Healthy Hiram

Healthy Hiram

Health tips and more from the Hiram College Health Center

Don't Forget to Floss

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Oral health: A window to your overall health Oral health is more important than many realize.  Understanding the importance of taking care of your gums, teeth and mouth can lend to better overall health. Your oral health can offer clues about your overall health.  Did you know that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? There is an intimate connection between oral health and overall health. Is there a connection between oral health and overall health? Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers...
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Meet Jessi

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  Hello! I’m Jessi, and at the age of 22 I’ve been a professional dieter for most of my adult life.  Throughout high school I was just slightly overweight, or average. I was active in sports but my appetite was always more active.  After high school, I went on to college; there my weight increased drastically. I was working full time, going to school full time and fast food was just convenient to me.  I could of made better decisions but was too, well, lazy. I continued eating whatever I wanted even though my activity level had come to a halt.  I just didn’t make time to workout. After college I went on to marry my then boyfriend; he had seen me at my lightest and at my heaviest. I was at my heaviest, approximately 250 pounds, when I walked down the aisle in July of 2012.  I was miserable with myself for letting my body get out of control, and I decided it...
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Is Indoor Tanning Safe?

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Is Indoor Tanning Safe?       Using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tan is called "indoor tanning." Indoor tanning has been linked with skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), squamous cell carcinoma, and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma). While many people think that indoor tanning is less harmful than the UV rays from the sun, indoor tanning exposes users to both UV-A and UV-B rays, which damage the skin and can lead to cancer. Using a tanning bed is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma. Using tanning beds also increases the risk of wrinkles and eye damage, and changes skin texture. Another common myth is that indoor tanning will help to build a base tan, therefore, decreasing one’s risk of initial burning with sun exposure.  However, indoor...
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Dieting vs. Disordered Eating

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Dieting vs. Disordered Eating I’m sure we have all dieted or known someone who has at some point in our lives. We may also know someone who has or is suffering from an eating disorder. So, how are we supposed to know the difference? How can you tell if your friend is being calorie conscientious or has an eating disorder?  I hope that  this blog post will provide you with a little more information and maybe even clear up some misconceptions. Having an eating disorder is much more than a diet. An eating disorder is an illness that is not just about food or weight it is often about a distorted body image, a need for control and an unproductive set of coping skills. Eating disorders need to be taken seriously- Did you know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness? Those who suffer from eating...
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Suicide Prevention

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Hiram College is participating in 'Green Week', March 24-28.  Green is the color for suicide awareness and represents RENEWAL. Today's post is a guest post by Dr. Kevin Feisthamel.   Suicide Prevention- What is helpful   Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. The suicidal person is typically intensely ambivalent about killing himself or herself, and usually responds to help. Suicidal states are definitely time-limited and most who commit suicide are neither crazy nor psychotic. High risk indicators include: feelings of hopelessness; a severe loss or threat of loss; a detailed suicide plan; history of prior attempts; history of alcohol or other drug abuse; and feelings of alienation and isolation from others. Suicidal students usually want to communicate their feelings and any opportunity to do so should be encouraged. Listed below are some helpful responses, not so helpful responses and ways students, faculty, staff can help:  ...
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Spring Break 2014

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      We have reached the week in the semester that is marked on every college students' calendar. Whether the seven days in the planner reads "Punta Gorda" in big letters or are filled by a volunteer service trip, Spring Break has finally arrived. But while some are checking their luggage and loading on the sunscreen, many college students will actually be sticking around for break. Maybe it's the struggling economy, perhaps it's a pair of nervous parents; whatever the reason and no matter your longitude and latitude, Spring Break is an annual week that should be soaked up by all. Yes, even in your teeny, tiny dorm room. (1) Take time off:  Alright, maybe your surroundings are missing a few palm trees and a couple thousand college students running wild but the point of Spring Break is to do just that: break. Close your text books, put away the...
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        Ohio Law Bans Texting While Driving  Governor Kasich signed House Bill 99 on June 1, 2012, which prohibits a person who is less than 18 years of age from using in any manner, an electronic wireless communications device while driving and prohibits texting while driving. This bill is effective August 31, 2012. If you're under age 18: *It is illegal to use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio. This means: No texting No e-mailing No talking on your cell phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, On-Star or any similar device No computers, laptops or tablets No playing video games No using your GPS (unless it's a voice-operated or hands-free device) --- Even when you are sitting at a light or stuck in traffic    It's a Primary Offense:  Law enforcement can stop you for any of the above reasons. First violation: $150 fine, driver license suspended...
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Eating Healthy: It Doesn’t Have to Cost More   Too many times we associate eating a healthy diet with an increase in the cost associated with buying healthy foods.  However, the cost comparison chart below puts a very accurate perspective on the true cost of eating healthy versus eating what’s unhealthy and of very little nutritional value at all. How often are you stopping at a fast food chain for dinner or grabbing your lunch from a vending machine?  Consider the cost savings and health benefits you would have if you stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on healthy foods instead!      ...
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BeYOUtiful

