worldwide. That figure is true in the United States as well, according to the American Heart Association. Hypertension increases risk of strokes and heart attacks. The CDC warns that hypertension does not always have warning signs, so it is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly. You can do this at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or at home.
Head over to the Critical Path Learning Center on September 26 for a workshop for men on recognizing symptoms and treating hypertension. Register by calling 267-428-7352 or online at critpath.org/community-workshops
September is National Recovery Month and we want to recognize the work people have done and continue to do to recover from substance use disorders. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million adults struggled with a substance use disorder in 2017. Substance use, treatment, and recovery are impacted by many factors and there are different programs working to address the complicated reality of treatment and recovery.Collecting and analyzing data related to these complexities helps health professionals to develop and spread specific ways of intervening and supporting people who have more than one medical need. An example is the interaction of drug and alcohol use with HIV on possible transmission risk factors. Another overlap is that the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 24% of people living with HIV also need substance abuse treatment. Having data on the need for overlapping services helps to create a net of care for the people impacted by complex needs.
In recognition of World Suicide Prevention day, today we have some information on how to help those we care about. The National Institute for Mental Health suggests these five ways of helping someone experiencing emotional pain. Ask how they are feeling; if they are considering suicide or self-harm. Keep them safe as is appropriate for your relationship and ability. Often this looks like the next three actions: be there for them, help them connect with professional support, and stay connected with your loved one.
Injection drug use accounts for most of the incident infections with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States. HCV infection is a complex and challenging medical condition in injection drug users. Caring for patients who use illicits drugs presents challenges to the health-care world that require cultural competence, patience, and an understanding of the dynamics of substance use and addiction. Many programs and non-profit agencies are successfully integrating HCV care into health-care settings, however, there are still barriers to proper care for those impacted individuals. Join us next Friday, June 7th, 2019 for our webinar ‘Overcoming Barriers To HCV Care for People Who Inject Drugs’; register here at https://bit.ly/2GsfqcN today!
Everybody knows the importance of fruit as a part of a well-balanced diet, but most people do not know just how good fruit is for health physical and mental health. Studies show that increases in the consumption of fruit (and veggies) are linked to increases in mental well-being and life satisfaction. Eating the suggested amount of fruit daily improves the ability for the body to lose weight and heightens brain functions. In addition, a diet rich in fruit reduces the risk of stroke, certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases, and type-2 diabetes.
In an earlier health fact, we discussed the advances in technology that led us to having effective treatment for HIV however, the search for a cure is important even if we have effective treatment. Significant discoveries about the body’s immune system have been made on the road to finding a cure with some promising attempts to create a vaccine, antibodies, or effective gene therapy. Join us for part II of our HIV Cure Research Update webinars: A Day in the Life of a Cure Research Participant (fight.org/chta). This webinar will explain what volunteers can expect in a cure-focused clinical trial and gain insight from a recent participant of a trial.
Karam Mounzer, MD
Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.
Dr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.