De­cem­ber aware­ness high­lights


Each month has spe­cial des­ig­na­tions. Some are more well-known than oth­ers. While there are also many high­lights to which we should per­haps pay spe­cial at­ten­tion. Through­out De­cem­ber we may see more ads, read more ar­ti­cles or hear lots of in­for­ma­tion about both Coli­tis and Crohn’s dis­ease. Both of these is­sues are con­di­tions that im­pact our colon. Sadly, no one likes to talk about our colon or bow­els, or things like di­ar­rhea. How­ever, these are se­ri­ous con­di­tions that can make life very un­com­fort­able. These are is­sues that need to be dis­cussed with your pri­mary care physi­cian and per­haps with a spe­cial­ist if they are on­go­ing and need spe­cial treat­ment. Both are treat­able!

World AIDS Day was cel­e­brated on De­cem­ber 1. Again, few peo­ple are will- ing to dis­cuss “AIDS.” It is of­ten a deadly dis­ease that is of­ten mis­un­der­stood. It can de­velop from bad be­hav­iors like drug ad­dic­tion. How­ever, it can also de­velop af­ter some­one re­ceives a blood trans­fu­sion and months down the road it is found that the blood was in­fected. (Note: Test­ing to pre­vent this has greatly im­proved). Peo­ple how­ever are un­will­ing to dis­cuss this con­ta­gious and of­ten deadly dis­ease.

Flu sea­son is here and was re­cently dis­cussed in last week’s ar­ti­cle. Toy safety is an­other huge med­i­cal is­sue this month with the com­ing hol­i­days and all the gift buy­ing. Be sure to buy age ap­pro­pri­ate toys. Read the box/la­bel to see if the toy has passed a US In­spec­tion to en­sure it is safe, es­pe­cially when be­ing im­ported from places like China.

The big­gest and per­haps most im­por­tant health safety is­sue high­lighted in De­cem­ber is hand­wash­ing. Yes, I’ve writ­ten about this be­fore. It is one of the eas­i­est and yet one of the most ef­fec­tive ways to stop the spread of dis­eases in­clud­ing in­fluenza (flu). When vis­it­ing the hospi­tals, it is im­por­tant to use the hand san­i­tizer when you en­ter to elim­i­nate bring­ing germs into the hos­pi­tal. It is also im­por­tant to use the hand san­i­tizer when leav­ing to in­sure you don’t take any­thing home with you. This is also true when vis­it­ing any health care provider.

And per­haps the rule of al­ways wash­ing our hands when us­ing the bath­room as well as be­fore and af­ter eat­ing a meal are good prac­tices that should be con­tin­ued on a daily ba­sis to help our own bod­ies as well as all those around us.

Let’s have a very happy, healthy and safe hol­i­day sea­son!

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