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BeYOUtiful       Let's Keep It Real About Our Bodies By: Lauren Fleshman Published: February 12, 2014   A few months ago, I posted a blog that went viral. It didn’t go “McKayla’s Not Impressed” viral, but close to a million people read it in over 200 countries (apparently I’m a big deal in Iceland and Turkey). The blog was one of my shortest blogs ever, and all I did was tell the truth about my body. And yet people called me a hero.  But it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t like I just posted pictures of my thigh cheese, no big deal, and went on about my day. Last fall, as New York Fashion Week and my runway show with Oiselle approached, I watched my body in the mirror the way any woman does, seeing my imperfections, sucking in this or that, trying to imagine myself taking a step under...
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Where Germs Lurk

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5 Places Germs Lurk   Think about all the places you visit in a typical week: your grocery store, your favorite restaurant, your office. Do you ever look around and worry your surroundings are less than sparkling clean? Listed are five places where poor hygiene could give germs a leg up. For a closer look at this, public health officials were asked to discuss the risks in each place, along with strategies for protecting yourself and your family.   Germy Place No. 1: Public Bathrooms The risk: "It's prudent to assume virtually any surface in a public restroom carries germs," says Craig Conover, MD, MPH, medical director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. These germs may include intestinal bacteria, such as E. coli and Enterococcus, which cause diarrhea. The main risk of infection comes not from sitting on the toilet, but from touching the seat, stall door or sink with...
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  Baby, It's Cold Outside:  Four Ways to Stay Hydrated This Winter   As the days get colder--and our outdoor workouts get less sweaty--it's easier to overlook the importance of staying hydrated. And while you may feel fine with drinking less water, your body disagrees: Getting enough water is just as important in the fall and winter as it is in the summertime. (Just ask your dry skin and chapped lips!) If you're not likely to tote a water bottle around when it's freeeeeezing out, opt for these seasonal strategies. And if even if you do carry yours everywhere, these easy tricks will help you get some extra H20.  Eat your fluids.Fruits and veggies are packed with water, and according to Angela Ginn, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that high water content adds volume and keeps you satisfied without the calories. Low-cal soups are also a great way to...
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Give It Up

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  Give It Up   Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.; yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the U.S. and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes. 5 Reasons To Quit Smoking:  Smoking is the number one risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) which kills more Americans each year than any other disease. Smoking shaves years—and quality—off life. Non-smokers, on average, live 10 years longer than those who smoke. The nicotine in tobacco can disrupt your sleep, leaving smokers four times more likely to suffer from restless nights. Each society gives up the opportunity to buy something important (like education, public safety, development) when valuable resources are spent treating tobacco-related illnesses. Free your loved ones from exposure to the harmful (and deadly) effects of your second-hand smoke. Quitting will take...
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Influenza Vs. 'Stomach Flu'

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Influenza Vs. ‘Stomach flu’   How many times have you heard others tell you they have the flu? Now what do they mean by that - do they mean influenza or “stomach flu?” Both are viruses but the influenza is a respiratory illness with symptoms of coughing, sneezing, fever and body aches.  Stomach flu, as society has called it for years, is gastroenteritis most often caused by a norovirus. How Does Stomach Flu Differ From Influenza? Stomach flu actually refers to gastroenteritis or irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines (the gastrointestinal tract). Gastroenteritis may be caused by a virus, bacteria, parasites in spoiled food or unclean water, or another trigger such as lactose intolerance, which causes a reaction to dairy products. Influenza (flu), on the other hand, is a viral infection that mimics a cold except that it starts forcefully with symptoms of fatigue, fever, and respiratory congestion. While...
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New Year, New You

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New Year, New You   With the holidays behind us and a new year in front of us, what better time to commit to improving your overall health than the present?  We all enjoyed the fudge, cookies, egg nog and parties to the point of needing to wear our yoga pants back to work this week!  But, let’s not get hung up on a new year’s commitment.  Instead, why not break it down into smaller, more manageable time frames that will lend itself to a better chance of sticking to your resolutions? As we, at the Health Center, focus on your overall health this year with the emphasis on 3FOUR50, there are three lifestyle choices: tobacco use, poor diet (including harmful use of alcohol) and lack of physical activity, that contribute to four chronic diseases: heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, lung disease and some cancers, which in turn, contribute to more...
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Stressed Out? Laugh a Little.

