1. Reasons You Might Visit A Health Center This Winter

    As the weather cools down here in Rawlins County, we’re keeping plenty busy at the Health Center. During this chilly season, our health center sees a large increase in specific kinds of accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Curious as to what brings our patients to a health center in the winter? Take a look at these common reasons.

    Slips, Trips, and Falls

    Yes, one of the most common causes of injury during the winter is from falling, tripping, or slipping. We get more than our fair share of icy covered walkways and roads here in Atwood. Add the fact that it gets darker earlier in the winter, and it makes it hard to pick out icy spots while you’re out walking the dog in the evening. While a simple fall may not sound like much, it can have serious effects in some cases. More than just sprained ankles, you can injure your back, hit your head, or dislocate a joint if you land awkwardly. To avoid slipping this winter, we suggest wearing footwear with an aggressively textured sole, traction devices, or thoroughly deicing the walkways around your home. Wearing a headlamp at night is also a great safety measure.

    We also see a lot of fall injuries resulting from people hanging holiday lights. It should go without saying that you should always have someone at the base of the ladder to spot you while you’re working on hanging the lights. This helps to keep the ladder stable, and in the event of a fall, you have someone to get you help right away.

    Muscle Problems

    When the weather gets colder, some of us begin to limit our activities, or we change which activities we do. As a result, muscle injuries are very common during the winter, and they often occur in response to seemingly mundane activities. We frequently have patients come in who have thrown out their back while shoveling their driveways and scraping ice off of their windshields.

    Muscle injuries are the result of sudden, violent, or twisting motions that you’re not used to making. We encourage you to be cautious in how you move this winter. If something aches when you move a certain way, that’s a good sign to stop making that motion and to meet with a doctor.

    Burn Injuries

    As snow drifts past our windows, we all love to curl up inside and enjoy a warm beverage or a fire in our stove. While this might be a timeless part of our winter activities, it’s also a source of injuries. We see an increase in the number of burn injuries in winter because people are trying to stay warm. For instance, someone might be boiling some water on the stove to make some tea, and accidentally pour the boiling liquid on their hands. Others might nonchalantly rest their hand on their burning wood stove, forgetting they just put a new log on the fire.

    Be aware of heat sources this winter. Give stoves and fireplaces a wide berth, and be careful when you’re handling hot water or dishes right out of the oven. Should you experience a minor burn, you can treat it with cold water and a little burn relief cream. For more serious burns, it’s best if you come to see us at our medical center.

    Colds, Flu, and Illnesses

    With the cold weather comes cold symptoms. Snuffy noses, puffy eyes, and ragged coughs are all signs that winter has arrived. If your cold or flu symptoms seem to worsen with time, and over-the-counter medications aren’t doing their part in helping, you’ll want to take time to visit our health center and clinic. In addition to the flu and colds, we see other common illnesses like strep throat during the winter months.

    We encourage everyone to get a flu shot at the beginning of the fall season, but in some cases, that may not be enough. You should be diligent about washing your hands throughout the day, using tissues, and keep hand sanitizer nearby after sneezing. 

    Visit Your Health Center in Atwood Today

    Rawlins County Health Center is a cornerstone of northwest Kansas. We offer all of the medical services you need to enjoy your life to the fullest. Whether you’ve got a nasty cold or you’re in need of a routine medical checkup, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment and visit us today.

  2. Preparing for the Back to School Plague

    Just like that, summer has come and gone and school is about to be back in session. Something that all parents are very familiar with is the back to school plague that comes back every year. If you have little ones going back to school this month, taking every precaution you can to avoid the back to school plague is a must. Keep reading for a few tips from the team at Rawlins County Health Center. 

    Sneezing & Coughing Hygiene

    Over the course of a year, your child is inevitably going to sneeze or cough more than a few times. This is also one of the easiest ways for colds and coughs to get passed around a classroom. For that reason, you should definitely sit down with your child before school starts and go over proper hygiene for when they cough or sneeze. A great way to make sure that they understand is by practicing with them so that they’re fully prepared for when they start school.

    Washing Hands

    There’s no doubt about it, washing hands can drastically affect the likelihood of your child getting sick while at school. Hand washing is another thing that you can spend some time practicing to ensure they know how to thoroughly wash their hands before eating and after playing with other children. This is something that they’re going to need to know how to do for the rest of their life, so ensuring that they know the importance of washing their hands, recognizing when it needs to happen, and are confident in their ability to thoroughly wash their hands is never a bad thing. 

    Wipe Down School Supplies

    There are certain items that your child is going to take to and from school on a regular basis. In most cases, these are the items that they’re going to be using on a regular basis while at school. Whether it’s an item that only they are using or something that they’re sharing with others, taking some time to wipe down their school supplies once a week or every couple of days can definitely help reduce the number of germs that they’re bringing home. 

    Recognize When to Stay Home

    Missing a day of school may seem like a big deal, but sending your child to school when they’re sick can do so much more damage than good. If you notice that your child is showing signs of sickness or they have a fever, call the school and take them out for the day. You can get homework for them or ask the teacher what they missed, but a simple day off can give their body the time it needs to recover and can minimize the chances of the illness spreading.

    Contact Our Team

    Rawlins County Health Center is dedicated to providing the Atwood area with the medical guidance and care that they need. From physical therapy and diagnostic testing to family medicine and emergency care, we have got you covered. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.

