Monday, July 20, 2015

The Elements of a Basic First Aid Kit

Oh no! You’re out hiking with a coworker when she slips and twists her ankle. What item do you need to help her?

Quick! Your picnic in the park is going great until your friend is stung by a bee. What would help to alleviate the pain?

Help! You burn your finger on the hot frying pan that’s cooking up your freshly-caught trout. What can soothe your burned skin?

It’s likely you knew what items you would need to help in the above scenarios (compression wrap, acetaminophen, and antibiotic cream), but here’s the tricky part: are you carrying any of those items with you on a regular basis?

Summer adventures take us outside and away from of our trusty medicine cabinets full of band-aids, ointments and Advil. That is why it’s so important to have a basic first aid kit that can go where you go – and help when you need help.

Before your next outdoor excursion, put together a basic first aid kit that includes the following items:

Compression wrap – stabilize twisted limbs
Antibiotic ointment – prevents infection in minor burns, cuts and scrapes
Tweezers – remove ticks, splinters, glass or stingers
Antihistamine tablets – calm allergies
Hand sanitizer – use clean hands when helping in any first aid situation!
Antiseptic wipes – cleans cuts and scrapes easily
Bandaids (various sizes) –protect fresh wounds
Eye wash – flush out sand and dust

Being prepared minimizes the impact that small emergencies can have on your outdoor escapades. With the right tools, you can keep your family safe – and keep exploring!

What’s in your family’s first aid kid? Tell us on Facebook!

Make Your Health Game Plan!

As an old Spanish Proverb goes, “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” If your health fails, it is difficult to do much of anything else. Poor health can impact happiness, stress levels and overall life performance. Making a commitment to take on healthier habits is the key to feeling good and enjoying life!

People who are more involved in their health care are less likely to end up on medications, have surgeries or need other treatments. Create a healthy lifestyle, navigate the healthcare system, and explore healing practices.

Make a game plan to own your health:
  1. Keep track of important health information. Write down all health problems you have now and have had in the past, along with the things you do to keep them under control.
  2. Know your family health history. This will help you understand what to look for and manage with yourself.
  3. Attend a 9Health Fair. Every spring and fall, take advantage of low and no-cost health screenings to help you know your numbers. Check out our website for information on dates and locations of our fairs.
  4. Seeing a doctor regularly for check-ups. Take your 9Health Fair results to your doctor to review the findings. He/she will help you put together a health plan based upon your results.
Also, check out this assessment to measure how you’re doing when it comes to your wellbeing. These are important pieces to living a healthy life.

Take charge; your ability to make healthy decisions is limitless, and it starts with making a few healthy changes in order to see a difference. Tell us what your game plan is when it comes to owning your health. Share with us on Facebook.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

In the Face of Adversity

As the saying goes, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade… and that is exactly what Steve did.  
He and his wife have been attending 9Health Fair since 2000. Even though they have health insurance, they thought it was a great way to get an overview of their health. They feel it has provided a better overall picture of what’s going on with their health and has given them a health profile to taketo their doctor each year.

Steve’s numbers have always looked good and he was always pleased to have a clean bill of health. But then, in May of 2011, he received an alert call from a 9Health Fair nurse. This was a surprising call because he always thought he was in such good health. The nurse told him he needed to call his doctor right away.

He quickly got an appointment and after numerous tests, the results showed that Steve had chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This is a type of cancer that starts from cells which become certain white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow. Therefore, the leukemia cells start in the bone marrow but then go into the blood.

After much research, Steve found out that 15,000 people get this type of cancer a year and 5,000 people die each year from the disease. He did not want to be one of the statistics; he has a beautiful wife, wonderful children and grandkids that bring so much joy to his life.

So he immediately started chemotherapy. After the first treatment, his blood count dropped and by June of 2012, he was in remission. Each treatment made him feel better and better. As a matter of fact, he was doing so well, he remembers eating a cheeseburger during one session of chemo, and then heading out for square dancing right after.


Each day is a blessing for Steve, and he is very thankful for 9Health Fair. If he hadn’t attended the fair that year, he may not have known about the CLL until it was too late since he hadn’t been experiencing any symptoms. Because of 9Health Fair, this was caught early and he was able to start treatment right away. 

Do you have a 9Health Fair success story to share with us? Tell us about it on Facebook.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Is Caffeine Good or Bad? That is the Question

Coffee.  

Some love it, some hate it. There are many people who smell the strong aroma throughout the day and are in heaven, but for others, the idea of drinking a cup of joe makes them sick. While popular opinion may never agree on good vs. bad, scientific studies do have their fair share to say on the matter.

Some studies say caffeine decreases the risk of skin and prostate cancers. Some say it lowers depression risks in women. Also, findings show that it may protect you from Type 2 diabetes, and fight off Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. According to an article by AARP, the National Institutes of Health suggests coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s and dementia, and boosts concentration and memory, partially because coffee beans are seeds, which are loaded with protective compounds.

