Friday, February 22, 2019

Identifying headaches

As we grow older, we are prone to more headaches an migraines, but what are the causes? Turns out there are many factors, and there are even causes we aren't aware of.  Here are some causes that can help you identify what you might be going through right now!

Image result for headaches

Caffeine Withdrawal:  If you regularly consume coffee or a caffeinated beverage and didn't drink at your usual time, you might be undergoing a withdrawal headache.  These happen because your brain learns to function on caffeine and a break in its supply will throw off your equilibrium and lead to a painful ache.  You can either resume your caffeine supply to fix it, or wean yourself off with headache medication that has caffeine in it, to get your brain used to not having caffeine in its system.

Rebound Headaches:  If you regularly take OTC pain medications, your nervous system can become sensitive and make your aches and pains much worse.  You should see your physician if you are still feeling pains after taking 2-3 OTC pills per week.

Dehydration:  This one is a simple fix but is very easy to overlook.  If you aren't drinking enough water per day, ideally 16 ounces or more, your body may suffer dehydration headaches.  This is also the reason hangovers exist, alcohol dehydrates the body, and when you wake up with a splitting headache you'll need to drink plenty of water to quell it.  Most people who never get hangovers, are ones who regularly drink water with alcohol consumption.

Barometric Headache:  Changes in weather affect the atmosphere pressure, also known as Barometric Pressure.  While we don't feel it, the atmosphere around us is always exerting a pressure on us, and when the weather changes (most abruptly in thunder and lightning storms) the differentials in pressure can cause a headache.  There's not much you can do to prevent this other than take some headache pills when you feel a headache come on.

Hunger Headache:  This headache is very similar to a dehydration or caffeine headache.  When you don't eat, your body is lacking in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function.  The term "brain food" applies here, if you aren't getting nutrition, your brain isn't getting what it needs to function properly, triggering a headache.

Sleep Deprivation:  If you haven't been getting proper rest, then neither has your brain.  You need to see a sleep specialist if you consistently suffering from insomnia, or sleep apnea, as these will trigger frequent headaches.  Not only will sleep deprivation give you headaches, it will also increase your risk for heart troubles.

There are many more causes for headaches, and some of them could be signs of serious problems, so when should you see a doctor?  If you feel weak, begin to lose your vision, have balance problems, or trouble talking, you should see a doctor right away.  And if you suddenly have a headache that feels like the worst pain of your life, you may be having an aneurism, and should call 911 as soon as possible.  Sudden headaches like that can also be referred to as a "thunderclap".

Also a new video was released today! Go check out our YouTube channel! Be sure to like, comment and subscribe if you would like to see more!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Presidents Birthdays

Did you know that some of our most famous presidents share birthdays this month? There are four actually! We only celebrate two of the four though.  George Washington (February 22, 1732), William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773), Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809), and Ronald Regan (February 6, 1911). We only celebrate George Washington's birthday and Abraham Lincoln's Birthdays for how significant their terms meaned to the United States.

Image result for george washington

As George Washington was the first president of the United States of America, it's only natural that we celebrate his birthday as a holiday.  However, it wasn't until 1971 that we move the celebration to every 3rd Monday as President's day, so employees and students would get a 3 day weekend rather than have the week, awkwardly, split up with time offs.

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As for Abraham Lincoln, we recognize his birthday because he was a huge civil rights advocate and recognized as a hero for making slavery illegal.  In New York his birthday was first recognized as a holiday in conjunction with, a former abolitionist, Fredrick Douglas's birthday on the 14th.  Starting the movement of becoming Black History week, and eventually growing to Black History Month today.

In other news, have you been to our Youtube Channel as of late?  We have a couple new videos!

Charla Ruby has done an outstanding job ever since we hired her last year, and she has earned our Employee of the Month Award for February 2019!

