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Category Archives: Health

DEA hosts Halloween weekend National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. This bi-annual event offers free, anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office, 131 W. 14th St., Lyndon, Kan., will serve as a drop off point on Drug Take Back Day. Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells reminds citizens that medications are also accepted at the sheriff’s office any time during business hours.

“Disposing of unneeded medications can help prevent drugs from being misused,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs. I encourage everyone to dispose of unneeded prescription medications now.”

A report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend. For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications – those that are old, unwanted, or no longer needed – that too often become a gateway to addiction. Working in close partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 15 million pounds of medication from circulation since its inception. These efforts are directly in line with DEA’s priority to combat the overdose epidemic in the United States.

DEA and its law enforcement partners collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. DEA will accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.

State health officer encourages public to get flu shots

TOPEKA, Kan. – Influenza season is here in Kansas. While activity remains low, influenza cases have already been seen in Kansas.

The flu vaccine remains the best way to prevent flu illness and serious flu complications, including those that can result in hospitalization and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends receiving the vaccine before influenza activity begins in your community, ideally by the end of October.

“Early indications say the flu may hit a little harder this year, so it’s very important to start thinking about getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, State Health Officer. “The good news is you don’t need two separate appointments; you can get your flu and COVID vaccines at the same time.”

KDHE monitors flu activity, including the percentage of emergency department visits and deaths attributable to influenza. During the 2021-2022 flu season, influenza was a contributing or direct cause of death in 44 deaths. Pneumonia, which often develops with influenza infections, was a contributing or direct cause of death in 1,200 deaths. Severe influenza infection and symptoms may be avoided with vaccination.

Gov. Kelly issues emergency declaration for risk of wildland fires

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly issued a declaration of a State of Disaster Emergency starting at 8 a.m. today, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, due to a high risk of wildland fires over the weekend with the primary threat being on Sunday.

The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria. There is a threat for fires for the majority of the state with dry conditions with low relative humidity, gusting winds, and an abundance of dry grass and other flammable vegetation.

“As we have seen in past years, wildland fires can cause widespread destruction and present a very real threat to life and property,” Kelly said. “Outdoor burning of any kind is strongly discouraged, whether getting rid of unwanted brush or enjoying a backyard barbecue. It only takes a spark to start a fire that can quickly get out of control.”

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management State Emergency Operations Center will be staffed on Saturday and Sunday to monitor the situation and assist counties with requests for state assistance.

Kansas Forest Service will have aviation assets on standby along with ground resources.

“Critical fire weather returns to Kansas earlier than normal this year,” Rodney Redinger, Kansas Forest Service Assistant Fire Management Officer said. “With harvest and hunting in full swing, there is an increased chance for human caused ignition sources. On Sunday, fires will ignite easily and be extremely hard to contain, especially in the western portions of the state. Vegetation barriers that normally slow or stop fires will carry fire easily due to the drought and low humidity. Please be aware of the conditions and take every precaution necessary to prevent any fires this weekend.”

Eat Well to Be Well: Save money and have fun with meal prepping ideas

Freshen up meals, add nutrition, save time

Envision coming home after a long day to a meal already prepped and ready for you to enjoy. You don’t have to imagine anymore. It can be your reality when you embrace “food prepping.” Food prepping is a commonly used term to prepare foods ahead of time, making meal planning a snap. Besides saving you time, energy, and anxiety over what to have for dinner, food prep is perfect for feeding your family nutritious and delicious meals.

If you’re new to food prepping, you can master meal planning with a few simple tricks, and even better, you’ll actually enjoy doing so. Once you’re in the habit of planning ahead what you’ll eat days from now, you will appreciate that food prepping also means more money in your pocket. Why? Relying on fast food take-out or sit-down restaurants increases your food spending dollars. The latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that from 2017 to 2020, households spent an average of $2,300 to more than $3,300 a year on eating away from home. Reducing one meal a week eaten out can save you dollars annually – less money spent at restaurants means more money in your pocket.

So, if you’re ready to make food prepping a reality, here are clever ideas to get you started:

Lyndon Lions ‘stride’ to help others manage diabetes

LYNDON, Kan. – The Lyndon Lions Club will host a Strides Community Walk Event, Oct. 1, 2022, at Lyndon Jones Park, Lyndon, Kan. The local Lions are inviting community residents of all ages to participate in this event, which will benefit Camp Discovery Youth Diabetes Summer Camp.  Registration for the event is $5 per person. All participants will receive a “participation bag”.

The Strides Walk starts at 8 a.m. that Saturday, with participant on-site registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. for those not pre-registered. The registration station will be set up at the Lyndon Lions Shelter House in Jones Park by the baseball diamonds.

“Gather your family, friends, and neighbors to register and join the Lyndon Lions Club for this exciting event,” said club president Ferne Evans. “Strides is an enjoyable way for the community to get together to promote healthy exercise in the fight against diabetes.”

During the Strides event, participants can visit stations along the way to participate in activities and learn more about the prevention and management of diabetes. Lions and Leos around the world organize Strides community events to heighten awareness about diabetes and to emphasize the importance of healthy exercise to prevent and manage this disease.

Public meeting set to discuss results of nuclear power plant exercise

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state of Kansas, and Coffey County, Kan., will participate in a one-day exercise Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, at Wolf Creek Generating Station, near Burlington, Kan. The routine exercise will test the abilities of the state of Kansas, the utility, and the participating county to protect the health and safety of the public living and working in the vicinity of the generating station.