However, other reports suggest that caffeine should be avoided or limited during pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (USNews article), coffee consumption has been linked to lower birth weight and increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, although there is no proof at this point that caffeine can be a cause of miscarriages. Another reported downfall to drinking coffee that is being studied is that it may act as a trigger for heart attacks with some people who don’t drink coffee often, though the report says more research is needed to determine if this is a serious issue.

Wow, that is a lot of information! So how do you know which reports hold more value? Which one do you pay the most attention to? Well, to start, the information above provides support about how caffeine can be both good and bad for you depending on who you are. And they all may be worth paying attention to in order to determine the significance.

That's why it is important to look for a “conclusion” at the end of every article. In every reputable study where the author(s) give their summary of results, there is a statement about the strength of the findings. This is worth paying attention to, as it shows how strong the study is (or isn’t). And if you aren’t sure you are viewing a credible medical source, talk it over with a health professional.

If that information overload leaves you feeling overwhelmed, just let your body do the talking. If caffeine makes you feel sick, then it may not be good for you. However, if it gives you a boost without making you feel bad, then caffeine may be your friend. There is real value in paying attention to how your own body responds to what you put in it.

For more information about conflicting health recommendations, check out our 9Health Fair Topic of the Month page on How Do You Balance Conflicting Health Recommendations

We want to know! Tell us - do you love coffee, or hate it??  Share with us on Facebook.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Hot Happenings Around Denver

July is here which means fireworks, friends and family fun and more barbecues! Denver has plenty of fun activities in store for this month which you can enjoy with family and friends of all ages! And July is one full of festivities for all to enjoy.

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, sailing into the Denver area July 18 and 19, has become the areas fastest growing and most popular family-friendly summer festival. It was named the “Top Annual Festival” by the Rocky Mountain News and a “Best of Denver” event by Westword. You will experience Asian Pacific American culture through the performances, arts, crafts, shopping, dining and the athletic competition of dragon boat racing.

An all-time favorite event in the summertime is Film On The Rocks, which shows blockbuster movies on the big screen in the beautiful setting of Red Rocks Amphitheater. The film isn’t the only excitement; each picture event features an opening band or comedian, as well audience participation contests. The next one in the super cinema line-up is Pretty Woman on July 31, featuring SHEL and Moses. Check out what’s ahead on the list for the rest of the summer with Film On The Rocks.

Denver is not only famous for the culture and arts, but we are also a city well-known for some of the best farmers’ markets around. Spread throughout the Mile High area, you will find locally grown farm-fresh produce, outstanding baked goods and delicious prepared foods to take home with you. Each market runs weekly and provides a festive, fun experience where you will find live entertainment and family friendly activities, including shopping and fun events for the kids.  Take a look at the list of farmers’ markets around the city to find one near you.

Get out and about this July! The weather has finally warmed up and now is the time to enjoy the outdoor activities with family and friends! Check out Denver.org for more details, information and location of fantastic all-American Denver events.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

9 Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Imagine an entire city full of people unsuccessfully battling an incurable and unforgiving disease. That is the reality of Alzheimer’s in our country. According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 700,000 people age 65 or older will die with Alzheimer’s this year in the United States alone - this is close to the population of Detroit!

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. It’s a time to shine a purple light for the millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Debilitating and devastating for all involved, Alzheimer’s affects the brain, causing memory loss and motor control loss in the body. A person with this disease will experience brain cells dying, resulting in a decline of memory and ability to function on a daily basis.

Scientists believe that the cause is a combination of genetics, a person’s lifestyle and their environment. Although uncommon (less than 5 percent of the time), some people can develop it through a genetic mutation that will almost always guarantee the disease.

Watch for Warning Signs

If you have just an ounce of suspicion that a loved one’s memory may be slipping, it is important to pay attention to warning signs. Below are the nine most important signs to look for.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This may include forgetting names or appointments, but then remembering them later when it’s too late.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. An example of this could be handling a problem in a much different way than what is normal to them.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. When this sign is evident, your loved one may need help using the settings on a microwave or need help remembering which button to push on the remote control.

4. Confusion with time or place. This is a common sign, especially as the disease progresses. They may become confused about the day of the week, but then they figure it out later.

5. New problems with words, speaking or writing. Many have trouble finding the right word or may even mix up thoughts and topics within a sentence.

6. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. They look all around over and over for something they cannot find. When they don’t remember where they have looked, the search begins again in the same places.

7. Decreased or poor judgement. Making a bad decision with something they typically would always make good choices with.

8. Withdrawal from work or social activities. This is very common in that once they feel there is something wrong, they close up and avoid social settings.

9. Changes in mood and personality. Irritability is a very common and noticeable sign. They become more set in their ways and begin to have very set ways of doing things.

Prevention

The greatest risk factors -- age, genes and family history -- are beyond our control. But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to improve your odds.

A new report published in Alzheimers & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association outlines the latest evidence that certain modifiable risk factors play a role in who's most likely to develop memory and thinking problems as they age.

