Categories
Health Wellness

The health benefits of Gratitude

Most of us are aware of the many factors which can impact our health, both in a positive and negative way.  From nutrition to exercise/fitness habits, to smoking and the use of alcohol, to our overall health maintenance and prevention.  However, perhaps one of the biggest impacts on our overall health is our mindset, what and how we think, and our overall attitude.  Gratitude, the “quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness” is not something most of us think can impact our health, but studies show our overall mindset and emotional wellbeing can play a huge role in a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

We all deal with stress and difficult situations daily and being thankful and appreciative for the challenges life presents us is not how most of us cope with such challenges.  Furthermore, when we are faced with a new medical diagnosis, be it diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or high blood pressure most of us do not view this diagnosis as something to be grateful or appreciative of.  However, our attitude and mindset can have an impact on how our bodies adjust and cope with such medical challenges.  

Anger, resentment, frustration, hostility, and blaming can have negative impacts on our overall health.  They can increase our blood pressure and heart rate, affect our sleep and quality of rest, and can also lead to stress and issues with our home life all of which can cause negative health consequences.  When we consistently focus our energies on the negative in life and have a negative attitude, ultimately it can impact our health and wellbeing.  When our hearts and minds are full of resentment and anger it has the potential to make our underlying diagnoses and disease management much more difficult, all of which can affect the long-term consequences.

Thus, it is imperative we are aware of how we think and view life and its challenges daily.  When we are hopeful, when we have a good attitude despite the pain and suffering life can deal us, and when we can avoid being resentful and blaming it can help our overall health in the long term.  Having such outlooks when faced with scary and unknown health issues is not an easy feat for any of us.  However, we need to try to focus on the positives and maintain a hopeful attitude during these times.  Having such outlooks can improve our overall sleep patterns and eating habits and help avoid depression and anxiety and their negative impacts.  Positive thinking impacts those around us including our families which can improve our support structures and home life all of which can ultimately have a positive effect on our management of chronic health issues.  If you are a religious or spiritual person, relying on our faith and leaning on our church family can improve our overall perspective and ultimately have positive health consequences.

So, it is important to be aware of how our attitudes and thoughts can impact our overall health. Trying to be grateful and gracious in the face of challenge and uncertainty will make us happier and more hopeful.  If we can focus on thinking positive and having a good attitude, it not only will it make our lives more palatable for ourselves and those around us, it could very well lead to overall improved health and disease management, all of which could lead to a longer, more fruitful life.  

I challenge each of you to find something positive every day and to find something daily to be grateful for.  It can be as small as being thankful you have food to eat or a home to live in.  It does not have to involve something monumental when focusing on our gratefulness.  But focusing on such positives will, in the end, lead to improved overall health and happiness.

Dr. Trisha Dippery Trusted Medical ER Uptown

Dr. Trisha Dipprey
Trusted ER Uptown
Medical Director

Categories
Nutrition Wellness

Food Insecurity and Hunger: Trusted Medical Food Drive and “Little Food Pantry” Program

In 2018, an estimated 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. At Trusted Medical, there has been an increased effort to meet the needs of the communities we serve. We have called upon our amazing team in collaboration with “Little Free Pantry” to provide innovative solutions that help fight hunger and get food to community members who are vulnerable during this new and challenging time.

Trusted ER has installed a “Little Food Pantry” at several locations in order to help neighbors in need.

Many households have seen a change in access to food, a reduction in income or have new obstacles of feeding family members. While most people are spending more time at home; many businesses have had to make the highly impactful and hard choice to close their doors. In light of this some people are finding themselves unable to provide for their families while many others are limited to sparse inventory at their local grocery stores. Although many people have an income that is considered to be below poverty level, there is a vast number of people who do not qualify for food assistance programs. Even one “off” month can take a household from stable to unstable as far as food security goes.

city man person people
Food insecurity can affect those who we least expect.

Helping Fight Hunger

Trusted has partnered with “Little Free Pantry” to provide a free resource for the community to fill emerging gaps in food security. Trusted has installed one little free pantry at our Coppell location and one at our Mansfield location, for which we are collecting non-perishable food donations until November 20th, 2020. These pantries are located in a discrete, yet well lit, location on the outside of the facilities and are meant to serve our community in a way that promotes both the giving and receiving of assistance. The pantries are stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, and hygiene items. Our motto for these pantries is “take what you need and leave what you don’t.”

Our Little Food Pantry locations are stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, and hygiene items.

Trusted Medical Centers has always been committed to serving our communities and its members in any way we can. We are so proud of the communities we serve and want to give back in a way that reaches far beyond food assistance. We hope that these new resources provide added peace of mind to our patients and neighbors in a time of uncertainty.

Sarah Wilcox Registered Dietician Trusted Medical
Sarah Wilcox
MS RD LD,
Director of Food and Clinical Nutrition Services
Trusted Medical
Categories
Wellness

How to avoid Election Day Stress

So what is the most stressful holiday of the upcoming season?  Halloween with all those costumes to assemble, candy to tempt, and fears that Pennywise might drag you down into the sewer?  Or is it Thanksgiving, with the anticipation and dread we feel when we contemplate the upcoming gluttony and hours of travel to see relatives we don’t really like as much as much as we should?  Or perhaps it is Christmas, with the office parties to attend, decorations to put up (and then take down), and gifts to locate, buy and then worry about paying for?

Yep…Each of those holidays comes with its own stress.  But the most stressful “holiday” is none of these in 2020.

The most stressful “holiday” is Election Day.

