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Did You Know that Diabetes is the leading cause of amputation of the lower limbs. Up to ½ of these amputations might be prevented through simple but effective foot care practices and even more through control of your diabetes. Take care of your Body—it's the only one that God gave you.

The normal range of blood sugar is about 70 – 120, but some medications can result in rapid drops in sugar and produce symptoms of hypoglycemia. What is your blood sugar level ?

Did you know that people with diabetes often do not have symptoms, even when their blood sugar levels are high. See your physician about your risk for diabetes and be screened on a yearly basis.

Did you know that over 16 million Americans have diabetes? AA women have the highest rates in the country and most could be prevented. The most serious complications of diabetes, which include eye, kidney, and nerve damage, can all be delayed or prevented with proper care.

Did you know that cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the blood. HDL is known as GOOD cholesterol because HDL helps clear LDL cholesterol, which can clog blood vessels. Generally, the higher the HDL level, the better. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase HDL.

Did you know that there is no such thing as “borderline” diabetes? Most often, patients with borderline sugars have real diabetes. Impaired glucose tolerance refers to people who have high blood sugars who do not meet the criteria for diabetes. Impaired glucose tolerance may precede diabetes. Know your level, preventive medicine is the BEST medicine.

High fiber is good not just for constipation and hemorrhoids. Fiber such as wheat or oat bran may be helpful against diabetes, may lower cholesterol, and may even reduce the risk for heart disease and cancers. Talk with your healthcare provider about improving the fiber content in your diet.

Did you know that over 1.5 million AA have been diagnosed with diabetes? This is almost four times the number known to have had diabetes in 1968. About 730,000 AA have diabetes but do not know they have the disease. Identifying these undiagnosed cases and providing clinical care for their diabetes is a major challenge for the healthcare community. Take charge of your health—get tested for diabetes today.

Did you know that most people think they just lose a lot of weight to reduce health problems; just a slight loss can greatly benefit a person's health. Overweight women who lost 10 to 25 pounds will decrease their risk of many diseases by 50 percent and will increase their energy level and stamina. Therefore you can lose a little but gain a lot! The best way to start that diet tomorrow is to begin today, Why wait you have a lot to lose?

Being prepared can help your doctor help you. Prepare for your physician visit with questions about your treatment, and medications. Request a yearly full physical exam and be honest with him or her about any of your health concerns. We don't know if YOU don't tell--- and after all it's YOUR health.

Did you know that the hemoglobin A1c test is the best measure for determining long-term sugar control? Hemoglobin A1c can be checked every 3 months to determing how well you are controlling your sugars. In general, the target for hemoglobin A1c is 7, but talk to your doctor about YOUR individual goals.

Think that you don't have time for exercise? Here are a few tips—hide the remote, stand or walk instead of sitting, stand up at your desk and do mild exercise while on hold, Skip the elevator, take the stairs, walk the mall, park your car in the furthest space and take those extra step. Every little bit helps you keep healthy.

If you have a known allergy, and notice any of the following contact your physician: Wheezing, congestion of the chest severe enough to make breathing difficult, your attack is not responding to medications and welts that spring up in response to exposure to an allergen—also known as hives. Don't take your allergies lightly as they could be life threatening.

Angina is defined as chest pain that result from a decrease in the supply of blood to your heart. Angina is often as symptom of heart disease and if you experience the following contact your physician : more chest pain with exercise, chest pain at rest and/or pain that is worse with minimal exertion. And a sudden attack with shortness of breath.

Did you know that Arthritis may be the oldest known ailment on earth. There is no one magic food or diet that is going to do away with the arthritic pain. However, if you are overweight and you lose weight it will reduce a significant amthe amount of stress and pain that you feel in your spinal column, knees, hips, ankles and feet. Work with your doctor to find a diet that works for you and stick with it. Lose weight and gain relief—arthritis does not have to keep you down.

Does your asthma kick in about the sixth block of your daily jog? When physically working hard, do you suddenly find yourself an unchecked fungal infection can lead to gasping for air? If you do you may be experiencing exercise-induced asthma. To reduce your attacks : open your stride, not your mouth, swim to dampen your asthma, give yourself a breather-take a brief rest, and pack your asthma medicine in your gym bag. See your physician regularly and take a deep, relaxing breath.