While the report concludes that more research is needed on risk reduction, prevention, and brain health, it concludes scientists now know enough to make these two key recommendations:

1. Regular physical activity and management of cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, obesity, smoking, and hypertension) have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and may reduce the risk of dementia

2. A healthy diet and lifelong learning/cognitive training may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

How to Spread Awareness

Alzheimer’s disease is not quite understood, but the effect it has on the brain is clear. Visit www.alz.org and learn more about the disease, its symptoms and the impact it has on caregivers and society in general. It is also important to be proactive. Call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900 if you have questions, need help or just need someone to talk to for support. Share how Alzheimer’s has affected your family with us on Facebook.

Fuel for Outdoor Adventures

This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado

Getting outside is undoubtedly good for your health. From hiking to biking, being active in the outdoors can keep you fit and in shape. Choosing the right fuel for outdoor adventures will help your body stay nourished and keep your energy level up.  Here are some great foods to keep in mind when you hit the trails.

Nuts – Nuts are a great food to eat before you step out the door and also to take with you.  They are easy to pack and provide a great, natural boost of energy. Some nuts, such as walnuts, even have extra benefits like fighting inflammation.  Peanut butter and jelly or honey sandwiches are a great option for a mid-hike lunch.  

Fruit – Fresh fruit is a great sweet treat on the trail but not all fruit travels well. Small apples and clementines fit nicely in a pack and are a hit with kids. When fresh fruit becomes too hard to take with you, try dried fruits or fruit leather. Be sure to check labels to avoid excess sugar or flavorings.

Oats – For day trips or short outdoor activities, eating oatmeal before you go can keep you satisfied and give you tons of energy.  If you’re looking for meals to take while camping, oatmeal is a great breakfast option as it packs easily and can be made simply. For options with less sugar than instant, flavored packs, try adding honey, agave nectar, fresh or dried fruit to plain instant oatmeal.

Cheese and Jerky – For a solid dose of protein, try some low sodium beef jerky and hard cheese. Many hard cheeses are safe to consume even if they haven’t been refrigerated all day. Try string cheese or Babybels for something easy to pack. Other types like sharp cheddar or gouda cheeses are also great options.


Trail Mix – While there are tons of great store bought options for trail mix, you can control the amount of sugar and fillers in your fuel by making your own. This is also a great activity to do with the kids before camping or hiking that keeps them engaged and excited about the adventure. Just remember, choose ingredients like those listed above to provide your body the energy it needs to keep moving!

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Best Friend Saved My Life

Susan’s famous words have become “9Health Fair is the perfect place for taking care of yourself. I should have gone a long time ago!”

As a healthcare professional, Susan is busy working long hours taking care of her patients. When she gets off work, her job doesn’t end. She has three children and a husband that she loves to take care of, including cooking, cleaning and chauffeuring kids to their activities.

With all of the care taking and rushing around, Susan admits she has very little time to think about and take care of herself. But when her best friend Sarah asked her to go to 9HealthFair for the third time, Susan said yes even though she felt healthy and energetic.

Together the best friends attended a 9Health Fair close to their home and Susan chose to get the Blood Chemistry Screening that offered 28 different measures of her health. She also and visited all the free screenings available, including the blood pressure screening.

At only 38 years of age and in good health, Susan was shocked to see the numbers from her blood pressure reading: 139/89. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 or below. Because she works in the healthcare industry, she knew what this meant and it wasn’t good. When your blood pressure
is high, that means the force of your body’s blood is pressing against the walls of the arteries. When it is too high, like Susan’s, it raises the heart’s workload and can cause serious damage to the heart. Overtime, this increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Susan immediately made changes in her lifestyle to improve her blood pressure including eating better, exercising and getting more sleep. At the moment of receiving her health wake up call, she realized that taking care of her family and patients first required her to take care of herself. And she has her best friend to thank for this new perspective. Susan credits 9Health Fair and Sarah for possibly saving her life.

Susan and Sarah went back to the 9Health Fair this spring and Susan found blood pressure was within the normal range. She was able to catch the problem early and correct it before major issues occurred. Follow Susan’s words of wisdom and get yourself and your best friend to a 9Health Fair near you. The Family 9Health Fairs are not too far away, so keep an eye on the website for a list of upcoming dates and locations.


Have you had a health wake-up call recently? Tell us about it on Facebook, where you can share your stories, and get the latest health information and updates on our fairs. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

3 Steps to a Healthier, Happier You

What if everything you’ve ever thought about when it comes to healthy living needs to be changed, modified or looked at from a different angle?

When you hear that more than one-third, or 35% of U.S. adults are obese, it’s difficult to wonder if we need to make a change in the way we are doing things. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, to name a few. This tells us that making changes in the way we think about health is more important now than ever.
With summer among us, this is a perfect time of year to make modifications and look toward a healthier way of living. These three steps below may help to make needed healthy changes in your life.
  1. Setting healthy eating goals. Pay attention to nutritional value of foods you eat, as well as your sense of satisfaction, relaxation, tension, exhilaration and fatigue when you sit down and eat. Check in with yourself – are you hungry, full or just in the middle. This will help you determine how much you eat.
  2. Get moving - in moderation. Physical activity can be fun and rewarding. It is important to exercise; the body was made to be in motion. However, aim for pleasure, not pain. Make sure to get a healthy balance of exercise without overtraining. Fatigue, moodiness, depression and lack of energy can be symptoms of overtraining and working out too much. Make sure to get a variety of exercise and take some time off each week to let your body recover.
  3.  Head outside to get the natural Vitamin D your body needs. Our bodies need Vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little of it results in soft bones in children and fragile bones in adults. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression and weight gain. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and plays a major role in the life cycle of human cells. Make sure to get outside 10 to 15 minutes a day without sunscreen to be able to soak in the proper amount of Vitamin D. After your 10-15 minutes, apply sun screen to help reduce your risk for skin cancer.


