Health365 eNews
September 2014 • Volume 6, Issue 3

Spring Cleaning: Don’t Forget the Medicine Cabinet!

When you make your spring-cleaning to-do list, don’t forget the medicine cabinet. That means properly disposing of unused or expired medicine.

Why proper disposal?

Medications can harm someone it is not prescribed for, including children and animals. And disposing of old medications reduces the risk of unintentional use, overdose, and illegal abuse. Plus, a wide range of prescription drugs has been detected in lakes, streams, rivers, and drinking water supplies due to flushing them down the toilet.


Read more

When you make your spring-cleaning to-do list, don’t forget the medicine cabinet. That means properly disposing of unused or expired medicine.

Why proper disposal?

Medications can harm someone it is not prescribed for, including children and animals. And disposing of old medications reduces the risk of unintentional use, overdose, and illegal abuse. Plus, a wide range of prescription drugs has been detected in lakes, streams, rivers, and drinking water supplies due to flushing them down the toilet.

How do I throw away medicine?

The best way to get rid of unused or expired medications is to take them to a medication drop-off location. Call your pharmacy or city hall to ask where the closest drop-off location is. If there is not a convenient drop-off location, follow the disposal instructions on the patient information that comes with your medicine. If you don’t have this, follow these tips and throw the medicine in the trash:

  • Take the medicine out of its original container. To protect your privacy, scratch off any personal information on the label.
  • Mix the medicine with something that masks the medicine or makes it unappealing, like kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Put the mixture in a container or a plastic bag and place it in your trash.

What about flushing?

Only a very few specific medications should be flushed down the sink or toilet. For a list of these drugs, visit the FDA website.

Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about how to dispose of your medicine. Your pharmacist may also be able to tell you about any drug "take-back" programs in your area. You can also check with your state health department for additional information. 

Medicine cabinet must-haves

Once you have cleaned expired or unused products out of your medicine cabinet, be sure you have needed supplies and medications. Everybody takes a little spill here or there or gets a cough or diarrhea and then stumbles around the bathroom trying to find bandages or cough medicine or other medication. That’s why you should have these medicine cabinet essentials always on hand:

  • Hydrogen peroxide for wounds
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Adhesive bandages and sterile gauze pads
  • An oral thermometer
  • Pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, for headaches and/or other aches and pains
  • Sunscreen
  • Antidiarrhea medication
  • Cough medicine
  • Cold/flu medicine 
Hide

Figure on These Factors When Drinking Alcohol

 Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh—or “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” in Irish.

If you drink, you most likely want to drink reasonably and responsibly. But what are the factors that can help you keep a confident check on your blood-alcohol content—and your mental faculties—so you don’t embarrass yourself or, worse, hurt yourself or others?


Read more

 Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh—or “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” in Irish.

If you drink, you most likely want to drink reasonably and responsibly. But what are the factors that can help you keep a confident check on your blood-alcohol content—and your mental faculties—so you don’t embarrass yourself or, worse, hurt yourself or others?

According to the CDC and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a number of variables go into the answer: your body weight; amount of muscle or fat you have; your gender; your age; the other chemicals in your drinks; how fast you are drinking; the amount of food in your stomach; your drinking history; your tolerance to alcohol; other drugs in your system; your general health; and your emotional state.

Alcohol usually is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract within 30 to 60 minutes after you drink it. Your stomach absorbs about 20 percent, and the remainder is absorbed in the small intestine. About 10 percent of alcohol is eliminated from your body by the kidneys and lungs. The amount of alcohol exhaled through the lungs is used to accurately estimate blood alcohol concentration. Inexpensive electronic devices that measure exhaled alcohol to estimate blood levels are available from stores.

For most people, getting your blood alcohol level to the point of being legally intoxicated occurs after approximately two drinks for an average size woman and three drinks for an average size man. An average drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor and contains approximately 15 grams (one half ounce) of pure alcohol. Your body metabolism processes about one average drink an hour.

Body weight

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and dissolves in the body’s water. It is a depressant that inhibits responses of the central nervous system. In small quantities, it can impair coordination and thinking. In large quantities in a short period of time, it can be fatal. Excessive amounts over a long period can cause liver damage.

The extent of alcohol’s effect on the central nervous system depends upon how much is in your blood and how much blood you have. Two of the main determinants for that are body weight and the amount of water in your body. Women have less body water than men of similar body weight, so a woman will tend to have a higher blood alcohol level than a man of the same weight after drinking the same amount of alcohol. As a person ages, body water usually decreases and body fat increases, so blood alcohol levels will be higher in older people.

