Serving the Community Since 1956

Serving the Community Since 1956

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Get Screened


March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the 3rd most diagnosed cancer and the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. On average the risk is about 1 in 20, but that varies by several risk factors.

Risk factors include:

Age over 50 - colon cancer is more likely as you get older. More than 90% of people who are diagnosed are over 50 years old. The average age for diagnosis is 72.

Colon Polyps - Growths on the inner wall of the colon or rectum are called polyps. Most are benign, but some can become cancer. Finding and removing polyps can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Family history - If you have family members with  a history of colon cancer, this may increase your risk.

Other risk factors include genetics, diet and lifestyle, tobacco use, and other health conditions.

Colonoscopy Risk Quiz

Colon cancer, when discovered early is highly treatable; which is why screening is so vital. Colon cancer screening saves lives. Screening detects precancerous polyps and allows them to be removed before they turn to cancer. Screening also helps to find cancer at an early stage.

If you are 50..GET SCREENED.

Do I need a colonoscopy?

For more information on how to schedule a screening, contact MMHD.  (530)336-5511 Ext. #1179

Monday, March 30, 2015

Today is Doctor's Day

Doctors' Day ceremonies date back to March 30, 1933, when Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles Almond, celebrated the day in Winder, Georgia. Doctors' Day marks the centenary of the initial use of general anesthesia in surgical procedure.

In 1958, the United States House of Representatives assumed a pledge commemorating Doctors' Day; and in 1990 the Senate and the Congress permitted legislation establishing National Doctors Day.  The pledge designating March 30th as National Doctors' Day was signed by President George H. W. Bush on February 21, 1991. The red carnation is the symbolic flower used for this day.

Although Mayers Memorial Hospital District does not employ physicians directly, we work collaboratively with Mountain Valleys Health Centers (MVHC) to provide the medical care needed for inpatient, skilled nursing, hospice, OB and other services. Physicians are granted privileges to see their patients at MMHD.

Additionally, MMHD contracts with EmCare to provide Emergency Room physicians to provide 24/7 Emergency Care locally.

MMHD would like to thank all of our local and referring physicians for your commitment and dedication to the healthcare of our community.

Happy Doctor's Day!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Making a Healthy Grocery List

If you want to eat healthy, you have to keep the right foods in your refrigerator and pantry. It can be challenging at the grocery store to know what to buy. Labels can be deceiving. There's low-fat, non-fat, fat-free, gluten free, wheat free, sugar free and more!

Here are a few tips to making your grocery shopping experience a little easier.

  • Make your list before you go - Plan menus and identify ingredients
  • Don't go hungry - have a healthy snack before leaving and it will eliminate temptations
  • Shop the Rainbow - When buying fruits and vegies opt for reds, dark greens, yellows and orange.
  • Shop the Outer Aisles - Fresh produce, meats, whole grains and dairy. Try to avoid boxed, canned and processed foods. Some research says if it has more than 5 ingredients listed...skip it.
  • Choose Whole Grains - avoid enriched grains; Instead by whole grain pasta, rice, quinoa, oats are a few examples.
  • Put Healthy Oils in your Cart - Olive, grapeseed and coconut oils
  • Nuts for Snacks - unsalted almonds, walnuts and pistachios are healthy snacks and add-ons to salads and side dishes.
  • Avoid Sugar - skip the sweets!

Mayers Memorial Hospital District

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eat Popeye's Favorite Food

It worked for Popeye. Spinach was his go to food and parents around the country prompted their children to eat this green so they could be as strong as Popeye. Turns out, they weren't wrong. Spinach is a great food with many health benefits.

This leafy green is a great source of carotenes, vitamin C and K and folic acid. It also provides a supply of magnesium, iron, manganese,vitamin B12, vitamin E, B1 and B6.

Health Benefits of Spinach:

Eyesight - Spinach is a great source of lutein, which is important for healthy eyesight and the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Cancer - Research shows that diets high in dark green vegetables are linked to a reduced risk of several types of cancer. Specifically noted are breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Other Benefits:
Strengthens Bones
Increase Circulation
Lowers Blood Pressure
Fights Acne & Wrinkles
Fights Cardiovascular Disease

Take a note from the sailorman...include spinach in your menus regularly!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Avoiding Diet Traps

Have you tried everything and you are still not losing weight?  It's time to make sure you haven't fallen into one of these diet traps.