These summer health and fitness tips shouldn’t go unnoticed. Keep these goals at the top of your mind because hands down, being healthy feels good! Find your happy place when it comes to your well-being. Tell us how you stay healthy and fit, and how you take advantage of the summer for those health related changes. Share with us on Facebook.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Sun - The Right Way!

Summer is almost here and that means it’s time to be outdoors enjoying the warm sunny weather. It is, however, important to be sunsmart and aware of sun related health risks. And even though we have had a number of cloudy, cool days, you can still get more sun than you think, leading to a sunburn if you aren’t careful.

Too much sun can be damaging, but according to the Mayo Clinic, there are many factors that may increase your risk of skin cancer in addition to just being in the sun without sunscreen. Some include, fair skin, history of sunburns, excessive sun exposure, moles and a weakened immune system. The Mayo Clinic shares some helpful information on remaining risk factors.

When it comes to protecting yourself, it seems like common sense to say wear sunscreen and lots of it. However, there are more specifics that can help make your situation even better. Stay out of the sun between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when using sunscreen, use SPF 30 with UVA/UVB protection, wear protective clothing and sunglasses, and avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

You do want to make sure you get sun exposure, however, without sunscreen each day. Getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun during the early part of the day or the early evening will allow the Vitamin D from the sun to soak into your body without having to fight through the sunscreen to get there.
This is one of the best times of the year where you can feel footloose and fancy free, just make sure you are smart about soaking up the sun.


Our fall fairs will be here before you know it and it will be a perfect time to visit our free Skin Screening where experts will check for suspicious skin problems. You will also be able to take advantage of our Vitamin D screening to make sure you are getting the amount you need. Check our website often for dates and locations of the upcoming fall fairs.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jumping for Joy in June

Summer is finally just about here and it’s that time of year where adventures and activities are in bloom. Denver has many summer happenings and luckily, living in Colorado, we are fortunate enough to be able to get outdoors and experience our beautiful state. There are many things to do, including going to a baseball game, checking out Colorado’s natural red rocks, and experiencing the Colorado Renaissance Festival.

Get in the game with Colorado Rockies baseball; it’s a must this summer! Check out the Rockies schedule, grab your friends and family members and head to Coors Field. You get to watch a Major League Baseball Game while enjoying food, drinks and more! Field tours are also available, if you’re an aspiring baseball player or you just want to get the behind the scenes look. For more information on Coors Field, check out their website.
 
The natural outdoor beauty in Colorado is like no other, and if you haven’t checked out the Red Rocks natural amphitheater, this summer is the time to do so! This geographical phenomenon is located in Morrison, roughly forty minutes away from Denver. Red Rocks is one of the most popular concert sites in the US, but not only is it used for live entertainment, it hosts many other activities for all ages. Visit their website for a list of activities and more information.

The Colorado Renaissance Festival provides an experience back to the medieval times. For the 39th year in a row, you can watch artisans create original works of their ancient craft and enjoy indulging in turkey legs, steak on a stake, fresh baked good and much more. Hosted in Larkspur, minutes away from Denver, this event starting on June 14 and goes all the way through August 16. It’s full of music, mutton, and more!


Denver is packed full of fun things to do this month. Check out the ColoradoInfo website for more Denver activities to enjoy this summer!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Growing Benefits of Gardening

Now that Mother’s Day has passed, Colorado is considered “in the clear” for gardening. Of course, living in Colorado means we can never guarantee the weather, but that shouldn’t keep us from getting our hands in the dirt! Gardening has many great health benefits for dirt lovers of all ages.

One of the most obvious benefits is easy access to healthy food. Not only is the produce you grow the freshest possible, but when you grow it yourself, you can also rest assured knowing where it came from. Organic produce is extremely affordable when it comes from your own garden!

Gardening is also good for your mind, heart, and happiness. Whether it is growing food or tending to a flower garden, getting your hands in the dirt can decrease stress, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even improve symptoms of depression and lower the risk of dementia.  It puts you outside in the fresh air and sunshine, showering you with Vitamin D which helps improve mood. It increases hand strength and dexterity and can boost your immune system too.

Growing plants and food is also great for kids. It is always fun to get dirty, watch something grow from a seed and there is nothing quite like eating a strawberry or tomato right off your own plant! Kids get more from gardening than you may expect, however. It isn’t all fun and dirt. Gardening can help improve science skills, improve nutrition knowledge, promote healthy eating, and instill an appreciation and respect for nature. Gardening with friends or at school can help boost social skills and cooperation, even for the quietest of kids. The sense of accomplishment kids get from seeing something they planted grow gives them a great sense of confidence too.