Did you know that Athlete's foot will not go away on it's own ? An unchecked fungal infection can lead to crack skin the skin and invite a nasty bacterial infection. Consult your physician if: the inflammation on your feet becomes worse, swelling occurs in the foot or the leg at any time and you develop a fever and finally pus appears in the blisters or the cracked skin.

When does your back need medical backup? When you experience any of the following: back pain that comes on suddenly for no apparent reason, back pain that is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, stomach cramps, chest pain or difficulty breathing, an acute attack that lasts for more than two or three days without any pain relief, chronic pain that lasts more than two weeks without relief and back pain that radiates down your leg to your knee or foot. Take care of your back—it's the only one that you have.

Did you that for some people, low blood pressure (hypotension). They may experience a dizzy spell—or even faint—it they stand up to fast. A number of reasons including medications, alcohol, and over the counter products can cause hypotension.

Did you know that bad breath may mean major trouble? Persistent bad breath doesn't mean you eat too many onions. Bad breath may be a sign of major gum disease; some diseases that can also cause bad breath include cancer, tuberculosis, syphilis, dehydration and zinc deficiency. Some drugs can cause bad breath as well.

Did you know that any bite could develop complications? Stay alert for these potential problems: Infection, crush injury, rabies, rocky mountain spotted fever, and lyme disease. Keep an eye on your skin and your children's skin.

There are four major symptoms that should send anyone with a bladder infection (whether it's the first or the fifth, it does not matter) to the doctor. 1. blood in the urine 2. Pain in the lower back or flank 3. fever and 4. nausea and vomiting.

Did you know that if left untreated, blood pressure tends to rise slowly and steadily over a number of years. Sometimes, however a very high blood pressure develops quite suddenly, such a sharp increase could signal the onset of malignant hypertension. This is a very serious medical condition and must be treated immediately, if left untreated it can be fatal within six months.

Did you know that a virus causes most bronchitis and most will go away by itself in a week or two? Although you have to take its course there are things you can do to breath easier while you have it including Stop smoking, avoid passive smoking, drink plenty of fluids, and breath in warm, moist air.

Bronchitis requires a doctor's attention when: Your cough is getting worse, not better after a week, you have a fever or are coughing up blood, you are older and get a hacking cough on top of another illness or you are short of breath and have a very profuse cough.

Did you know that if you find you're bruising easily and can't figure out the cause, you should talk to your doctor about it. Sometimes bruises are a sign of an illness. Some disorders of the blood can cause unexplained bruises.

Did you know that you can treat most first and second degree burns yourself? But third degree burns need medical attention. First degree burns like most sunburns and scalds are red and painful. Second degree burns including severe sunburns or burns or burns caused by brief contact with oven coils, blisters, ooze and are painful. All burns on the face, hands, feet, pelvic and public areas or in the eyes and any burn that you feel uncertain about the degree should all be seen by a healthcare provider.

Did you know that more than 18 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches? Seventy percent of migraine sufferers are female. Typically migraines bring severe, one-sided throbbing pain often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and perhaps tremor and dizziness. Some people also experience premigraine warning symptoms including blurred vision, “floating” visual images and numbness in an arm or leg. Do you suffer with migraines, do you know?

If you are experiencing heartburn regularly for no apparent reason, it's time to call your doctor. How regularly? The rule of thumb is two to three times a week for more than four weeks. Most heartburn is caused by acid reflux, however it can also be a sign of an ulcer. Know that heartburn caused by simple acid reflux is normally worse after meals. If your heartburn worsens before meals, it may be a sign of an ulcer.

Did you know that intermittent claudication is a chronic pain experienced in the calf when walking and affects more than 1 million people over the age of 50 in the US every year. Though a painful and serious condition in its own right, intermittent claudication is really the symptom of a larger, more serious problem—peripheral vascular disease. See your doctor for more information and evaluation.

People often become quite worried when told they have phlebitis, believing that clots may break loose and cause death. This is rarely the case, although phlebitis can develop into life-threatening infection if left untreated. If the symptoms of phlebitis which are pain, redness, tenderness, itching and swelling are accompanied by a fever and they do not clear up in a week or so, see your physician—it could be a sign of infection. Your doctor can clear it up with antibiotics.