Your Portions are Too Large
Weigh and measure to avoid overeating.  Even if you are eating healthy, portions still matter.

Know What You are Eating
Low fat doesn't always mean low calorie. Some low fat foods add extra sugar to improve taste. You should know what your recommended daily allowance is for calories, fats, salt and sugars. Pay attention to nutrition labels.

When You Feel Like Giving Up
You have a reset button at any time.  Just because you mess up, doesn't mean the rest of the day or week needs to be bad. Don't let guilt weigh you down...literally!

You are not Exercising Enough
You should exercise five days a week for 30 minutes a day for weight loss. On the contrary, research shows that when people start to watch what they eat, they start exercising less. Make time to move!

Don't Skip Breakfast
Research shows that when you skip breakfast, high calorie foods will follow. You are 43% less likely to become obese if you eat breakfast. Eating three regular meals a day will stabilize your calorie intake.

You Stopped Snacking
Don't avoid snacking,  just snack right! Regular, healthy snacking can help keep your energy up. Opt for high protein and fiber; nuts, vegies and hummus are all great choices.

You are not Eating Enough
Don't deprive yourself of meals or cut back on calories too much. This can actually have a reverse effect by slowing down your metabolism and  even end up burning muscle for energy. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

Don't Skip Vitamins
Vitamins and minerals are essential to keeping your energy levels up and your body functioning properly. Vitamin B, D, Calcium and Iron are important parts of your day.

Don't Use Food as a Reward
When you reach a goal reward yourself with something other than food.  Plan your social events around something other than a meal.

Are you Drinking too Many Calories?
Don't forget many of the calories consumed in a day come in liquid form. Opt for more water to be safe.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where are the Germs Hiding?

We know the obvious places that germs will hide; garbage cans, toilet bowls, shopping carts and most things in public places. There are more places we may not be so conscience of. Here is a list of where germs are lurking and what you can do about them.

In the kitchen:

Sponges - these moist dark items are a growing place for bacteria. You can keep them cleaner by soaking in a bleach solution for 5 minutes at least once a week. Also try microwaving sponges on high for 2 minutes.

Knobs, controls and handles - while cooking, we touch a lot of things in the kitchen. You may have just taken the raw chicken out of the package then needed to open a cupboard to get the spices. This is a prime way bacteria is transferred around the kitchen. Keep antibacterial wipes handy and be sure to frequently wipe down these areas.

Cutting Boards - Cross contamination is a big issue in the kitchen.  Many believe plastic cutting boards are better, as wood allows bacteria to enter the porous material. Keep plastic boards clean by regularly running the board through the dishwasher. You can also microwave wooded boards (paying close attention as to not microwaving to long to avoid starting a fire).

Coffee Makers - Your coffee pot needs to be cleaned!  Use a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar and run it through your machine once a month. Don't forget to clean the carafe  regularly.

In the bedroom:

Pillows and sheets - dust mites, allergens and fungi; need you know more? Allergen covers on pillows are a great investments. Washing and drying your sheets on the highest heat and using bleach if possible is a good practice.

In the bathroom:

Bathmat - They get wet and the moisture is trapped between the mat and the floor. This dark environment is where bacteria grows. Launder these mates at least once a week.

Make-up and brushes- eye makeup is the worst, especially mascara. A good practice is to replace eye makeup every season. Liquid foundations and lotions should be kept no longer than 6 months.

Toothbrushes - rinse toothbrushes thoroughly and allow them to dry; replace every 3 month.

Around the house:

Headphones, keys, handbags, phones, water bottles, remotes - all of these items carry a lot of bacteria and germs. Make it a regular practice to clean and replace these items or wash your hand thoroughly after handling.