For some, the idea of starting a garden can seem overwhelming. There are so many options for soil, fertilizers, and seeds. Then there is the idea of watering it regularly, weeding and caring for the plants. But gardening doesn’t have to be all work. You can start small with a garden box or kit that comes complete with everything you need for a few plants. Try putting some herbs in pots first or planting some simple wildflower seeds in an empty bed in your yard. Not everything will turn out perfectly but the point is to get out and try it. Once you’ve planted the seed of gardening, your love for it is sure to grow! Don’t forget to check out www.GetOutdoorsColorado.org for garden programs and activities.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Life is Good Again Thanks to 9Health Fair!

Becky knew something wasn’t right. She had always been full of energy; she loved to walk her dog, go for a jog around her neighborhood and get together with friends for dinner or other fun activities.

However, about a year and a half ago Becky started noticing a change in her energy level and her overall health. She tried making some changes on her own including cutting out certain foods, getting more sleep, spending time relaxing and meditating. Nothing seemed to be working and the symptoms were getting worse. She was having the chills, coughing quite a bit, her head felt like it was spinning all the time and she was very lethargic.

Becky finally decided to visit her doctor.She explained her symptoms, expressing that she was having difficulty with daily tasks and often felt like she wasn’t going to make it through a day. After many tests, her doctor still couldn’t figure out what was going on with her.Spring was nearing and a close friend invited her to attend a 9Health Fair to see if she might be able to find some answers there. Becky was thrilled about the idea and decided to pay for the blood chemistry screening and see if that showed anything that hadn’t been diagnosed at her doctor’s office. When her results came back, she was astonished to see that a thyroid problem was found. She took her results to her doctor and he told her that he didn’t even think about testing for thyroid issues.

Becky is now on thyroid medication and has things under control. She feels much better and is back to her active, healthy, happy self. And she is more convinced now than ever that you have to be your own personal health advocate. 9Health Fair gave her the opportunity to own her health and made her feel like there is hope again.


There’s one more opportunity to attend 9Health Fair on June 6th at the Fillmore Auditorium. Visit our website for information on this and the Family 9Health Fairs in the fall. Also learn important facts on how you can own your health and be your very own advocate. 9Health Fair is here to help you live a healthy life!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Small but Mighty

What is small, shaped like a butterfly and controls many of your body functions?
Answer: Your Thyroid Gland.

Located above the Adam's apple, your thyroid produces thyroid hormone (TH), which regulates temperature, metabolism, heartbeat and a plethora of other things from brain to bowels. Many body functions can be affected when your thyroid is under- or over-active. If it's sluggish, it produces too little TH; overactive, and it produces too much.

More than 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder and about half of them do not know it, according to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. If you are a woman, you are 10 times more likely than men to have a thyroid problem, says integrative medicine specialist Dr. Robin Miller, co-author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to MidLife & Beyond. A thyroid dysfunction is the most common out of range level found from 9Health Fair results, bringing the possibility of relief to hundreds of participants each year.

While there are many thyroid diseases and disorders, the two most common are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism, affecting about five percent of Americans, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Symptoms vary from person to person, and if left untreated, they tend to worsen over time. Temperature changes may be noticed more for people with hypothyroidism. There may also be a number of physical effects that can occur including:
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Weight gain
  • Depression or memory problems

Hyperthyroidism is less common, affecting approximately one percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excess of hormones. Hyperthyroidism can lead to weight loss, excessive sweating, fast heartbeat, and a nervous mood. Other symptoms can include:
  • Brittle hair or skin thinning
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nervousness or excessive sweating
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Trembling in your hands

What causes your thyroid to get out of sync? It could be genetics, an autoimmune attack, pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, or toxins in the environment, but experts aren't entirely sure. Treatments can be as simple as taking a medication depending on the condition. Finding out how your thyroid is functioning is the first step. 9Health Fair blood chemistry screening includes a TSH level which most health care providers will start with.


Are you more likely to get your thyroid checked? Share with us on Facebook.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What Your Body Is Telling You

Depending how old you are, you have been living in your body for many years. But how often do you stop to listen to what it is telling you?

Stop and think about it, your body is always communicating with you …
  • When you can’t breathe walking up a flight of stairs
  • When you feel sick with the flu
  • When your heart skips a beat when you see your beloved
  • When you get stomach flutters at the top of the roller coaster
These are all loud and clear communications most of us have experienced at one time or another. But what about the more subtle whispers or even the silent indicators that your body is sending you? That’s where your 9Health Fair results can help you receive communication from your body.

In the coming days and weeks thousands of people who attended 9Health Fair will receive their 9Health Fair results that provide a behind-the-scenes tour of their health and messages their body is sending.

The results shed light on how your body is functioning by providing information about the amount of certain key elements that are critical to the appropriate function of your body’s organ system. For example, 9Health Fair results show all of the levels in your cholesterol HDL, LDL, total cholesterol and cholesterol ratio which is important in understanding your risk for heart disease. This chart shows what the ranges are, but you need your actual results to see how you are doing.