  3. Nutrition Tips For Diabetics

    When diagnosed with diabetes, it can be a life-altering change. One of the biggest changes may be to your diet and how you think about food. However, with a proper plan and diet, and by eating healthily, you can begin to control symptoms and start to get your life back. At Rawlins County Health Center, our staff wants to ensure that you live your healthiest life.

    The purpose of creating a nutrition plan to manage your diabetes is to help control your sugar intake. This will also help you manage your weight and other factors, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Without the proper diet, there could be complications from the rise in blood glucose, including nerve, kidney, and heart damage. In order to prevent these from occurring, a healthy diet is a primary defense.

    Medical Center AtwoodHealthy Foods For People With Diabetes

    Healthy Carbohydrates

    When you consume simple carbohydrates and starches, these break down into blood glucose. Avoid processed bread and instead focus on eating fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, and low-fat dairy products.

    Foods High in Fiber

    A benefit of fiber-rich foods is that they control how your body digests and slows the absorption of sugar. Include foods with insoluble like beans, whole wheat flour, broccoli, pears, chickpeas, and many other fruits and vegetables.

    Heart Healthy Foods

    Certain fish will help lower blood fats, known as triglycerides. Look for fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, cod, tuna, and halibut. Other heart-healthy foods include spinach, oatmeal, berries, nuts, tomatoes, and dark chocolate.

    Healthy Fats

    You want to include the healthy fats, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These include foods like avocados, almonds, pecans, olives, and olive oil. However, be mindful of how much you consume of these foods, as they are often high in calories.

    Medical Center AtwoodTips For Eating Nutritiously

    • Eat More Vegetables: When putting meals together, fill your place with appropriate amounts of certain foods. Fill one half of the plate with vegetables, such as spinach or broccoli. One-quarter of the plate should be filled with a low-fat protein like fish or pork. Finish the plate off with a whole grain.
    • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates have one of the biggest effects on blood glucose, so be sure to eat carbs at the same time each day, especially if you are taking medication or insulin.
    • Exchange List Method: One method for finding healthy foods to eat is the exchange list. These lists include foods within certain categories, such as protein. The foods within the same category have similar effects on your blood glucose, so you can choose one food from each category.
    • Glycemic Index: When choosing healthy foods to eat, some diabetics use this method to help. Essentially, this method lets you choose foods based on how they affect glucose levels. Talk with your doctor at Rawlins County Health Center to learn more about this strategy.

    We understand that living with and managing diabetes can be frustrating and overwhelming, but we also know the importance of having a healthy diet and lifestyle. It may be a slow start to find a routine that works for you, but with the right help and guidance from the staff at our medical center, you will begin to feel healthy and positive.

    Learn more about the diabetes treatment at our medical center and schedule an appointment today.

  4. Best Ways to Protect Your Heart

    Your heart starts beating at around three to four weeks in the womb and keeps you moving throughout your life, when all goes well. And for many of us, we only get one heart, making it crucial to protect it. With so many heart-related diseases (coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, etc), and health issues that can harm the heart (blood pressure, high cholesterol), we need to do everything we can in order to keep our hearts healthy and pumping strong. So, what are the best ways to protect your heart?

    The doctors, nurses, and assistants at Rawlins County Health Center are passionate about educating each of the patients that visit our medical center in Atwood. Whatever health concern or emergency you’re having, you can count on our staff to provide you with a caring experience.

    How to Protect Your Heart

    Medical Center AtwoodStay Active

    For many people, getting and staying active comes down to not having the energy and lacking the motivation to start. These are big hurdles that will take a lot of mental strength to cross, but when the end goal is to improve the strength of your heart and your overall health, crossing the hurdles is a must. The key is to start out small — take the stairs at work, go on a short walk, swim a couple laps at a pool, or even doing some jumping jacks in your living room in the morning is enough to get your heart pumping. Over time, you can slowly build up the intensity of the activities.

    Getting in two and a half hours each week of moderate activity will help lower your blood pressure, keep your weight in control, and can lower your LDL cholesterol. You’ll also benefit by a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced depression, and improved sleep. So however hard you struggle getting started, keep your focus on feeling and living better!

    Control Cholesterol by Eating Right

    The important thing about cholesterol is to keep a balance between the good (HDL) and the bad (LDL). To keep the bad cholesterol down, keep an eye on the amount of red meats you’re eating, choose low-fat dairy, and try to limit trans fats, such as margarine, doughnuts, sweets with cream or frosting, and fried foods. The good cholesterol (foods such as salmon, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, and beans) works to clean your arteries of the bad cholesterol. If you’re not sure what your cholesterol level is, schedule an appointment at our medical center for a quick test.

    Medical Center AtwoodManage Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure, or hypertension, often doesn’t have any symptoms, and can be a serious problem for your heart. This is because there is a large amount of stress being put on your arteries, which is caused by various factors, including being overweight, too much salt in your diet, smoking, or stress. Manage your blood pressure by eating a balanced diet with minimal salt and alcohol, and start exercising regularly.

    Keep a Healthy Weight

    Weight management is a significant part of protecting your heart. Those who are overweight have a higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot to get results. Losing just 3 to 5 percent of your body weight can help your heart.

    Getting and staying healthy is a journey, but one that ends with a healthier, stronger heart! The doctors at our medical center strongly believe that every ounce of effort is worth it. If you’re in need of medical attention or advice, visit Rawlins County Health Center today. Our medical center is located at the east corner of Atwood Lake off of Grant Street.