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Stressed Out?  Laugh a Little.   Research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. While more studies need to be done, studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. Unfortunately, however, many people don't get enough laughter in their lives. In fact, one study suggests that healthy children may laugh as much as 400 times per day, but adults tend to laugh only 15 times per day. Other studies find us laughing a little more than that, but if you ask me, virtually all of us could use a little more laughter in our lives, considering how beneficial a good laugh can actually be for our stress levels and overall wellness. Read on for more findings about the health benefits of laughter, and see how to incorporate more humor and fun into your life. Stress Management Benefits of...
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Overcommitment...Let it Go

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    Overcommitment…Let it Go   As a healthcare provider, one source of stress that I see again and again is overcommitment.  To simplify your life and regain some control, a realistic time management plan, free from overcommittment is a must. Plain and simple. The only thing holding you back from the gnarly teeth of the overcommitment monster is learning to say “no”.  For many, especially ladies, using the “n” word is almost as painful as having a root canal.  It’s thoroughly unnatural and very painful. Here are three strategies and techniques to help you say “no” and free yourself from the stress of overcommitment, once and for all.   1.  Know your priorities. Being clear about what is important to you is the first step in learning to say no.  When you know what you want out of life, you will be more deliberate about how you spend your time...
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Food-free Stress Relief

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Food-free Stress Relief   With the semester coming to a close, deadlines looming and finals quickly approaching, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with “to do” lists and hectic schedules. But remember, taking time to relax and unwind in order to take care of yourself, not only physically but mentally is very important. Below is a list of actions you can take to relieve stress without food.  Check off those that appeal to you and add a few of your own ideas. Listen to your favorite music Watch a favorite movie Take a relaxing shower or bath Turn on some white noise and take a 20 minute nap Write a letter or email a friend Go for a walk Get or give yourself a manicure Participate in an exercise class Practice yoga or meditate Take a few minutes to do something for yourself today!  ...
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Eating Healthy on a Budget

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Eating Healthy on a Budget   Contrary to popular belief, many healthy foods are no more expensive than junk food, according to a large new government analysis. "Price is not a good excuse" for not eating a nutritious diet, says Andrea Carlson, who studies food prices and food consumption with an emphasis on healthy diets. In fact, carrots, onions, pinto beans, lettuce, mashed potatoes, bananas and orange juice are all less expensive per portion than soft drinks, ice cream, chocolate candy, French fries, sweet rolls and deep-fat fried chicken patties, the report says. "We have all heard that eating a healthy diet is expensive, and people have used that as an excuse for not eating a healthy diet, … but healthy foods do not necessarily cost more than less healthy foods," says Andrea Carlson, an economist and co-author of the report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. "The...
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Healthy Eating for Vegetarians

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Healthy Eating for Vegetarians   Adopting a healthy vegetarian diet isn't just taking meat off your plate and eating what's left. You need to take extra steps to ensure you're meeting your daily nutritional needs. A well-balanced vegetarian diet consists mostly of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. You need to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs. The more restrictive your diet, the harder it is to get everything you need. You need to be conscious that you are getting all the required vitamins and nutrients  •Protein – eggs and dairy products, soy products, meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains •Calcium – dark green vegetables (spinach, turnip, collard greens, kale, and broccoli), tofu enriched with calcium and fortified soy milk, fruit juices •Vitamin B-12 – milk, eggs, and cheese, enriched cereals, fortified soy products, a vitamin supplement...
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Portion Distortion

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Portion Distortion   Anyone eating on the run or at restaurants has probably noticed that food portions have gotten larger. Some portions are called "super size," while others have simply grown in size and provide enough food for at least two people. With this growth have come increases in waistlines and body weight. It's difficult to avoid eating bigger at home, too. The size of dinner plates, muffin tins and pizza pans have grown. Cars have larger cup holders to accommodate the drink sizes stores sell. As everything gets bigger, bigger starts to seem like the norm, distorting how we think about a serving size or the “right” amount. One study found that modern portion sizes of popular foods added an extra 50 to 150 calories.   While that might not sound like too much, an extra 100 calories per day can pack on an extra 10 pounds of weight in a...
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The 'Skinny' on Smoothies