Once you receive the message your body is sending through your 9Health Fair results, you have the power to change them if needed. Small changes can make a big difference, says Lori Mosca, MD, director of the Columbia Center for Heart Disease Prevention in New York City."For every point you raise your HDL -- that's the 'good' cholesterol -- you reduce your risk of coronary disease by 2%," she says. "So just raising HDL by five points cuts your heart disease risk by 10%!"

To learn more about your 9Health Fair results, our website will provide you with answers to many of your questions and help you know what your blood results mean. For important links and more in-depth information about our screenings and results, visit the 9Health Topic of the Month page. You can also contact your health care provider, a 9Health Fair nurse (303-698-4455), or a King Soopers or City Market pharmacist for additional questions you may have. Pharmacists do not diagnose or treat, but they can help you understand what the terms mean and what they are testing.

Non-Fasting results
The 9Health Fair Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), comprised of an array of top medical professionals, has been following the research on the trend towards non-fasting blood serum results for several years. For the first time, 9Health Fair has made fasting before the blood chemistry screening optional. Two levels may appear out of the normal range on non-fasting blood chemistry results. Glucose and triglyceride levels can be affected by eating prior to having your blood drawn. Both measures are easily interpreted as non-fasting levels by health care providers.
This change will help get rid of the fasting obstacle and make it easier for people to get the screenings.


Make sure to check us out on Facebook for the latest health news.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring into Active this May

The weather in Colorado is pretty nice all year round, but spring is one of the best times to be active. Now that we’re getting closer to summer it means several things: warm weather, more sunshine and more outdoor activities. Not only is May the month of flowers, but it’s also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It was created to raise awareness about the importance of staying active, and there is no better time to be active than now! Getting out and moving doesn’t just have to be working out or going for a run, you can be active by walking around outside and exploring the wonderful city we live in.

Denver has some great activities to do with your friends and family this month. Check out these three festivities that will get you out and about:

Downtown Denver Arts Festival - May 22-24: If you are an art lover then this is perfect for you! Head on down to the Denver Performing Arts Complex to see more than 100 paintings, photographs, sculptures and more by some of Colorado’s best arti
sts. This event is free of charge.

Denver Day of Rock - May 23: Anyone is welcome to come jam out to some great music and eat great food. This day of rock is presented by Amp the Cause, raising awareness for the children of the community. Free music will be set up along the 16th Street Mall from 2:30 to 9:30. Spend the day with your friends and family in Denver listening to some great music.

ArtStir Denver - May 23-24: This free event features more than 225 local and regional artists representing every arts district in Colorado. It showcases a variety of works in painting, photography, illustrations, textiles, furnishings, mixed media and locally designed/handcrafted goods. Head on out to the Denver Pavilions for a great art experience!

Walk around, soak up some Vitamin D, with your sunscreen on of course, and spend quality time socializing in our spectacular city.

Take a more in-depth look at these and other fabulous Denver festivities in May and throughout the summer… heading out and about is a great way to celebrate the warm weather, meet new people and stay active!

And for important information on health related topics, check out 9Health Fair’s Topic of the Month page. It’s a great way to get educated on a variety of wellness subjects.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Health eCareers Helps 9Health Fair Recruit Volunteers

Remember the last time you attended 9Health Fair and all the medical professionals providing screenings and education? Believe it or not, every person you encountered was volunteering his or her time, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, registered dieticians, specialists and more.

Not only is Health eCareers thrilled to be an official partner of this year’s 9Health Fair, but the company has stepped up to help 9Health Fair find qualified medical professionals to volunteer at 9Health Fair.

With a network of more than 1.7 million job seekers, thousands of healthcare employers and more than 100 exclusive association partners, Health eCareers is designed to match qualified healthcare professionals – from physicians to non-clinical staff – with medical providers looking for top talent.

Based in Centennial, Colo., Health eCareers is the healthcare industry’s career hub for professionals, providers and associations. It is more than just a place to look for your next job — it’s a resource to help you advance your career at every stage. Health eCareers also provides industry news, career advice and salary information targeted to your healthcare specialty.


To learn more, visit healthecareers.com, check out our blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Fast and Convenient Without Fasting!

Owning your health just got even easier. With over 130 locations from April 17-May 2 to choose from, it’s always been convenient to attend 9Health Fair. This year, you don’t have to fast before getting the blood chemistry screening.

The 9Health Fair Medical Advisory Committee has determined that fasting is not required (optional) for blood screenings. Recent studies suggest that when assessing risk for heart disease, a blood sample from someone who has not fasted is more accurate than a sample from someone who has fasted. This is good news for both healthcare providers and patients, as fasting for routine blood work sometimes presents an inconvenience and may discourage routine screening.

What happens if I don’t fast?
Your glucose and triglyceride levels can be affected by eating prior to having your blood drawn. The levels may be different than your fasting results, however, as long as you can report how many hours it has been since you’ve eaten, medical professionals will know how to interpret your results.