Friday, March 20, 2015

How Alcohol Affects Your Health

When it comes to alcohol and health, the automatic connection is the liver. The liver, in fact, plays an important function in detoxifying and removing alcohol from your blood through the process of oxidation. Once the liver has done it's work, alcohol becomes water and carbon dioxide.

If alcohol accumulates in the system, then it becomes a problem. If you consume too much alcohol fro your liver to process, the alcohol starts to damage the body, starting with the liver. A condition called "fatty liver", an early stage of alcoholic liver disease develops in about 90% of people who drink more than  2 ounces of alcohol per day. Continued alcohol consumption can lead to liver fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis.

Although cirrhosis cannot be reversed, fatty liver can be by abstaining from alcohol for about 4 to 6 weeks.

Liver disease isn't the only potential health affect from alcohol. Drinking too much can also keep your body from performing needed functions. Once you consume alcohol, your body's priority is metabolizing the alcohol, above processing anything else.

Too much alcohol causes bacteria to grow in your gut, which can eventually go through the intestinal wall into the liver, also leading to liver damage.

Your heart can become weak and you can develop high blood pressure from alcohol. Pancreatitis, cancer risk and a weakened immune system are also health risks of consuming too much alcohol.  Other side effects such as weight gain, poor sleep and migraines can also be a result of alcohol.

If you are healthy, you don't have to avoid alcohol, but it is recommended to not drink every day. When you do drink, limit your consumption. If you are not healthy or have any health concerns, it is recommended to discuss alcohol consumption with your physician.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Do You Have a Sweet Tooth?

The problem with sugar is the more you consume the more your body wants.

  1. You eat sugar
  2. Blood levels spike
  3. Dopamine in released in the brain (addiction)
  4. Blood sugar levels drop
  5. High insulin level creates immediate fat storage
  6. Body craves the lost sugar high
  7. Hunger and cravings set in caused by low blood sugar
  8. The cycle repeats
Sugar comes in many forms: fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose and others. Researchers at the University of California say that sugar poses health risks and contributes to over 35 million deaths globally each year. Refined sugar found in candy and soda is now considered to be a potentially toxic substance compared to tobacco and alcohol.

Cancer loves sugar.  A significant part of a cancer recovery process should be eliminating sugar.

Candida (yeast) also feeds on sugar. Candida is a common infection causing an unfriendly bacteria to take over digestive system and produce toxins.

Fat is stored when you eat sugar. When insulin levels spike with sugar consumption, glucose is swept into your cells. If your cells are already full due to a diet high in sugar, the glucose is converted and stored as body fat.

Sugar can also contribute to:
Are you addicted to sugar? Here are some signs:
  • If you don't eat enough sugar you have a headache or feel sluggish
  • You can't stop eating sweets
  • You crave sugar
Click here for more information on sugar related topics

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Did You Know this About Your Morning Cup?

It is a morning routine for many of us, so important that science chose to study certain things about our morning cup of joe.

What is the perfect temperature of a cup of coffee?
After studies with 300 tasters - the ultimate temperature was 136 degrees

What is the best time to drink coffee?
We assume that first thing in the morning is the best time for our favorite cup, but research shows we should wait a while. The best time is late morning, from 9:30 to 11:30 am and during the afternoon slump, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

What color mug should you use?
Coffee in a white mug makes the coffee seem more bitter. Coffee in a clear mug makes the coffee taste sweeter.

How much do we spend on coffee?
The average America worker spends almost $1100 a year on coffee.

Is coffee healthy?
Research says yes, it is healthy. Coffee can help ward off depression, promote healthy weight, boost fertility and reduce risk of skin cancer.

For more health tips and information visit

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Health Benefits of Honey

Yes, it's great on biscuits, in tea and it can be used for baking; but did you know how healthy honey is?

  • Honey contains antioxidants, which helps to protect against cellular damage
  • Use honey on wounds! Honey is a great natural antibiotic. Use on cuts and burns to help them heal faster.
  • Honey can be used on chapped lips.
  • Rehydration - 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 cups orange juice, 5-1/2 cups lukewarm water.
  • Local honey (produced within 50 miles of your home) may help to prevent allergies.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

MMHD Safe Practices

In an effort to decrease any fears or concerns related to the recent “superbug” found in Duodenoscopes at UCLA, MMHD wants to help our community understand how safe our practices are.

