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March 2024 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
March 2024
March is National Kidney Disease Awareness Month and National Nutrition Month
The kidneys are the body’s chemical factory. They filter waste from our body, balance minerals, help control red blood cell production and help keep our blood pressure in control. Over time, the kidneys can become damaged with little or no physical symptoms to warn you that your kidneys are in trouble. High blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure and being over 60 are major risk factors for developing kidney disease. Early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.
The following five steps are simple ways to protect your kidneys:
  1. Get Tested! Ask your doctor for an (ACR)albumin-to-creatinine urine test or a GFR blood test annually if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, have a family history of kidney failure, and/or are over age 60.
  2. Reduce the use of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Over the counter pain medicines can harm the kidneys, especially if you already have CRI. NSAIDs include Motrin/Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Indomethacin. It is best to take Tylenol for pain.
  3. Control Blood Pressure and Diabetes. High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease and kidney failure. Take your medication as directed - every day. Managing high blood pressure and strict control of blood sugar levels can slow the progression of kidney disease.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Not only is hydration good for your kidneys, but also for your heart health. Hydration also helps your kidneys remove waste from your body.
  5. And in keeping the National Nutrition Month - Cut the Processed Foods. Processed foods can be significant sources of sodium, nitrates, and phosphates. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, foods low in fat, and low in salt.
People living with kidney disease at any stage may not have as much protection against respiratory illness like the Flu, RSV and COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated. The National Kidney Foundation recommends following the same CDC guidelines for people who are not fully vaccinated, including always wearing a mask in public indoor spaces.
Praying for *Mind, Body, and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
 Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

February 2024 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
February 2024
February is Heart Health Awareness Month
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, if you are a smoker, if you are overweight, do not exercise at least 2 days per week, or if you typically eat a diet high in fat and sugar. 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: 
  • Do not smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
  • Manage health conditions. Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Make heart-healthy diet changes.  Eat foods low in fat, low in added sugar, and low in salt.  Try to eat more vegetables and fruit.
  • Stay active.  You can break up exercise into 10-minute blocks for a total of 30 minutes per day
  • 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 2024 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
January 2024

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  to thank and praise him, to seek direction, and also to request the desires of our hearts. Remember 2024 is a new year for increased faith and abundant blessings!
Physical: Start an exercise routine.  It can be as simple as 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.  Improve our dietary choices by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, less added salt and sugar, and drinking water as our primary source of beverage.
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 to 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 Health and Wellness Ministry

December 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
December 2023

We are in the middle of the holiday season! Our goal is to maintain our Mind, our Body, and our Spiritual Wellness in the midst of the holiday chaos.
Mind: Many people experience feelings of sadness during the holidays due to missing loved ones who have passed away. For many of us these feelings of sadness never go away and increase during the holiday season. To combat these feelings, stay engaged with friends and family. Instead of dwelling in the feelings of depression, try to appreciate the good things around you. Self-isolation only makes feelings of loss worse, so get out of the house. Attend holiday social events, volunteer to take someone who does not drive shopping, and by all means pray to God to take the sadness away and replace it with Joy.

Body: During the holiday season, it is easy to forget about healthy eating. In the days following Thanksgiving and Christmas the emergency rooms are flooded, treating cases of critically high blood sugar and blood pressure levels. For instance, a blood sugar level over 250 or a blood pressure over 180/120 may jeopardize your health and life, and going to a critical care facility or ER is highly advised. During the holidays monitor your blood sugar and blood pressure more frequently so that you know where you stand. The symptoms of a diabetic emergency include, clammy skin, sweating, drowsiness or confusion, weakness or feeling faint, and a sudden loss of responsiveness. Symptoms of a hypertensive emergency include severe headache, blurred, numbness and/or tingling in face and/or hands, and confusion.
Spiritual: Remember the reason for the season. Christmas is a celebration of God’s greatest gift to mankind, his son Jesus the Christ. There is no need to go into debt trying to buy expensive gifts for everyone to show our love. Spending time with loved ones is the most valuable gift we can receive. Attending church service during this time is especially important so that we can give thanks to God for sending His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to us.