With roughly half of the country convinced that we are heading into a bottomless pit of evil if you don’t vote for the their candidate, the other half of the country already suffering from electioneering burnout, and the mainstream media squawking about a possible Constitutional crisis regardless of the outcome, the stress is already building.

So how do we avoid it?

First, I would say VOTE — as early as you can, if possible, and take the entire household with you.  Because not only will this allow you to exercise your cherished right under the Constitution, but it will immediately take you out of the rat-race.  Are getting a phone call from a pollster?  “Too late, I already voted”  Social media asking for a donation?  “Too late, I already voted”  Canvasser at your front door?  “Too late, I already voted”  Coworker needling you about who you are going to vote for?  “Too late, I already voted”

Think of it as getting into a cold pool…It’s best to just jump in, get it over with, get out, and dry off.

So voting may help remove you from the personal stress of Election Day.  But what about all the noise that surrounds this “holiday”?  The constant political clatter can be the worst part sometimes…

As an Emergency Medicine physician of over 30 years (and father of two teenagers) I have found that there are some basic steps we can all take to avoid external stressors over which we have little or no control — like politics and Election Day.

  1. Put the stress out of your mind.  Compartmentalize it, so you don’t think about it again and again.  In this case, avoid all political discussions.  Just smile, nod, and talk about how much you like the cooler Fall temperatures or how you hope the Cowboys make it to the playoffs.  If you are confronted by someone more insistent, just resort to your standby:  “Too late, I already voted”
  2. Remove the stressor from the environment.  In this case, turn off the news (especially TV news) and avoid any social media sites which cover politics.  Do you REALLY need to know the latest polling numbers from Hamilton County, Ohio, or what percentage of suburban women in Wisconsin are planning to vote?  Watch HGTV or old Star Trek reruns, instead.
  3. Avoid triggers.  If you hear “Orange Man bad!” or “Biden is a Communist”, run away!  Maybe you agree, but if it stresses you out, it just is not worth getting worked up about it.  Remember…you already voted.
  4. Share the love.  Make it a point to participate in non-political social events.  Call your friends and family, go out to dinner, play with your kids — anything to share the company of others.  But with one rule: NO POLITICS

Remember folks…Stress kills.  Political stress kills faster.  Avoid it as best you can.

May the best candidates win!

Dr Scott Jones Trusted ER Colleyville

Dr. Scott J. Jones is Chief Medical Officer of Trusted ER and an admitted political junkie since he was five years old — but he is trying to reform.  While he is usually willing to share his political views with anyone who will listen, this holiday season it will cost you a slice of pumpkin pie and maybe a sip of Kahlua.

Categories
Wellness

Pharmacyspeak 101: What You Should Know About the Meds You Take

Pharmacyspeak 101: What You Should Know About the Meds You Take

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Chances are, if you visit a hospital, emergency room, or family doctor’s office for an injury or illness, you’ll be prescribed a medication to either relieve your symptoms, clear an infection, or remedy some dysfunction.

There are thousands of ways to classify medications. It’s quite a chaotic system because of the sheer number of drugs and categories. But at Trusted ER, our emergency physicians always plainly explain what a medication does and why we’re using it. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of a few common categories of medication — ones that you may come into contact with if you visit an ER. 

How medications are classified

Part of the reason that drug classification is chaotic is that there’s more than one way to organize drugs. We classify drugs in the following ways: 

  • By their use (what condition they treat, e.g., an ACE inhibitor treats high blood pressure)
  • By their mechanism of action (biochemical reactions that take place when you take the medication, e.g., slows the activity of the ACE enzyme)
  • By their mode of action (how your body responds to the drug, e.g., your blood vessels relax and your blood pressure decreases).  
  • By their chemical structure (what the drug is made of)

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) established a drug classification system where they categorize medication first by their use, then by categorization of mechanism and mode of action, and finally, by chemical makeup. There are other classification systems, but the USP system is most useful to consumers. 

Common classifications of medications

Below are several groups of drugs that you may be prescribed after a visit to the emergency room, or that you might be given during an ER visit. Keep in mind that these aren’t all of the categories designated by the USP (there are nearly 50), but these are common. 

Analgesics: These are pain medications, including both opioids and non-opioids. These may act on substances in the body that cause pain, interrupt pain signals to your brain, relieve inflammation, or work by some other mechanism. 

Anesthetics: These medications block the sensation of pain and other feelings, such as discomfort or anxiety. We usually use these so that we can perform surgery or other treatments. Anesthetics may be local to a pain or surgery site or general, of which the aim is usually partial or complete unconsciousness. You may be given anesthetics orally, as an injection, via inhalation, or as a topical salve. 

Anti-inflammatory agents: This most often refers to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Tylenol® and Ibuprofen. These drugs primarily reduce pain, lower inflammation, and reduce fevers. Another conventional anti-inflammatory medication is a COX-2 inhibitor, which reduces the activity of certain compounds that irritate your body.

Antibiotics: This is a large class of medications that intends to treat bacterial infections of all kinds, from urinary tract infections to upper respiratory infections to pink eye. There’s no single antibiotic that can cure all infections, and it’s sometimes a tricky game figuring out which antibiotic will work best (based on your condition, medical history, antibiotic resistance, and more).

Antivirals: Antiviral drugs, such as the common Tamiflu for influenza, work by interfering with the virus. It’s important to know that antivirals don’t kill the virus, but they do keep it from spreading within your body. They may also help manage symptoms while your body fights off the virus. 

To learn more about medications and how we use them, visit our pharmacy FAQ pageTrusted ER is a 24-hour independent emergency room — call one of our convenient Texas locations for more information.