And we were recently at the Nix Center for their Volunteer Fair! Come by and see some of the photos we took!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tips for Good Heart Health

It's February and that means it's Heart Health Awareness month!  Our hearts are one of the most important organs in our bodies, being the organ that provides blood to all your organs.  Without it, oxygen couldn't get from your lungs to your brain, nutrients from your stomach to your body, and so on!  So with that established, let's look at ways you can keep your heart healthy!

(all tips researched and provided by the Cleaveland Health Clinic)

Image result for trans fats1) Avoid Trans Fats, Eat Healthy Fats

While you may be thinking, aren't all fats unhealthy? This is actually a myth, only Trans Fats are the bad fats.  They lead to raising your LDL cholesterol levels, which is the bad kind that clogs arteries.  Find foods that say 0% Trans Fats, and eat other fatty foods.  HDL is the good cholesterol and improves blood flow.  Look up foods that raise your HDL levels to help your heart!

Image result for sitting2) Don't sit too long. 

Studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time is harmful to your health.  Of 800,000 observed people, the people who sat the most had a 147% increase in cardiovascular problems and a 90% increase in death.  So what can you do to reduce your chances of risk? Experts say 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week will drastically reduce health risks, also investing in a standing desk or taking short walks throughout the work day will also help.

3) Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. 

Image result for dental hygieneNow this one most people wouldn't think to associate with Heart Health, but poor dental hygiene breeds bacteria in your mouth, and that bacteria can move into the blood stream and increase your chances for heart disease and stroke! Always floss and brush your teeth daily to combat gum disease.

4) Proper Sleep.

Image result for sleepWe all know sleep is important, but studies have shown us that of 3,000 people who get under 6 hours of sleep became about twice as likely for heart attacks and strokes.  Not sleeping interrupts your bodies natural processes and can lead to heart problems.  Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and see a sleep specialist if you are having troubles like insomnia or apnea.

Image result for smoking5) Avoid Smoking and 2nd Hand Smoking.

It's no secret that tobacco products lead to many conditions like heart failure, lung cancer, and many more.  However, did you know that 2nd hand smoke is just as harmful to you?  Exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to 34,000 heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths. Avoid smoking areas, and make sure to let your smoking families and friends know not to smoke around you.  If you personally smoke, then there are many methods available to quit, nicotine patches, gum, and E-cigarettes/Vape mods are far cleaner options for your body to help wean you off of harmful tobacco products.

Friday, February 1, 2019


As life goes on we all continue to age, but aging shouldn't be something that defines who we are.  They always say "age is just a number" and in a sense that is true, we shouldn't hinder ourselves because we're "getting old" but we should also be aware that our limits are changing.  That we should enjoy life as much as possible but don't go overboard and hurt yourself.  Our society, and many societies for that matter, view aging as growing weak and frail, waiting for the inevitable.  Ageism has even grown to the point where it affects our choices in the medical field; for example: if someone has a stroke in their 40s, the family will fight tooth and nail, getting as much medical care as possible to return them back to their highest function as possible.  Now, if someone in their 70s has a stroke, the family tends to focus on getting care to help them cope with their new conditions, rather than treat them.  Ageism also affects how a family will interact as well, as someone gets older, families feel that they need to help out more and a couple case studies showed that some elderly lost their independence because of their family over assisting around the house.  Rather than absorbing all responsibility, caregivers need to learn to share responsibility with their loved ones, helping out where they are truly needed, and promoting independence where possible because as we get older we gradually become less able to do things, but that doesn't mean we need to lose our independence all at once.  Don't let ageism define you, but don't let pride keep you from receiving the help you need.  There is no shame in admitting you need help in something you could do before, in fact it takes a strong person to admit they need help.

In other news! We are still doing our Evening Support Groups.  This coming tuesday will be the First Tuesday of February, so call us at 251-445-4204 to RSVP.  We hold our Support Groups every 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm over at Volunteers of America Southeast! 1204 Hillcrest Rd, Mobile, AL 36609