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

November 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
 November 2023
November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans, including adults and youth. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. But taking charge of your health may help you prevent diabetes health problems. You can manage your diabetes and live a long and healthy life by taking care of yourself each day.
Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas makes little or no insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin shots every day to survive. Monitoring your blood glucose level is extremely important if you take insulin. 
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t use insulin well and can not keep blood sugar at normal levels. Some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss, but others may need medication or insulin to manage it. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.
Blood glucose monitoring.
Checking your glucose levels as directed by your provider is a lifetime commitment, especially if you have Type 1 diabetes. The goal is to prevent too high or too low glucose levels, which can be very dangerous.
Reach or maintain a healthy weight.
If you are overweight, losing just 10 pounds can help keep your blood sugar levels in the desired range. For type 2 diabetics, losing weight could even mean going into diabetes remission.
Work with your health care team.
Managing diabetes takes a team. Your health care team may include your Primary Care Provider, an Endocrinologist, a Dietitian, and don’t forget your family members. When you see members of your health care team, ask questions. Write a list of questions you have before your visit, so you do not forget what you want to ask.  Working closely with your team to control your diabetes will help achieve your blood glucose goals.

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

October 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
October 2023
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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. Breast cancer occurs mainly in woman, but men have breast tissue and can also develop breast cancer. 
All forms of 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.
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 over a period of time.  
Lifestyle changes that may prevent cancer 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. Even though most medical organizations don't recommend routine breast self-exams as a part of breast cancer screening, a significant number of women report that the first sign of their breast cancer was a new breast lump they discovered on their own. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the normal consistency of your breasts. If you notice a change in your breasts that seems abnormal or if you notice one breast is different when compared with the other, you must report it to your doctor. It is also important that you receive  screenings such as mammograms 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

Health Tip for September 2023

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
September 2023
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It’s one of the leading causes of cancer death among all men. However, Black men are disproportionately hit hard by the disease. One in 6 Black men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime — compared to 1 in 8 in other men. They are also more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer.

Dr. Cassandra Moore, a Mayo Clinic oncologist, explains what Black men need to know to reverse the disturbing trend.

Black men harshly impacted by prostate cancer

Men often don’t talk about health issues that occur below the belt, but maybe they should.

“It is the most common cancer in men outside of skin cancer, and it’s the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men,” says Dr. Moore.

It’s unclear why Black men are harshly impacted by prostate cancer. There are likely many contributing factors, such as genetics, diet, environment, access to care and racial bias.

“There are studies that show that African American men are less likely to be offered treatments, be offered even clinical trials,” says Dr. Moore.

Knowing your family history is important. Black men and those with a family history of prostate, breast, colon or ovarian cancer should consider getting screened for prostate cancer starting at age 40.

“The BRCA gene, BRCA1 and 2, play a role in prostate cancer,” explains Dr. Moore.

Maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting red meats and processed foods, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising are beneficial in reducing prostate cancer.


©2023 Mayo Clinic News Network. Visit newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Update on COVID-19
COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, and the flu are contagious respiratory illnesses, and cases of all three are expected to increase this winter. These respiratory illnesses are caused by different viruses, but they share similar symptoms.  As a result, it may be difficult to tell what you’ve come down with when you’re feeling under the weather.  The only reliable way to distinguish between the three is with testing.  COVID, RSV and the flu can all be diagnosed using a nasal swab or throat swab. There are currently vaccines for all three of these respiratory viruses and they are effective at decreasing the duration of transmission, and decreasing the likelihood of severe disease.
COVID-19, RSV and the flu are spread by virus droplets transmitted when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, and another individual breathes those particles in, or they land on their eyes, nose, or mouth. In some cases, the virus can spread if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your face before washing your hands.  RSV is typically only severe in infants, the elderly, and in people with immune deficiency or chronic medical conditions. RSV symptoms are much less intense, and generally will appear more like a common cold. Symptoms include a runny nose, a cough, itchy and runny eyes, and a relatively low-grade fever. Monoclonal antibodies can be given to infants and is recommended in infants younger than 8 months.  COVID and flu are very similar - they both present with fever, cough, achiness, fatigue, headache, sinus congestion, or a runny nose. Both can cause vomiting and diarrhea. With the flu, however, not all persons will have a fever.  The symptom of a loss of smell is unique to COVID. If you test positive for COVID-19 it is important to seek medical attention ASAP after diagnosis for the medication to be effective. Of note: The updated COVID vaccine has been approved for broad use as of today, September 12th, and should be available within days. Please contact your healthcare provider about what vaccine you should receive.
Along with recommended vaccinations - good handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer, and the wearing of masks when in highly populated areas are all encouraged to help us all stay healthy.
Praying for *Mind, Body and Spiritual* wellness to you,
 The Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