Did you know that about 15 percent of the 120 million Americans who are allergic to poison oak and poison ivy are so highly sensitive they break out in a rash and begin to swell in 4 to 12 hours instead of the normal 24 to 48. Their eyes may swell shut and blisters may erupt on their skin. This is one of the few true emergencies in dermatology.

Sharp, burning pain crackles like static along a nerve route in your body. Angry red blisters rise from the pain site several days later. When the bumps blister and then turn cloudy, you realize this is no ordinary rash. You probably have got shingles, a viral infection of the nerve and need medical attention.

Did you know that too much stress can directly threaten your health ? If you are experiencing dizzy spells or blackouts, rectal bleeding ( may indicate an ulcer), a racing pulse that won't stop, sweaty palms, chronic back and neck pain, chronic or severe headaches, trembling, hives, overwhelming anxiety or insomnia---you need to seek medical attention promptly.

Do you know what TMJ syndrome is and do you have it ? The temporomandibular joint is simply your jaw joint and the syndrome involves headaches, toothaches, aching neck, shoulders, or back and a clicking or popping noise when opening or closing the jaw. If the symptoms become persistent and if you can't open your mouth, can't brush your teeth, and are having sharp headaches, go see a doctor—It's a sign your TMJ is getting worse.

Did you know that much of the time an ulcer is just a literal pain in the gut. But a bleeding ulcer can become serious, even life threatening. A bleeding ulcer can drain you of enough blood to drastically lower your blood pressure, stop vital organs from functioning and can be life threatening. Be Wise to YOUR body and seek medical attention.

Fatigue may be just a signal that you need to manage your life better, or that a cold or flu is coming on. But it also can be a warning sign of serious illness. Anything that is chronic—diabetes, lung disease, anemia—will cause fatigue. Fatigue is also a symptom of many other illnesses, including hepatitis, mononucleosis, thyroid disease and cancer. Are you tired of being tired ? Call your personal physician for evaluation.

Did you know that Hearet disease is not just a man's problem. Women with diabetes are more likely to develop coronary artery disease than women without diabetes. The good news is that this risk can be reduced with improved glucose control, low-fat meal planning and cholesterol lowering medications. Be heart wise and healthy talk with your doctor about your risk factors.

Be an active partner in your health care and try to make wise decisions regarding healthy living. One good way to begin is to use your shopping cart to help your healthy food strategy. Save the cart for fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods and allow the foldout to basket only for meat and processed or added fat foods. Walk your cart back to the store when you're finished for a bit of exercise. The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step---make steps toward a healthy life.

Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S. The good news is that diabetes related kidney failure can be reduced with improved glucose control, close attention to maintaining excellent blood pressure control and early intervention for any sighs of kidney disease. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes YOU must make sure that your physician is monitoring you for early kidney disease.

Did You know that treatment for high cholesterol is crucial to avoid future trouble for those who have suffered a heart attack or have angina? Medical studies have found that people who took a cholesterol lowering medication had fewer future heart attacks and death. Persons with diabetes had even more dramatic reductions in future heart problems than those without diabetes. It is important that YOU keep control of your health and be an active partner in your healthcare—be open and honest with your physician about your health concerns.

Did you know the diabetic retinopathy is a disease caused by elevated blood sugar? High sugars result in weakening and leakage in the small blood vessels behind the eyes and can lead to blindness. The good news is that diabetic problems can be reduced with excellent diabetes control and by having at least an annual dilated eye exam with appropriate therapy. Save YOUR sigh—keep your diabetes under control and keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider.

Everyone is always promoting a low fat, heart healthy diet—but often we don't explain clearly how to achieve this goal. Foods such as fish, potatoes, vegetables and beans may have a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels. However, you reduce these positive effects when you add sour cream, butter, margarine, bacon juice, fatback or gravies to your vegetables. Use nonfat salad dressings, lemon juice or vinegar to season your veggies. Additionally microwave, stem, broil or roast meats instead of frying. Trim fat and skin from meats and poultry, brown ground meat and drain fat before adding other ingredients. Contact your physician or our office for more tips on low fat eating.