  • All colonoscopes and endoscopes used at MMHD receive mechanical cleaning prior to disinfection. 

  • Flexible endoscopes are cleaned with manufacturer-approved exzymatic cleaner immediately following use. 

  • The channels are irrigated and brushed.

  • A leak test is then completed, checking for any inconsistencies in the integrity of the scope.

  • The scope is then placed in the Steris S1E and an EPA registered disinfectant and chemical monitoring strip is placed in the unit to disinfect together. The Steris S1E Processor is the top of the line automated machine for high level disinfection.

  • When the automated disinfecting system has completed its’ cycle, a receipt is printed to ensure appropriate pressure, time and disinfection concentration were present.

  • The serial number of the scope and a patient sticker is attached to each receipt.

These steps are followed according to the Steris S1E automated machine user manual, according to the endoscope disinfecting recommendations, and FDA recommendations.

MMHD has gone the extra mile in that we run a biological on a weekly basis.  The Series S1E does not require a biological test, however, MMHD has been in the habit of running these since prior to its’ purchase in 2012 and so we have continued doing so.  To run a biological – we place a chemical monitoring strip into an incubator and monitor for 24 hours for growth.  MMHD has consistently had a “no growth” strip.

All staff processing these scopes have yearly training and competencies completed.

MMHD uses a HD Colonoscope and a Gastroscope.  The scopes that were used in the UCLA hospital were Duodenoscopes.  These scopes are different in their use and their design. 

The Duodenoscope used at the UCLA hospital where the “superbug” outbreak took place did not have FDA approval.  “The manufacturer of a medical instrument at the center of a recent ‘superbug’ outbreak in Los Angeles did not receive federal clearance to sell the device, according to officials from the Food and Drug Administration.” 1   

 The scopes are cleaned and disinfected at MMH mechanically by hand and then placed into the Series S1E automated machine.  The scopes at UCLA  “are cleaned by hand with liquid disinfectants.”…. The article then goes on to say that they are now using the automated machines ”In addition to the FDA and manufacturer cleaning guidelines, automated machines are now used”. 2

2: “Superbug” Outbreak at UCLA Medical Center / HealthMap, The Disease Daily Feb 27, 2015

-Lisa Akin, MMDH Surgical Services Manager

Monday, March 9, 2015

Snacks in a Pan

Bring out that cupcake pan, but not the cupcake recipe. How about trying some healthier options. Your favorite cupcake pan can be used for breakfast, appetizers, portable mini-meals, meal prep and of course desserts.


Meal Prep and Kitchen Hacks

We hope you enjoy these great food options! We invite you to visit our website for healthy tips, ideas and more.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Are They Really Zero?

It sounds too good to be true, ZERO calories?  Well, not really, but there are foods that are considered negative calorie because the food requires more energy to be digested than the food provides. There is no scientific evidence to support the negative calorie theory, but many believe that eating these foods can help with weight management.

The foods that top the list are so slight in calories, that either way they are not going to put a big dent in your calorie intake. Each of these foods has less than 50 calories per 100 gram serving.

  • CELERY - 16 calories
  • ORANGES - 47 calories
  • CABBAGE - 25 calories
  • ASPARAGUS - 20 calories
  • BEETS - 43 calories
  • CUCUMBER - 16 calories
  • LEMONS - 29 calories
  • CAULIFLOWER - 25 calories
  • MUSHROOMS  - 38 calories
  • WATERMELON - 30 calories
  • ZUCHINNI - 17 calories
  • TOMATOES - 17 calories
  • GRAPEFRUIT - 42 calories
  • BRUSSEL SPROUTS - 43 calories
  • KALE - 49 calories
  • TURNIPS - 28 calories
  • APPLES - 52 calories
  • ONIONS - 40 calories
  • CARROTS - 41 calories
  • BROCCOLI - 34 calories
The great thing about foods on this list is that they are full of fiber and filling. You will notice they are all fruits or vegetables; confirming what we know to be true - eat more of this food group for good health! There are endless recipes for these foods, why not give them a try?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Tame Your Cravings

Sweet and salt cravings don't need to equal a donut or bag of chips. Cravings are hard to tame, but recognizing what it is your body is asking for may help.