August 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
August 2023
Taking Control of our Health
Mt. Zion, our bodies are a miraculous creation of God. Our brains function like a computer – intaking data, compiling it, and utilizing the information when needed. God created built in protection against harm to our bodies in the form of white blood cells, and when anything invades our body like a virus or injury, these protectors rush to the area. This is why we develop fever, pain, rashes, pustules, and swelling. These are called symptoms and warn us to take action.
God is very clear that he intends for us to take care of these wonderous bodies he created. We have talked about ways to improve our health like exercising daily, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking water as our primary beverage. We also talked about having a yearly physical including labs as the best way to identify issues before they cause damage. Diabetics – test your blood as directed and if having symptoms; Hypertension - monitor your blood pressure every day. Also, COVID is still with us and with flu season approaching the vaccination and boosters against COVID are still highly recommended.
Taking care of our bodies is also taking control of our health. Get in tune with your body. Try sitting on the side of the bed in the morning before getting up. Is there a new pain, any swelling in the legs, hands or around our eyes; when standing is there any dizziness, is there any nausea, any rashes, bumps, or discoloration anywhere? Is there any numbness or tingling? These are all symptoms. If any symptom persists more than 24 hours, it is advisable to contact your telephone advice nurse. Also, take all medications as directed. I once had a patient who decided to stop taking his blood pressure medication because his readings had been normal for weeks. I explained, again, that his readings were normal because his medication was working. And lastly, do not hesitate to ask your provider questions about your health plan. Make sure you understand everything about your illness, medication, and health plan.
May we not forget that the Bible says to take care of our body, so we will be able to better receive what God wants to do for our hearts.
Praying for *Mind, Body and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry

July 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tip
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
July 2023
In July we observe National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to shed a light on the need for mental health education in our community. Living as a person of color in America, there are issues in our everyday life that may cause stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Mental health happens in all races and socioeconomic groups, but our communities are affected more due to our history. Even though we make up 13.6 % of the U.S. population, we make up 38% of the prison population. Black people with mental health conditions are more likely to be in jail or prison than people of other races. The police officers in our communities are not properly trained to manage people with mental illness, and this results in injury and/or death of people with mental illness. Also, people of color with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder make up a sizable percentage of our homeless population.
People of color are less likely to seek mental health services than other ethnic groups, and this must change. As Christians we are taught to pray when are anxious or depressed. We pray for those who are grieving, but be aware that grief can turn into depression, and depression into substance abuse and other forms of self-harm. We must realize that sometimes along with prayer, we must be willing seek professional help if we just cannot shake our feelings of depression. The symptoms of depression are inability to sleep or sleeping most of the day away; poor appetite or overeating; isolation yourself from family and friends; tearfulness or feelings of despair lasting more than 3-4 days. If someone you know exhibits signs of depression, continued anxiety, or has behavior that does not seem quite right, please encourage them to contact the mental health crisis service line (800) 715-4225. The staff can talk to them and give them referrals to mental health clinicians. If you have a family member who is a danger to you or themselves, instead of calling 911, call 9988 -It might save a life.

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

June 2023 Health Tip

Mt. Zion Monthly Health Tips
*Mind, Body, Spirit* = Wellness
June 2023
June is Men’s Health Month
We celebrate men in the month of June with Father’s Day, and we also focus on Men’s Health Month. Woman’s involvement with the health of the men in their lives is critical. Because women typically are in tune with the overall health of their male family members, they can help men to adopt healthier habits. This month is all about encouraging the men in our lives to focus on their health by eating right, exercising, and taking steps to prevent illness.  
Promoting early detection and treatment of disease among men is our goal. Men should be encouraged to get annual screenings and bloodwork – not just go to the doctor when they are sick. This ensures that men stay in good health and catch health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer before they become serious. There is an overlap between health needs for men and women, but some health issues are specific to men. For instance, prostate cancer only affects men, and it is one of the most common types of cancer in men.
Preventive measures are important to maintaining health. A healthy weight through regular exercise and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will not only decrease a man’s risk for prostate cancer, but also improve their overall physical health.  Celebrate Men’s Health Week June 12 – 18  and Wear Blue Day on June 16 to raise awareness about male health and encourage men to live longer and healthier lives.
Praying for *Mind, Body, and Spiritual* Wellness to you,
Mt. Zion Health and Wellness Ministry
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