Fall is here! Focusing on joint and bone health, here is some useful information regarding arthritis. Arthritis refers to more than 100 diseases and conditions affecting the joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis are gout, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis are pain, aching, stiffness and swelling in or around the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms.
People with arthritis can reduce their symptoms by:
· Joining a self-management education program that teaches the skills and confidence to live well with arthritis every day. Our Port Huron YMCA has programs to look into.
· Physical activity—such as walking, bicycling and swimming—decreases pain and improves function, mood and quality of life. Try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, or for as little as 10 minutes at a time. There is chair yoga on Fridays at the Pine Shores Golf Course at 10:30 am which focuses on arthritis. The walk-in fee for over 55 years is only $5.00.
· Weight control and avoiding activity that is more likely to cause joint injuries.
· Talk with your health care professional. People with inflammatory arthritis have a better quality of life if they are diagnosed early, receive treatment and learn how to manage their condition.
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different and influenza infections can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. The Center for Disease Control 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. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
There will be a Community Health Fair at River District Hospital on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 8:00 am until 12 noon. Free flu shots will be available for residents of East China and St. Clair. Other health related services will be available but are not finalized at the time of this writing. You can also check with your health care provider for your flu shot or most of the pharmacies in the area. Be kind to yourself and others—get immunized!
Your parish nurse,
Mary Ann Martin, RN, FCN