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May Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
May 2023
March is National Stroke Awareness Month
A TIA or pre-stroke is a temporary episode of symptoms similar to those of a stroke. It happens due to a temporary disruption in blood supply to the brain. Although a TIA itself does not lead to permanent and irreparable damage to the brain, it is a warning sign of a possible major stroke in the near future.  Symptoms of a TIA are weakness, numbness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg typically on one side of the body, blurred vision, loss of balance or coordination, and slurred speech. Because a pre-stroke resolves on its own without any permanent damage, many people ignore it. This is a huge mistake, and anyone with symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. A pre-stroke is called a pre-stroke because it often precedes a major stroke. Think of it as an early warning sign.
The aim of National Stroke Awareness Month is to make Americans aware of the symptoms of stroke, and that they may be able to save the life of a person experiencing a stroke. The emphasis is on making the public aware about Acting FAST. FAST is an acronym to help you remember what to look for in a suspected stroke victim:
  • F - Face / Does the face droop on one side when the person smiles?
  • A - Arm / After raising both arms, does one of the arms drift downwards?
  • S - Speech /After repeating a simple phrase, does the person's speech sound slurred or strange?
  • T - Time / If any or all the above are observed call for 9-1-1 and ask for medical assistance. According to the National Stroke Association, a person experiencing a stroke can survive if someone who knows the symptoms acts FAST
 Anyone can help someone who is having a stroke. You do not have to be a health care provider to save a life, and even a child can help. No matter where you are - at home, at the store, at church, or at school, be aware if someone has the above symptoms and act FAST to help!
Praying for *Mind, Body and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

April 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
April 2023
In the month of April, we are recognizing National Stress Awareness Month. Stress management is vital to our overall health, and this year it is particularly important, with the lasting effects of the pandemic and getting back into social situations. Learning to cope with stress and finding healthy ways to deal with stress can go a long way in living a healthy and positive life. We all experience stress – but it may affect us in different ways. For example, stress can cause feelings of worry and fear, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, back pain, heart palpitations and chest pain, Irritability toward others, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. These are indicators that we are not managing stress effectively.
When you are in a stressful situation, specific stress hormones rush into your bloodstream leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels – this can be good in an emergency (fight or flight). But if you are overly stressed for an extended time, it can put your health at risk. Unchecked stress can contribute to many health problems, such as headaches, upset stomach, blood pressure elevations, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and depression.

A list of encouraging ways to manage stress and keep your stress levels in check include: 
  • Pray and trust in God to calm our anxious hearts with his Spirit
  •  Avoid drugs and alcohol, as this can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling
  • Try therapeutic massage and aromatherapy 
  • Affirm what is right with your life instead of dwelling on what is wrong – know the difference between what you can and cannot change
  • Exercise – when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body
  • Get proper rest, eat a well-balanced diet, and get regular health checks with your primary care provider.
Life often presents us with stressful situations, but we can learn to manage stress and live a healthy, happy life full of God’s blessings. 
Praying for *Mind Body and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
 Mt. Zion’s Health and Wellness Ministry

Health Tip for March 2023

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
March 2023
March is National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month, celebrated in March, stresses the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes the transformative powers of healthy food choices. Nutrition Month is important because it is an opportunity to reset.  In the January we talked about life goals. Now two months later we can evaluate where we are. It is not too late to start on the road to better health. Better nutrition will help us look and feel better.
To begin the journey of looking and feeling better, try the following nutrition tips:

Try to have more home-cooked meals.  Fast foods are full of salt and additives to make them taste better but are unhealthy. 
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand such as fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and nuts.  Have fewer chips and sweets. 
  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are lonely, bored, sad, or angry. 
  • Try “put down the fork” at meals.  Put your fork down between bites – it makes you eat slower and may stop overeating. 
  • Try not to eat after 7pm.  This gives your body a chance to digest your food and may help you to sleep better and ease acid reflux.
  • Drink only water for your primary beverage and avoid sugary drinks and juices.
Praying for *Mind, Body, and Spiritual* wellness to you,
The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