Because your body size determines the volume of blood and amount of water in your body, smaller people usually will have higher blood alcohol levels if they drink the same amount of alcohol as a heavier person.

Men and women

Due to the way a man can metabolize alcohol, men generally can drink more alcohol than women of the same size.

A woman’s body also absorbs and metabolizes alcohol differently from a man’s, according to the National Institutes of Health. Women have higher blood alcohol levels than men do after consuming the same amount of alcohol. Women also are more susceptible to alcoholic liver disease, heart muscle damage and brain damage. Women are affected more because of their lower levels of body water and because the stomach enzyme ADH, which metabolizes alcohol, is not as active as in men.

Age

Because people lose muscle mass and it is replaced by fat tissue as they get older, they will have higher blood alcohol levels when they drink alcohol compared to younger people of the same weight.

Other chemicals in the drink

The carbon dioxide in champagne increases the rate of absorption of alcohol causing a more rapid effect.

Speed of drinking

The body can generally metabolize about one average drink (15 grams or one half-ounce of pure alcohol) every hour. If you chose to have more than one drink per hour, your blood alcohol level will continue to rise. One beer or one shot of alcohol or one glass of wine is equal to about a half ounce of pure alcohol. The metabolic rate is not affected by physical activity, drinking coffee, or drinking more nonalcoholic beverages.

Food in stomach

If you eat an average meal before drinking, the absorption of the alcohol will be slowed considerably—by up to an hour or more initially. But this effect is temporary.

The type of food consumed also is a factor in slowing the absorption of alcohol. The more fat in the meal, the longer it will take the stomach to process the food and the slower the absorption of alcohol.

Drinking history, tolerance

Tolerance means that it takes more alcohol to produce the same effect or achieve the same blood alcohol level. This sometimes occurs in people who drink heavily and often. Their bodies metabolize alcohol slightly faster than moderate drinkers. On top of that, the chronic users’ organs sometimes develop less sensitivity to alcohol, so the actual effects of the same alcohol blood level for them would be less than for the casual drinker. But the destructive effects of alcohol on the liver and other parts of the chronic user’s body can be devastating over time.

Medications

Alcohol reacts negatively with more than 150 medications, according to the National Institute on Aging and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Common examples include most sedatives, antianxiety pills, sleeping pills, antidepressants, antibiotics, blood thinners, and anticonvulsants (seizure medications). Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol with any medication.

Physical and emotional health

People who are fatigued or highly stressed out usually will have a noticeably stronger reaction to alcohol, possibly feeling greater depression or some other exaggerated response to normal levels of alcohol.

Because the effects of alcohol usually are subtle at first, you may not recognize that your awareness and responses are compromised.

Hide

Safety While Traveling Abroad

 

With Spring Break rapidly approaching, millions of Americans will travel abroad each year. Safety should be a prime consideration for anyone traveling outside the United States. There are certain precautions that travelers can take to improve their safety while abroad.


Read more

 With Spring Break rapidly approaching, millions of Americans will travel abroad each year. Safety should be a prime consideration for anyone traveling outside the United States. There are certain precautions that travelers can take to improve their safety while abroad.

Motor vehicle safety while traveling

Injuries from motor vehicle crashes pose the greatest risk of injury to international travelers, according to the CDC. The risk of death from motor vehicle crashes is many times higher in other countries than in the U.S. Inadequate roadway design, hazardous conditions, lack of appropriate vehicles and vehicle maintenance, unskilled or inexperienced drivers, inattention to pedestrians and cyclists, and impairment due to alcohol and drugs all contribute to the increased risk of being involved in a vehicle-related crash while visiting other countries.

Important safety measures you can take include the following:

  • Request a vehicle with safety belts and use them.
  • Inspect cars and trucks to make sure that tires, windshield wipers, brakes, and headlights are in good condition.
  • Request a vehicle equipped with air bags, where available.
  • Avoid nonessential night driving, alcohol, and riding with persons under the influence of alcohol.
  • Sit in the back seat, whenever possible, to minimize the risk of death if an accident should occur.
  • Bring a car safety seat when traveling with young children.
  • Use a safety helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle.

Avoiding animal- or insect-associated hazards

In areas where rabies is endemic (constantly present), domestic dogs, cats, or other animals should not be petted. Wild animals should always be avoided.

Bites and stings from insects can cause unpleasant reactions, and medical attention should be sought immediately for any bite or sting that causes redness, swelling, bruising, or persistent pain. Take extra precautions when camping or staying in rustic or primitive areas by using insect repellents, protective clothing, and mosquito netting.

Poisonous snakes are another hazard in certain parts of the world, although death from snake bites are rare. Never attempt to handle, harass, or kill a snake because bites often occur as a snake’s defensive reaction.

