Thanksgiving is also National Family Health History Day – Do you know the medical history of your relatives?

family-photo-827763_640When the U.S. Surgeon General declared in 2004 that National Family Health History Day would fall on Thanksgiving each year, he was acknowledging the importance of knowing your family health history. You and your family share genes, culture, behaviors, and environments – all of which can have an impact on your health. When you know that information and share it with your doctor, he or she can make more informed choices for how to personalize your health screenings and treatment. Thanksgiving can be a great time to talk with your family about how your health is related, so you can give your doctor the best information possible. Continue reading

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Join the Great American Smokeout Thursday, Nov. 16 – We can help you QuitNow!

GASO_button_3_URLThis Thursday, Nov. 16, is the Great American Smokeout, the day each year when smokers are encouraged to make a plan to quit. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, but about 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Continue reading

National Diabetes Month: Here’s help finding out if you have it & how to manage it

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Diabetes is a huge health problem for so many here in Idaho: Nearly 600,000 Idaho adults have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The American Diabetes Association reports that around 8 million Americans have diabetes and many don’t know it. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to learn what you can do to prevent the disease or get help managing it. Continue reading

Detect to protect: Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

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With the onset of colder weather across Idaho, we’re going to be using heating systems, hot water heaters, car heaters, portable outdoor heaters and other gas, oil or wood-burning appliances that emit potentially deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Because carbon monoxide can build up in enclosed and even partially enclosed places, it’s a good time to talk about carbon monoxide poisoning and steps you can take to avoid it. Continue reading

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What’s your plan for early detection?

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One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes, so there is a good chance this disease will affect you or someone you love. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. More than 230,000 women and 2,100 men will be diagnosed with the disease this year nationally, and more than 41,000 women and 465 men will die from it. In Idaho, more than 1,000 new cases will be diagnosed, and almost 200 people will die from it. So it’s a good time to talk with your doctor about your options. Continue reading

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Know the warning signs

physical_abuseEach day in Idaho alone, more than 500 victims and their children seek safety and services from community-based domestic violence programs. Between 2007 and 2012, 35,270 domestic violence incidents were reported to Idaho law enforcement, almost one-third of violent crime reported statewide. Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s a great time to learn how to recognize and stop the cycle of violence. Continue reading

Flu season has arrived in Idaho – Get your annual vaccination by end of October!

Flu ShotsWe at the Department of Health and Welfare have started tracking flu season, and you know what that means — it’s time to get the annual flu vaccine. We have had some indications that the season may hit us earlier this year than in recent years, so don’t delay. Flu season can last from October to May, and it typically peaks anytime between December and March. Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from what can be a serious infection, even for otherwise healthy people. Continue reading