February 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
February 2023
February is Black History Month and Heart Health Awareness Month
During this Black History Month, we celebrate Dr. Daniel Hale Williams. Dr. Williams was the first African American cardiologist. He practiced during an era when racism and discrimination prohibited African Americans from admission to public hospitals and denied black doctor’s internships and residencies to practice medicine. To counteract this, Dr. Williams founded Chicago’s Provident Hospital and Training school in 1891. In 1893 Dr. Williams performed the world’s first successful open-heart surgery at Provident Hospital. In 1913, Dr. Williams was appointed as the only African American charter member of the American College of Surgeons.
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and is more prevalent in Black Americans than other ethnicities. Anyone can develop heart disease, but you are at higher risk if you have any of the following:
High cholesterol, uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, are a smoker, are overweight, do not exercise at least 2 days per week, or do not eat a healthy diet. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to prevent heart disease. 
Taking the following steps consistently can lower your risks for heart disease: 
  • Eating healthier – more fresh fruits and vegetables, low salt, low fat 
  • Get active – just 30 minutes a day of physical activity can improve your heart health
  • Stay at a healthy weight – ask your health care provider what your ideal weight is and take steps to lose weight if needed 
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke 
  • Control your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure – if prescribed medication, take it every day as prescribed
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation 
  • Manage stress – According to an article in the AARP Bulletin, there are some possible psychological benefits of regularly attending worship services, including an increased ability to cope with stress 
Taking control of our heart health is the first step to overall wellness!
Praying for *Mind, Body, and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

January 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
January 2023

We have all made “New Year’s Resolutions,” but how often do we make these resolutions just to have them fall by the wayside by February?  This year let’s propose to try something new!  Instead of “Resolutions,” let’s try to make “Life Goals.”   Studies show that it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle change.    
Suggestions for lifestyle Goals: 
  • Spiritual:  Strengthen our prayer life.  Pray over our lives daily and try to expand our time with God not only to seek direction but also to request the desires of our hearts. Remember 2023 is a new year for increased faith and abundant blessings!
  • Physical – Start an exercise routine.  It can be walking in place while we are watching our favorite television program.  Exercises can also be done while sitting in a chair!  When we exercise it releases a “natural high” called endorphins which can help with depression, anxiety, and pain.  
  • Mental – We can all train our minds to react differently and positively to negative experiences.  Pray and ask for strength during times of grief or disappointment.  We can strive not to react to negativity by praying for the strength to walk away from an altercation rather than to argue or prove a point.  When we as Christians take “the high road” and think before we speak, listen with an open mind, and silently pray before we react, we are letting our “light shine,” and those in the world will take notice.
Praying for *Mind, Body and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
The Mt. Zion Heath and Wellness Ministry

December 2022 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
December 2022
December is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, AIDS Awareness Month, Seasonal Depression Awareness Month; and December 5-11 is National Influenza Vaccination Week

The month of December is a joyous time for Christians, filled with preparations for family gatherings to celebrate the birth of our Savior. However, the holiday season can be a time of sadness and depression for many people, especially those who have recently lost loved ones, or have had a loss around the holiday season – and this feeling of loss can last a lifetime. Seasonal depression occurs when a person’s mood changes when the seasons change. People may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”). To fight seasonal depression, we can pray for God to lift our stronghold of depression. We can let our inner "joy" help us to remember the blessings of life and tomorrow's promise. We can make realistic expectations for the holiday season by resisting the pressure to spend a lot of money on gifts. We can cherish the memories we have of our loved ones who have passed away, knowing that they are always with us in spirit.
During this holiday season reach out to friends and family - if not in person, then through social media, or by phone or mail. Always remember the reason for this holiday season - our love of Christ and the celebration of His birth! 
If you need help dealing with feelings of depression, or know someone you feel may be having difficulty dealing with feelings of depression, please contact The Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7.  Our Pastor is also available to provide prayer and spiritual counselling.

Praying for *Mind, Body, and Spiritual* wellness to you,
 The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

Diabetes Awareness and Education

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
 November 2022
There are many health observances in the month of November, but we will focus on Diabetes because our community continues to have higher instances of diabetes than other ethnic groups.
Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas makes little or no insulin.  It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin shots every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.
With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more children and adolescents are becoming diagnosed due to obesity and sedentary lifestyles. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as: Losing weight. Eating healthy food. Being active.
Uncontrolled diabetes is associated with an increased likelihood of having heart disease. It is a leading cause of kidney disease, nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), and blindness in adults. It is important to speak to your doctor if you have common warning signs of diabetes, which include frequent urination, unintentional weight loss, blurry vision, excessive thirst, and hunger, and numb or tingling hands and feet. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is so important to also check your feet every day. Diabetic neuropathy causes numbness in your feet. Tight shoes (blisters), improperly trimmed toenails (injury to skin) and even hot foot soaks (burns) can lead to infections and result in amputations.
It, check their blood sugar and take their medication every day as prescribed by their health care provider.
No matter what type of Diabetes you are diagnosed with, being committed to change - to a recommended diabetic diet, and an increase in your activity level is essential to staying healthy.
Praying for *Mind, Body and Spiritual* wellness to you,
 The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