Avoiding swimming hazards

For infectious disease prevention, only swimming pools that contain chlorinated water are considered safe for swimming. Swimming in contaminated water can result in skin, eye, ear, and certain intestinal infections. In certain areas, a fatal form of encephalitis has occurred after swimming in warm, dirty water. Other infectious diseases can develop from swimming in freshwater streams, canals, and lakes. To avoid drowning accidents, avoid swimming alone or in unfamiliar waters

Hide

Sleep Awareness

“An old, unwashed pillow could contain as much as 10 percent of weight in skin scaled, mould, dead and living dust mites and their allergen laden droppings,” says Lisa Artis from the Sleep Council. If that’s not enough to persuade you to replace your pillows, she also points out that if you suffer with neck and shoulder pain, you could easily find your pillow’s the culprit.


Read more

“An old, unwashed pillow could contain as much as 10 percent of weight in skin scaled, mould, dead and living dust mites and their allergen laden droppings,” says Lisa Artis from the Sleep Council. If that’s not enough to persuade you to replace your pillows, she also points out that if you suffer with neck and shoulder pain, you could easily find your pillow’s the culprit.

The problem is knowing where to start. Pillows come in a vast array of different shapes and sizes, as well as a choice of fillings, ranging from Gingerlily’s 100% Silk Filled Pillow to Bedec’s Memory Foam number.

A good pillow, according to The Sleep Council, should hold your head in the correct alignment.”Thatis, in the same relation to your shoulders and spine as if you were standing upright with the correct posture, and be tucked well into the neck and shoulder to support your head fully.”

The thickness and number you need on your body shape and your preferred sleeping position, adds Artis. “You will need a thicker pillow (or two thinnerones) if you sleep on your side rather than if you sleep on your back.”

She advises investing in quality pillows and replacing them at elast every two or three years. “When they have lost their ‘loft’ (height) and become lumpy, discoloured and misshapen they should be replaced.

Hide

As Prescribed
Looking for timely and accurate health and wellness information from the Fort HealthCare clinicians you know and love? Visit FortHealthCare.com/Blog for updates on women's health, nutrition, skin care, foot pain and many other health topics.

Cold: Friend or Foe?

 Most of us are ready to say goodbye to the ice, snow, and cold. Icy conditions can contribute to a slip hazard. When that happens to you, it’s easy to want to stay inside until the Spring thaw. But inactivity can be equally harmful. If you or someone you know would like to overcome a fear of falling, the Wisconsin Institute of Healthy Aging offers a variety of instruction to increase your strength and balance.  


Read more
News

March 31 is the 2014 Deadline for Health Insurance Enrollment

Despite the initial problems with the federal government’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation, the website www.HealthCare.gov continues to improve and more and more individuals across the entire country are now able to sign up for new health insurance options through March 31. More than 4 million persons have successfully enrolled and are now awaiting coverage for healthcare.


Read more
Upcoming Events
Fort HealthCare is proud to sponsor a number of community events. All year long, you can find a number of health and fitness related events and classes for the whole family. Check out Health365Events.com to find more activities throughout the community.
March 19 Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) (Renewal)
March 18 Fort HealthCare Free Screening—Lake Mills Clinic
March 21 Basic Life Support (BLS) for HealthCare Provider (Renewal)
March 25 Basic Life Support (BLS) for HealthCare Provider (Renewal)
March 26 AHA Heartsaver CPR/AED
March 31 Golf-Swing Class
April 2 AHA Healthsaver First Aid/CPR/AED
April 3 Fort HealthCare Free Screening—Fort Atkinson Food Pantry
April 3 Basic Life Support (BLS) for HealthCare Provider (Renewal)
April 7 Childbirth Preparation
April 7 Basic Life Support (BLS) for HealthCare Provider (Recognition)
April 12 On my own at home
April 15 Fort HealthCare Free Screening—Fort Memorial Hospital
April 15 Aqua Zumba
April 16 Body Blast
April 16 Glutes and Abs
April 16 Skinny Arms
April 16 Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) (Recognition)
April 18 Basic Life Support (BLS) for HealthCare Provider (Renewal)
Recipes

March Vegetable of the Month: Rhubarb

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min, Bake: 45 min.

Ingreadients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
  • 2 cups sliced peeled apples or sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup paked brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and apples or strawberries, toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-in. square baking dish
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Yield:8 servings.

Editor’s Note: if using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still fronze, then thaw completey. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Hide
©2016 Fort HealthCare | 611 Sherman Avenue East Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
Phone: 920.568.5000 | www.forthealthcare.com