If you are craving SWEETS, what you really need is Chromium, sulfur and tryptophan. There is a long list of foods that can provide you with these things. Here is a sampling:
  • Broccoli
  • Grapes
  • Cheese
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Chicken
  • Cranberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
If you are craving BREAD, you may be lacking nitrogen. Try something from this list:
  • High protein foods
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Beans
FATTY SNACKS can mean you are lacking calcium. They might not taste like a bag of chips, but give these foods a try:
  • Cheese
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Legumes
  • Sesame
Wanting CHOCOLATE? What you need is magnesium.
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
If it is SALT you think you need, try again, it is chloride and silicon.
  • Cashews
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fatty Fish
In need of another cup of COFFEE? You are really wanting more phosphate, sulfur and iron. You can get these things in:
  • Black cherries
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Onions
  • Red Peppers
  • Garlic

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Is Breakfast Important?

How many of you skip breakfast because you are trying to lose weight, don't have enough time or just don't want it? Many argue that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

  • Breakfast provides you with the energy needed to get through your day. Whether it is going to work or school, your brain needs nutrients to function properly.

  • Breakfast is important in maintaining a healthy body weight. Often hunger sets in long before lunch when you skip breakfast. This is when unhealthy, higher calorie choices are made as a snack to hold you over.

  • Breakfast provides energy for activities and work during the morning hours and will help you to avoid the mid-morning slump.

  • When skipping breakfast, you are unlikely to make up your daily vitamins and nutrient recommendations.

How to get a quick and healthy breakfast...
  • Try to pick 2-3 foods including one from each of the following food groups; bread and grain, dairy product, fruits and vegetables
  • Replace or accompany your coffee with a glass of orange juice or milk
  • Make an omelet! A great way to have protein, dairy and vegies
  • Plan ahead, get up 15 minutes early
  • Add fruits, nuts, raisins or dates to your oatmeal or yogurt

Visit MMHD for more health information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gettin' Enough ZZZZZZ's

It is National Sleep Awareness Week. We spend a good percentage of our lifetime sleeping. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? How you feel for the rest of the day is greatly affected by your quality of sleep. So how can you sleep better?

  • Keep a regular schedule - try to set a regular bedtime and a consistent time to arise in the morning. Make changes in 15 - 30 minute increments.
  • Nap to make up time - if you need to catch up, it is better to choose a nap than sleeping in too late. Naps are best in the early afternoon and kept to a short duration.
  • Create a relaxing routine -a peaceful bedtime routine will signal your brain it is time to settle down.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable bed - additionally keep your room clean and free of clutter. Keeping your room cool will also allow for quality sleep. (About 65 degrees with adequate ventilation)
  • Eat right and get regular exercise - Avoid larger meals, alcohol and caffeine at night. Avoid too many liquids in the evening. Exercise 20-30 minutes daily.
  • Keep stress and anxiety in check - relaxing before bed is a great way to calm the mind. Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation techniques and visualization.
Find out more about sleep.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Naturally Detox and Cleanse

There are several foods to include in your diet that will help your body stay in balance. You can detox and cleanse naturally.

  • Citrus Fruits - The abundant amount of vitamin C turns toxins into digestible material

  • Walnuts - Infuse your body with healthy omega-3 oils that will assist in detoxing

  • Garlic - stimulates the liver to encourage production of detoxification enzymes

  • Cucumber - Full of water (about 95%) which helps flush out toxins and alkalize the body.

  • Grapefruit - Lowers cholesterol, prevents kidney stones and aids digestion

  • Turmeric - Stimulates liver function

  • Turnip Greens - contains antioxidants and sulfur to activate and regulate detox enzymes

  • Lentils - high in fiber to aid in detoxification, lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar

  • Broccoli - a large dose of vitamins, helps neutralize and eliminate toxins