October 2022 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
October 2022
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month
We will focus on breast cancer for our health tip today, but all cancer is of importance in our community.
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. Deaths from breast cancer have declined over time, but breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Breast cancer occurs mainly in woman, but men have breast tissue and can also develop breast cancer.
Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. We all need to get to know our bodies. Every morning when you’re getting showered or getting dressed, take a minute to get in tune with how you feel. Is there a new ache, any swelling, any lumps, or skin changes? If there is anything different, keep an eye on it and if there is no change or improvement in a week or so, let your PCP know about it. Don’t wait for months to pass before you take care of changes in your health.
Cancer can result from a number of different things. Our family history, our lifestyle, and the environment around us work together to increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, heavy consumption of alcohol, not getting enough exercise, and coming in contact with caustic material or chemicals like asbestos.  Anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.  Protective factors include quitting smoking, limiting the amount of alcohol you consume, maintaining a healthy weight, and increasing daily physical activity. Cancer is a disease that can be cured if caught in its early stages. This is why it is so important that you are getting yearly screenings such as mammograms or prostate checks as directed by your health provider. We have the power to reduce our cancer risks by living healthier. Talk to your health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.
 Praying for *Mind, Body, and Spiritual* wellness to you,
 The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

September 2022 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
September 2022
The Health and Wellness Ministry at Mt. Zion is dedicated to educating our church family about health issues that affect our community. This month we will discuss the importance of maintaining our blood pressure at a therapeutic level.
High blood pressure, or Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure (top number) of 140 or more, or a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 90 or more. If you are taking blood pressure medication or have been told by your health provider that you have hypertension, please take it seriously. Hypertension can be controlled if you take your medication every day. It is important to measure your blood pressure every day and record it. If you get a reading of less than 90/40 or heart rate less than 60, notify your health care provider. Do not stop taking your medication until instructed to do so. Usually, your provider will have given you instructions on when to hold your medication.
Uncontrolled hypertension can cause damage to the internal organs leading to: Stroke (CVA), kidney failure, damage to your veins/arteries, heart failure and rupture of your body's main artery (aorta). Early symptoms of organ damage and failure include: headache, blurred vision, swelling in your feet, hands or around your eyes, chest pain, and back pain. If you begin to have any symptoms, alert your health care provider immediately.
Preventing and treating high blood pressure is important because there are typically no symptoms until it has caused damage to your organs. High blood pressure is called the silent killer for this reason. If you have hypertension and are on medication, please take it every day. If your provider has suggested that you lose weight, take steps to do that. Other things that may help are decreasing salt intake, daily exercise, and decrease stress.
Praying for *Mind Body and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

August 2022 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
August 2022

August is set aside as National Immunization Awareness Month, focusing on the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. As we know many childhood diseases were eradicated due to our government’s vaccination programs, it is important to receive any recommended vaccinations to say healthy. Since COVID 19 is still with us, the CDC continues to recommend that those who have not been vaccinated, consider getting the vaccine and boosters. Along with vaccination, wearing masks in public indoor places continues to be the best preventive measure against COVID 19.
There is a new health concern plaguing the world – and it is called monkeypox. Monkeypox was recently declared a public health emergency. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox.  Keep in mind that smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980 due to the smallpox vaccine. Monkeypox is an infectious viral disease that can occur in humans and some other animals. Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that forms blisters and then crusts over. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms ranges from 5-21 days. The duration of symptoms is typically two to four weeks. 
The CDC stresses that this is not an STI, but 90% of cases stem from people having unprotected sex, and/or multiple sex partners.
How it is spread: Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.
Prevention: Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face.  Stay away from sick people.
Treatment: There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infection. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox or have had exposure to someone with monkeypox, you should contact your PCP or health department for treatment options.
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) | CDC
About Monkeypox | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC
Praying for *Mind, Body and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry
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