Did you know that smoking is an important risk factor for heart disease and major cancers? Smoking accelerates blood vessel problems to the legs and increases the risk for serious leg and foot problems among patients with diabetes. Talk with your doctor about new treatment options to help you break this habit. The life you save may be your own.

Do you eat out a lot ? COSHAR Medical suggests that you avoid the words: “All you can eat”. If you're going to a buffet, before you dive in: examine your choices, drink a full glass of water before eating, if a salad bar is available stock up on fresh vegetables and avoid the processed meats and egg yolks and use low fat dressings, take a smaller plate to select your food, sit far away from the buffet and take your time eating—you'll eat less. Remember that you eat to live not live to eat.

Did you know that over 5.4 million Americans are estimated to have diabetes but do not know it. Everyone with one of the following risk factors should be screened by their doctor for diabetes at least every three years. Do you know someone who: Is over 45 years old? Has a family history of diabetes ? Is 20% above recommended weight? Is AA, Hispanic, Native American or Asian ? Has delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds ? Has had gestational diabetes ? Has low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides? If you do know anyone that can answer yes to any of these question and ESPECIALLY if that person is you---make sure that you are screened for diabetes as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment is key to longterm survival.

While you're spring cleaning—don't forget your medicines. Throw out all expired insulin or those medications in your refrigerator for more than 30 days. Check your medicine cabinet for medicines that are expired and all capsules more than 2 years old. Throw out aspirin or acetaminophen if they smell like vinegar. Discard pills that are chipped, cracked, stuck together or discolored. Make a clean sweep and keep your medications fresh !

Did you know that the best exercise is also the simplest: walking. Walking is the best exercise and it doesn't need any expensive equipment. Begin slowly and build up to at least 20 minutes of additional walking each day. Physical activity not only burns calories but also lessens anxiety and improves your mood. So get to stepping !

How low can you Go? Did You know that according to the Food and Drug Administration: low fat means 3 grams or less of faat per serving, low sodium means less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving, low cholesterol means less than 20 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and low calorie means 40 calories or less per serving. Learn to be an educated consumer and read those food labels, ask your physicians for more information.

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar occurs when blood glucose levels are too low to fuel the body. This can occur when a meal is missed. If you are using insulin or diabetes pills that can result in hypoglycemia, always keep glucose tablets, juice or a snack recommended by your doctor with you at all times. Remember that it is just as dangerous to your health to have a low blood sugar as it is to have a high blood sugar.

Did you Know that the first large aspirin study was conducted with 22,000 male physicians and that there was a 44 % reduction in heart attacks. Many patients can reduce their risk of heart attack by taking one aspirin a day. However, you should discuss YOUR risk profile with your private physician and ask if aspirin should be part of your medication plan.

Hold that salt shaker ! The recommended daily salt intake for persons varies by their individual medical profile. General guidelines includee less than 2,000milligrams per day for people with high blood pressure and less than 3,000 milligrams per day for those with normal blood pressure. It is a good idea to go easy on the salt and salt containing seasonings and foods.

If you are traveling abroad this year consider the following healthy tips: Wear a medic alert bracelet if you have any serious medical conditions, consider keeping your medications on your home time zone, use bottled water if concerned about the local water, check if your health insurance covers care at your destination. It is important to find out your required vaccinations and medications as soon as you book your flight. If you do not meet your immunization requirements—you could be “grounded”. We invite you to contact COSHAR Medical for information on Luke's Travel Clinic which can help you with your travel plans.

Did you KNOW that Milk is one of the best sources of calcium, which maintains bone strength and density. Cut your fat calories in half by changing from 2 % milk to 1 % milk. The supermarket is full of lower fat choices for milk to use in drinking and cooking. Skip cream and whole milk for 1% or skim milk. Also try low fat yogurt, buttermilk and cheeses.

I have an important question for you—What is Your average blood pressure reading? If you are unable to answer this question, you are not aware of potentially devastating health dangers. Blood pressure readings that are considered “normal” is 120/80. Blood pressure control is one of the critical components to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, erectile dysfunction and a host of other potential problems. Know YOUR reading----see a physician on today.

