Get Healthy Carson City: Positive health habits can start with one week | NevadaAppeal.com

Get Healthy Carson City: Positive health habits can start with one week

Veronica Galas, RN, BSN
Carson City Health and Human Services

National Women’s Health Week began May 12 and is celebrated through May 18. This week serves as a reminder for women to make health a priority. Join with millions of women in taking steps to improve your health. Start with this one week as a step to building positive health habits for life.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar (glucose) levels in your body are too high. Diabetes can be especially hard on women. About 1 in every 9 adult women in the United States have diabetes. Take and share this quick and anonymous one-minute test to find out if you or someone you love may have diabetes: http://bit.ly/oneminutetest. If you find that you might be at risk, print your form and bring it to your health care provider for a follow up assessment.

Want to quit smoking? There are plenty of resources to help along the way. Make the leap yourself or invite a friend or family member into efforts to quit. Someone who feels supported is more likely to quit. Do you need an extra push to help you quit? Maybe a smoke-free text messaging system is right for you. For 24/7 encouragement, advice and tips, join SmokefreeTXT. Depending on your quit date, the program lasts for six to eight weeks. Another resource is the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW today.

Women experience depression about twice as often as men. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows 1 in 10 women in the United States experience symptoms of depression. If you think you have depression, seek treatment from your health care provider as soon as possible.

A measles threat has re-emerged this past winter. As of April 16, there have been at least 695 measles cases reported in 22 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from this country in 2000.

The recent measles outbreaks started when an unvaccinated traveler visited a country where there are measles cases and came back infected. When he/she returned to the United States, measles spread to unvaccinated people in the community. When measles is imported into a community where people are highly vaccinated, outbreaks either don’t happen or are usually small. However, once measles is in an undervaccinated community, it becomes difficult to control the spread of the disease. Guard yourself and your community by being proactive. Talk to a healthcare provider today about your measles vaccine.

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Screening can increase the chance of survival with breast cancer if it’s caught early. For women 50 to 74 years old who aren’t at high risk, screening every other year is recommended. Women older than 40 might want to talk to their doctor about when to begin screening. Breast cancer screening is done using a mammogram.

Healthy relationships are also an essential part of women’s health. Money can affect a relationship more than anything else. Couples who communicate openly about money, have little or no debt (or who are actively working toward paying off their debt) and don’t spend more than they earn tend to be happier and more stable.

Conflict is natural. Everyone experiences it in their daily lives and typically, the conflict not only affects the couple but people around them as well. Be open to addressing disagreements before they get out of control. When it comes to handling conflict, try following these five rules:

1. Don’t send hurtful and blaming messages.

2. Soften how you start discussions that might include conflict.

3. Calm yourself and your partner by speaking in softer tones and calling a time out if needed.

4. Compromise.

5. Accept differences, forgive and say you’re sorry.

Effective communication is important in the household, work and community. Healthy communication allows us to meet someone else’s needs, create strong friendships, set realistic expectations, build trust and develop loving relationships. Be sensitive about the when and where of conversations. In public might not be the best setting for every conversation. When someone is angry, giving him or her some time to cool down might be helpful.

This week give yourself permission to focus on you and your health. Even small changes can make big differences in your health. For additional resources and information about women’s health or Carson City Health and Human Services programs, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.