Glucose
The range of acceptable values on the results reflect fasting values. Even though these are the ranges you will see on the Quest Diagnostics results, here are the ranges health care professionals use when interpreting non-fasting glucose levels:
Under 140 mg/dl    normal
140-199 mg/dl    pre-diabetic
200 and above    diabetes

9Health Fair offers another screening, the Hemoglobin A1c, that measures glucose metabolism over a two or three month period.  This test is a very good screening test, and is not impacted by fasting. The Hemoglobin A1c screening costs $30 and is available at all 9Health Fairs.

Triglycerides
The normal range for fasting triglycerides is 150 mg/dl or lower.  It is estimated that non-fasting can raise your triglycerides by up to 20%. There is a mounting body of evidence in the medical literature that non fasting triglyceride results are both a more accurate representation your true levels and are more predictive of your risk of developing atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) which can lead to heart attack and stroke as well as reduced blood flow to vital organs and ones extremities.

If your fasting triglyceride level is at the top of the normal range (150 mg/dl), your non fasting triglycerides could be up to 180 mg/dl which is a small differenc
e that would not be a major factor in your health care provider’s ability to decide your treatment options.

As always, people with diabetes should not fast; it is recommended that you check with your medical provider for specific recommendations. You are encouraged to drink plenty of water and continue to take prescription medications in preparation for your blood draw.

9Health Fair is proud to be on the front end of this important medical trend that helps break down obstacles from receiving health screenings that can provide accurate, valuable information to each participant and his/her health care provider.

For more information go to 9HealthFair.org/fasting or specific questions call 9Health Fair at 303-698-4455.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Painting His Way Back to Health

John has loved to draw and paint since he was a child, and now feels lucky to be able to make a living as an artist. Outdoor nature pictures are his favorite to paint; he gets his ideas from his most loved activity, hiking. If he isn’t busy doing artwork, he is in the mountains taking in the beauty while thinking about his next masterpiece.

However, within the last couple of years, John started to notice that sometimes he would be shaky and have a difficult time drawing a straight line or creating the shape he was trying to make.

He visited a number of doctors who had trouble diagnosing his ailment since it wasn’t something that happened all the time. But as his trembling became worse and his work began to suffer, he knew he needed to get some solid answers to find out if there was a cure.

At first, the neurologist thought it might be Parkinson’s disease, but after a number of CAT scans and MRI’s, they finally found a diagnosis – familial tremor. It is a neurologic disorder that tends to run in families. It causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. People with familial tremors often have trouble holding or using small objects, such as silverware or a pen. This explained why John was having trouble drawing and painting.

Luckily, John was able to start on a medication that reduced his tremors enough so that he could continue working as an artist on a part-time basis. However, reducing his hours meant he went to a limited health insurance plan. Because of this, he began to look for additional options to help him keep an eye on his overall health.

He found out about 9Health Fair and is grateful to be able to monitor his overall health at such a low-cost. He attends twice a year, stays active and makes sure his results continuously show numbers within a healthy range. He then takes his results to his doctor to discuss any next steps.

Now he tells all his friends to go get their blood checked at a 9Health Fair. He says it’s a great way to keep the cost down while finding out how healthy you are. “Go every year to a 9Health Fair and keep track of your blood work”, John says to his loved ones.


Now is a perfect time to visit a 9Health Fair to receive the low-cost Blood Chemistry Screening. Our fairs run from now until June 7th. Find a fair near you; the results will provide you with a wealth of information you need to live a healthy life!

Monday, April 13, 2015

5 Tips for Camping With Kids

This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado
 
Spring is in the air and it is time to start planning those summer trips with the family. Taking kids camping is a great way to spend uninterrupted time outdoors and get back to basics. Here are some top safety tips for camping with your little wanderers.

  1. Be Prepared – Be sure you know the weather report, have a map, and know the area if possible. The CDC recommends packing a supply kit with essentials and letting other family or friends know where you’re going. Be sure you know who to contact at the camp ground or camping area if you have an issue and know what to do if you don’ t have access to toilets.  
  2. Nervous about being in the wilderness? Start small and make a practice run. REI suggest setting up your tent in your yard or even in your house. Allow your kids to get in and get adjusted to it. Let them sleep in it and explain your expectations of what is allowed or not allowed in the tent such as shoes or food. And, there is no need to venture into the wild on your first trip. Pick a place that you know or that is close to home where you will feel comfortable too.
  3. Bring the Fun! While you may be content relaxing by the river or quietly sitting by the campfire, remember how active your kids are. Bring fun ideas or simple supplies that can make the most fun out of your trip. Make ice cream, bring glow sticks, plan some games. REI also has a list of fun things to bring.
  4. Set Expectations. Talk to you kids about what the trip will be like. Will they need to go to the bathroom like the bears? Can they run around and play in the campground? If needed, set boundaries when you arrive and show them how to orient themselves. What are the rules with the campfire? Helping your kids know what to expect keeps them from getting disappointed or frustrated when things do not go their way.
  5. Stay Comfortable. This goes along with being prepared but if you’re comfortable, you’re happy and if you’re happy, you have a good time. Be sure to pack the proper layers to stay warm or be cool. Pack appropriate footwear both for hiking and hanging out at the campsite.  Bring bug spray and sunscreen. If your child needs a specific toy or blanket to sleep well, consider packing it too.  If your children are small, there is no shame in utilizing camp grounds with real toilets and running water to make your experience a little easier.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Hike Your Way to Health

It’s April! Which means the sun is out, it’s getting warmer and we are one step closer to summer. The warmer, longer days provide the opportunity to get ouside – It’s a perfect time of year to go for a walk, go on a run or take a hike.

