By Dr. Stephen Glass, DDS, Dental Director; Gary Schreiner, PhD, Behavioral Health Director; Dr. Anneliese Heckert, DO; Jenny Lang, FNP; Dr. Matt Percy, MD, Chief Medical Team
Fall is upon us and prevention is key to staying healthy this winter. From flu shots to dental care to our medical and behavioral health services, Mountain Family Health Centers is here to guide you to the best health possible. We want to share a few pearls of wisdom with you so that you can take the best care of yourself and your family.
Diabetes: Did you know that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month? In the United States, there are 30.3 million people who have diabetes with 7.2 million of these individuals not knowing that they have diabetes. Early detection and prevention are the key to reducing the complications of diabetes. Risk factors of diabetes include being overweight, having a family history diabetes, sedentary activity, or having a chronic disease such as hypertension, high cholesterol, or a history of gestational diabetes during a pregnancy. Mountain Family offers screening for diabetes as well as treatment for diabetes. Please schedule an office visit (call 970-945-2840 or visit us online at www.mountainfamily.org) to determine if you are at risk for diabetes and need to have a screening test. If you are a known diabetic and have not been seen at Mountain Family the last 6 months, please also schedule a visit to check in on your control.
Influenza: What is the best way to prevent the flu? Get your flu shot today. Mountain Family now has flu shots available for both kids and adults at all clinics. Please take the “flu IQ” quiz at the end of this letter to find out if you’re ready for flu season.
Oral Health: Our dental team wants to be sure you know we now have dental services available at all of Mountain Family’s sites. In this time of holidays and celebrations, the dental team wants to remind you to minimize sweets and brush and floss twice a day. If it has been over 6 months since your last dental cleaning, please contact us to get your next cleaning scheduled soon by calling 970-945-2840 or visiting us online at www.mountainfamily.org.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: The days are becoming shorter and the amount of sunlight is less every day. These changes can affect our emotional health and can increase the risk for developing seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mild to moderate depression that occurs during the winter months. The cold weather also contributes due to cloudy days and being inside for most of the winter months. SAD is said to occur due to changes in the body’s internal clock, and changes in our brains and body’s chemicals. Feeling depressed on most days, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, reduced energy, concentration and interest in activities are the commonly noted symptoms. Light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy are the treatments available for SAD. If you are currently feeling this way, please come in and see our Integrated behavioral health teams to help you manage these symptoms. To make an appointment call 970-945-2840 or visit us online at www.mountainfamily.org.
As the leaders of our integrated medical, dental and behavioral health teams at Mountain Family, we thank you for being a part of our family. We are now serving over 21,000 community members and are proud to serve as your healthcare home. Please let us know how we can serve you better. If you have not been seen by Mountain Family in the past year, please schedule time to come and discuss your health with one of our dental, medical, or behavioral health providers.
Dr. Stephen Glass, DDS, Dental Director; Gary Schreiner, PhD, Behavioral Health Director
Dr. Anneliese Heckert, DO; Jenny Lang, FNP; Dr. Matt Percy, MD
Chief Medical Team
FLU IQ Quiz
What’s your Flu I.Q.? Take this brief quiz to find out if you’re ready for flu season. Mountain Family Health Centers is now offering flu shots for all ages at all of our clinics.
1. A flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. True or False?
2. The ‘stomach flu’ and influenza are the same thing. True or False?
3. Getting a flu vaccine in December or later is not too late. True or False?
4. People should be vaccinated against the flu every year. True or False?
5. Washing your hands is the best thing you can do to protect yourself against the flu. True or False?
6. The flu is typically spread through coughing/sneezing. True or False?
7. The flu is not a serious illness. True or False?
8. The flu vaccine is available as a shot or a nasal spray. True or False?
9. You can spread the flu to others before you have symptoms. True or False?
10. There is no treatment for flu. True or False?
11. The flu vaccines offers protection immediately after it is given. True or False?
1. True! That’s right! The flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. The viruses in the vaccine are inactivated (i.e., killed), which means they cannot cause infection.
2. False! That’s right! Stomach flu is a popular term for stomach or intestinal disease, whereas the flu is a respiratory (lung) disease. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat and muscle aches. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea also can occur with flu, but are more common in children than adults.
3. True! That’s right! CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccination by the end of October, if possible. CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as long as flu viruses are circulating, even in January or later. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and March, although activity can last as late as May. Get your vaccine before Halloween!
4. True! That’s right! CDC recommends yearly vaccination for two reasons. First, new flu vaccines are made each year and often updated to fight against the three or four (depending on vaccine) influenza viruses research suggests will be most common. Second, immunity declines over time, so a yearly vaccination is required for optimal protection.
5. False! That’s right! CDC recommends a flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. However, preventive actions like covering your cough and washing yours hands often are important everyday steps that can help stop the spread of germs.
6. True! That’s right! Flu virus is mainly spread through droplets from coughs and sneezes.
7. False! That’s right! Flu is a serious contagious disease that causes illness and related hospitalizations and deaths every year in the United States. Flu seasons can vary in severity. CDC estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000.
8. True. That’s right! Nasal spray flu vaccine (sold under the trade name FluMist®) was first approved by FDA during 2003 and is still an FDA-approved product; Although Mountain Family Health Centers do not carry the flu mist, talk to your provider about whether you are an appropriate candidate to get this from your pharmacy.
9. True! That’s right! Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick.
10. False! That’s right! There are prescription medications called “antiviral drugs” that can be used to treat the flu. Antiviral drugs are pills, liquid or inhaled powder that fight against the flu in your body. The antiviral drugs recommended now are oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), zanamivir (Relenza®), and peramivir (Rapivab®). Antivirals are not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine.
11. False! That’s right! It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that provide protection against influenza (flu) virus infection. That is why it’s better to get vaccinated before the flu season really gets under way. CDC recommends people get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.
Adapted for Mountain Family from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/widgets/fluIQ/.