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The ‘Skinny’ on Smoothies   They’re refreshingly cool, come in fun, fruity flavors, and are served with a straw. What’s not to like about smoothies? They’re so popular that you can now find them at fast food restaurants, grocery stores -- even coffee shops. But while smoothies may sound like a healthy treat, sometimes they’re anything but. Smoothies are usually made with healthy ingredients like soy milk, fresh or frozen fruit, skim milk, or yogurt. But some also feature plenty of high-fat and/or high-sugar items like ice cream, peanut butter, sweetened syrups, or chocolate. What you can end up with is a drink that has upwards of 600 calories, enough saturated fat to rival a double cheeseburger, and carbohydrate grams in the triple digits -- and that’s just for the small size. Consider: A 20-ounce serving of Smoothie King’s The Hulk-Strawberry has more calories than a Burger King Double Cheeseburger with...
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Cholesterol.  What’s the Big, Fat Deal?   It may surprise you to know that cholesterol itself isn't bad. In fact, cholesterol is just one of the many substances created and used by our bodies to keep us healthy. Some of the cholesterol we need is produced naturally (and can be affected by your family health history), while some of it comes from the food we eat. There are two types of cholesterol: "good" and "bad."  It's important to understand the difference, and to know the levels of "good" and "bad" cholesterol in your blood. Too much of one type — or not enough of another — can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods...
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3FOUR50

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3FOUR50 The Student Health Center is working with University Hospital, Geauga Medical Center, in a collaborative approach to educate the students at Hiram College about chronic disease prevention and control. We are using the 3FOUR50 initiative as implemented by the American College Health Association as part of Healthy Campus 2020. Healthy Campus 2020 is based on Healthy People 2020 goals established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Name 3FOUR50 represents the key message : There are three lifestyle choices: tobacco use, poor diet (including harmful use of alcohol) and lack of physical activity, that contribute to four chronic diseases: heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, lung disease and some cancers, which in turn, contribute to more than fifty percent of preventable deaths in the world. The artistic talents of Breanna Webb, Hiram College Sophomore, have brought the three risk factors “to life” as cartoon characters. Tar, Glutton and...
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Total Fitness Kick-Off

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Total Fitness Kick- Off   The Student Health Center is hosting their “Healthy Hiram” kick- off event, Tuesday October 22nd from 7-9pm in the Kennedy Center.  We are thrilled to be working with highly qualified personnel, physicians and nurses from University Hospital Geauga Medical Center, to help educate the students of Hiram College in making healthy lifestyle choices that will affect them not only today but well into their futures. Our Kick- off event will cover Total Fitness, in which you can have an assessment done to see how fit you really are! We will be offering cholesterol, blood glucose and hearing screenings free of charge. Put on your virtual skis and take a fitness test on the slopes of the Wii Fit! Are you curious to see what a smoker’s lung looks like?  We have the lung! Concussions: They aren’t limited to athletes.  There are plenty of zombies and humans...
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Don't Let the Flu Find You

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Don’t Let the Flu Find You   According to the Centers for Disease Control  (CDC), getting a flu vaccination  is the best way to keep from getting and spreading the virus, and the good news is it’s available at the Health Center. While flu season doesn't typically start until October, the Centers for Disease Control encourages people to start getting the vaccine now, because immunity often takes a couple weeks to develop and immunization is most effective if received prior to exposure. The vaccine helps protect against the strains most likely to cause illness during the season. New this year, is a vaccine that offers wider protection. "Historically the vaccines are what you call a trivalent," said Ellen Smith, a nurse epidemiologist at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison. "There are three strains of influenza virus in the vaccine. Two of those are Influenza A and one is Influenza B. This year there's what...
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Avoiding College Weight Gain

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Avoiding College Weight Gain   Whether it’s the “Freshman 15”, the “Senior 17” or anything in between, weight gain is always a concern for college students.  While we want you to enjoy this year of college, we don’t want it to end with you needing to buy new clothes in a size larger than you are wearing now!  Here are some tips on eating healthy, exercising and keeping your stress level at a minimum so you will successfully finish the year looking as great as you do now—or even better! Diet   Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day, and rightfully so -- it not only provides important daily nutrients such as protein, fiber, calcium and carbohydrates, but it also helps improve school performance, allowing students to do better on tests, according to the Food and Nutrition Service. If...
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Welcome Back

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Welcome back! We would like to say hello to you and welcome new and returning students to Hiram College. The purpose of this initial blog post is to give you a brief overview of the medical care available at the Student Health Center (SHC). Our mission is to help you remain healthy while at Hiram College. Should you have any medical concerns, please remember that we are here to help.   Scheduling Appointments The SHC offers medical care in an efficient and timely manner. We offer same-day or next-day appointments to traditional students. With the exception of emergencies or urgent concerns, we ask that students “call first” rather than walk in so we can best serve them with the most convenient appointments to meet their needs. Students can schedule appointments by calling (330) 569-5418. It is also a policy of the SHC that we do not write "excuses" for missed classes. ...
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