There are many great places to hike in Colorado, but one of the most popular, local locations doesn’t require driving up into the mountains. Castlewood Canyon State Park, located in Franktown, Colorado, is a great place to take your family for the day and not only get exercise, but experience Colorado’s natural beauty.

Castlewood has several trails that you can pick from. They range from .5 to 4 miles and can be combined for longer journeys. The small waterfalls provide beautiful views and wonderful rest stops. The history of Castlewood Canyon is something you don’t want to miss out on either. The Castlewood Dam, once used to help store water for parts of Denver, burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot-high wave of water into Denver. Ruins of the historic dam still exist and remain visible for hikers to see.

So, bring your family and friends, pack a lunch and spend your day at Castlewood. It’s a great way to stay active, be outside, and explore the beauty Colorado brings this time of year.

The Benefits of Putting on Your Hiking Shoes
Hiking is a great way to get exercise and it is one of the best ways to keep your metabolism moving without putting strain on your joints. The reason is that hiking is a low impact exercise; however it burns many calories, builds muscles and keeps your heart rate up.

WebMD has a list of important benefits hiking provides. Check out some of the ways you can better yourself:

  • Strengthen your leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, lower legs) and build strength in your core.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Lower your risk of heart disease and other ailments.
  • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Improve your mood by lowering stress levels.

Not only is hiking healthy, but it’s educational. Moving around outdoors can teach you about wildlife and different plants, plus the way nature has helped the area either blossom or survive destruction.

Luckily, living in Colorado, there are many perfect places to hike with views of the mountains and the Colorado skies. Sometimes traveling a couple hours to the mountains to hike can be a longer trip than you are looking for, but there are great places to hike locally, just outside of Denver. For a list of other great local hiking areas, check out LocalHikes.com for a list of great trails, and some of them may be located right outside your door.


And make sure to attend a 9Health Fair this spring to have your numbers checked and see if the exercise you may be incorporating into your life is paying off. Find a Fair near you and mark your calendar. Then share your hiking stories with us on Facebook!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

5 Goals That Can Make You Healthier


Setting goals is very important in achieving what you want in life, especially when it comes to your health. You can make yourself a healthier person by setting smart, healthy goals. And it’s important to not only be able to physically achieve what you want; you also have to be ready to mentally achieve it as well.

Here are 5 common health goals many people start out with. Using these as idea starters, they may spark goals that specifically fit your needs and lifestyle.

1. Running a race
Start by deciding when you will be training, then follow through with it and soon you will be finishing that 5K, half or full marathon you’ve always wanted to accomplish.
2. Reduce your waist size
Instead of focusing on the scale and losing body weight, try losing a couple inches around the waist. To accomplish this goal, try having a healthier diet and exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
3. Cut out the unhealthy foods
It is hard to suddenly cut all junk foods out of your diet, so try removing processed foods from your diet for just a week, then maybe two weeks, and so on. Soon you may notice the change becoming a habit.
4. Eat more fruits and veggies in a week
Everyone knows the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well there’s a lot of truth in that saying. Adding a fruit or vegetable to your meals can make a big difference in your health.
5. Learn a new sport
Learning a new sport is a great way to stay in shape, get exercise, and be entertained. And you don’t have to learn how to play football for your new sport, it can be something like canoeing or mountain biking. Make it a goal to get into a new sport, you never know, it could become your new favorite hobby.

Now that you know how to set your own healthy goals, you have to follow through with them. It is very common for people to set goals for themselves, but they end up not sticking to them.

When putting a plan together, take a look at all the factors that could be contributing to your current state of wellbeing, including stress, diet, amount of exercise, to name a few. Then put a plan together and set a goal to conquer the negatives and work toward the positives.

The next step would be to ask, can I really see myself really achieving this goal? Your mind is the controller of your whole body and often what stops us from achieving our goals a lot of the times is our mind.

SMART goals
An easy way to set goals is to make sure they are SMART. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. So, when setting your goals, make sure to:

  • Specify what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it
  • Measure  how you’ll know you’ve reached your goal
  • Ask yourself, is this goal possible?
  • Recognize if your goal is realistic for you
  • Tell yourself when you plan on reaching that goal

As humans, we are capable of amazing things, but we have to believe we can do it. In order to achieve your goals, you have to not only physically work on it, but mentally too. Check out these 13 things mentally strong people avoid. The mind is the most powerful part of the body; use it to its full advantage!

And 9Health Fair can fit into your health goals by giving you a baseline to see how you are doing and where your numbers are compared to previous years. Make sure to attend a 9Health Fair this spring; your body will thank you. Find a fair near you and register today!

Share with us
what your health goals are and how you achieve them.


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