Did you know that you can cut the fat from your diet without sacrificing taste by substituting fruit purees such as applesauce or nonfat dairy products for butter, margarine, or oil. Use half as much puree as the recipe calls for in butter. Using applesauce instead of margarine or butter can cut the fat in a brownie from7 grams to two ! Say goodbye to the old adage: A minute on the lips leaves years on the hips ! Eat tasty and Healthy foods.

Did you know that fish is good for your heart ? Men who ate fish at least once a week were at half the risk of sudden cardiac death compared to those who ate fish less than once a month according to a medical study. Try to increase the amount of fish in your diet, substituting more fish for higher fat meats. But beware—you negate the healthy effects of fish when you deep fry it and add all the fat and additional calories. Try steamed or baked fish as part of your heart healthy meals.

Did you know that you should always take extra precautions in the heat. Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunscreen. Make sure that you have plenty of water and don't overdo your physical exertion outside in the heat. Swimming, bicycling and walking are preferable to high impact exercises such as jogging. The dangers of heatstroke increase as we age---remember it's cool to keep cool.

Did you know that daily exercise can substantially decrease your cholesterol levels. Additionally, exercise is a must for any weight management program. A clove of garlic each day may lower total cholesterol by as much as 9 % and can be an adjunct, but not a substitute to low-fat meal planning and cholesterol-lowering medication.

 

www.stopobesityalliance.org
Health Facts For You

"Protecting Our Future"
The COSHAR Foundation launches a National Immunization Project which engages churches around the country in increasing immunizations and childhood vaccinations. The Foundation has developed a FREE toolkit for congregations to use and will host several events around the country. For more information or to enroll your congregation email us at
info@cosharfoundation.org



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The COSHAR Foundation's National Health Ministry network reaches a new milestone-over 10,000 churches around the country with members in every state and US Territories. The network impacts over 12 MILLION through our network and is a valuable resource that is provided at no cost to members. This unique and innovative network is indeed "Impacting the Health of the World, One Community at a Time."
(Press Release)


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The COSHAR Health Advisory Board actively serves as a resource for the Foundation's initiatives and provides ongoing expertise. The Advisory Board is composed of leaders in their respective fields and is a diverse group of healthcare professionals dedicated to the mission and objectives of The COSHAR Foundation. Several members of the healthcare advisory board also serve on the governing board of the Foundation. Additionally, there are other physicians, nurses, physician assistants, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals that are valuable members of the COSHAR volunteer network. (Advisory Board)

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Sign the
2008 Healthy
Covenants
to Live By

and PASS IT ON!

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The COSHAR Foundation joins the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) www.fightchronicdisease.org. The PFCD is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of policies and practices that save lives and reduce health costs through more effective prevention and management of chronic disease.

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The COSHAR Foundation released the 2007 edition of The Health Ministry Network Binder. The binder is FREE to all members of the COSHAR Foundation's National Health Ministry Network (NHMN) and has received an overwhelming response. The binder is a one of a kind toolkit for church and faith based health ministries and is filled with invaluable information. To request your copy, send an email to info@cosharfoundation.org
and join the NHMN which is FREE!

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The COSHAR Foundation participated in several events during World AIDS Day 2007 and continues to support increased HIV/AIDS education, testing and optimal treatment. The foundation will host several events during National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, 2008 and issues "Call to Action" to the 10,000 members of the COSHAR Foundation's National Health Ministry Network.
(NHMN)

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The "Get It Done: HIV/AIDS" Initiative continues to make an impact around the country and has extended to support international initiatives. The initiative has supported testing of over 2,210 persons around the country and provided assistance to hundreds of women living with HIV/AIDS. (Get It Done!)

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The COSHAR Foundation has completed the groundbreaking project which assessed the "Attitudes and Behavior related to Medication Adherence and Compliance" The survey has three components: Patients/Consumers, Physicians and Pastors/Clergy. The data will be reported in 2008 and is a landmark study that further demonstrates the foundation's commitment to the health of the nation.

communityhealthadvocacy.pfizer.com
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www.fightchronicdisease.org
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