The exercise is required every two years to test state and local radiological emergency preparedness and response plans. It will require the activation of emergency facilities by the participating state and local officials. The activities of state, county, and local governments will be observed and evaluated by the FEMA Region 7 Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. Wolf Creek Generating Station on-site performance will be observed and evaluated by officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

A public meeting will be held to discuss the full-scale response exercise process at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at the Coffey County Library, 410 Juniatta, Burlington. The process of evaluating the full-scale response exercise takes months, so the preliminary findings are expected to be limited in scope. Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting.

Representatives from FEMA Region 7 will chair the meeting and explain the exercise process. A representative from the NRC Region 4 office will discuss activities conducted on-site at the power plant during the exercise.

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Skillet Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes

A must-make Mediterranean meal that’s budget friendly too!

Here’s a simple recipe that will be a family favorite particularly perfect for a weeknight dinner. Ready in less than 30 minutes, you’ll be savoring the taste of the Mediterranean in no time. Even better, everything cooks in one skillet, so fewer dishes to clean means more time for you and less time scrubbing pots and pans.

In this delicious recipe, you’ll find plenty of heart-healthy support. Lean chicken breast, olives brimming with healthy monounsaturated fat, and antioxidant-rich herbs and spices make this a hands-down winner toward helping dodge heart disease.

One of the main features of this recipe is Spanish olives, giving the recipe a typical salty or briny taste any connoisseur of olives knows and loves. But what if you are not a fan of olives? What can you substitute to get that same flavorful kick? I would recommend either capers or artichoke hearts. And if you do like olives, but not Spanish olives, choose another type olive such as kalamata olives. No matter what type of olive you choose, for anyone needing to be mindful of their salt intake, choose an olive with a reduced sodium content.

When it comes to heart health, olives are an excellent choice. Packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, this type of fat has been linked with lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol while maintaining HDL or “good” cholesterol. Other heart health features of olives include:

  • Increasing nitric oxide production, which improves blood flow to tissues.
  • Olives contain polyphenols helping reduce chronic inflammation.
  • These same polyphenols found in olives may also improve your bone density helping lower the risk of fractures in older adults.
  • They contain vitamin E, an antioxidant linked to better cognition and a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
  • If you use extra virgin olive oil when cooking olives, it boosts satiety, keeping you fuller longer.
  • Eating olives or using olive oil help absorb beneficial antioxidants from fruits and veggies when eaten with these helpful dietary fats.

This recipe comes from my latest book, The Heart Disease Prevention Cookbook, which includes 125 recipes based on the Mediterranean diet. So, if you are ready to dive into an authentic-tasting Mediterranean meal, let’s get started!

Eat Well to Be Well: Nutrients work better when paired together

Food is fuel for your body, and some foods provide a tremendous nutritional boost when paired together!

The potential of teamwork is powerful. Even Helen Keller, an American author and educator, famously said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This same philosophy also applies to nutrients found in food working together are dynamic health collaborations.

Collaboration is good and when applied to teaming up certain nutrients and foods, your health will benefit significantly. Also known as “nutrient synergy,” nutrients found in food – vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients – perform better when working in tandem with other nutrients, helping improve nutrient absorption, increase satiety and effectiveness, and reduce the risk of disease and illness.

It’s tempting to rely on vitamin and mineral supplements to get nutrients your diet lacks. Still, nutrient supplements cannot replicate the unique power of nutrients found naturally in food. That’s why strategically eating certain nutrients found in certain food together at meals or snacks, creates a healthy situation supporting a healthy nutritional boost.

Here’s a look at dynamic nutrient pairings creating a synergistic effect:

Iron and Vitamin C

Synergistic effect: The human body absorbs only about 10 to 15 percent of the iron you eat. Both animal-based and plant-based foods contain the mineral iron. Rich animal sources of iron include beef, poultry, fish, and pork. The iron found in animal-based foods is called “heme” iron and is easily absorbed on its own.

However, iron found in plant-based foods – beans, spinach, soy products (tofu, tempeh), nuts and seeds, fortified cereals, and the iron found in supplements, is called “nonheme” iron. You can enhance your nonheme iron absorption by eating food that’s high in vitamin C along with iron-rich food. The absorption of nonheme is improved thanks to vitamin C and the acids in your stomach. For example, just 25 milligrams of vitamin C – the amount found in about one-quarter cup of orange juice – can double the amount of nonheme iron you absorb from plant-based foods, while a one-half cup of orange juice increases the amount of iron absorbed by sixfold.

Best food sources: Animal-based food sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, and pork. Plant-based foods include spinach, beans, soy products, nuts, seeds, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C is found plentiful in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, leafy greens like spinach and kale, red and yellow peppers, and tomatoes.

Harnessing the synergy: Suggestions to increase your iron absorption by pairing a vitamin C rich food with iron found in plant-based foods include:

  • Eat an orange with a peanut butter sandwich or breakfast cereal or top cereal with vitamin C-rich berries like strawberries.
  • Add sliced red bell pepper, onions, and fresh fruit to a spinach salad.
  • Use canned tomato sauce or tomato paste for spaghetti or pasta dishes.
  • Have a quarter cup of walnuts with orange or kiwi fruit slices.

Eat Well to Be Well: Now’s the time to celebrate summer fruit

Summer is here, reminding us why this season is to be enjoyed for so many reasons. But, one of the best is the fact that summer is the perfect season for enjoying and eating more fruit. First, it’s when many fruits are ripe, available, least expensive, and taste the best. And don’t forget that besides their nutritional punch, fruits provide hydration on hot, balmy days, helping boost energy while reducing tiredness and fatigue.

Let’s take a look at four commonly eaten summer fruit favorites, reminding you to eat more of these mouthwatering and nourishing produce:

Berries

You can’t go wrong with berries – whether blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries – each are fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, and full of antioxidants. The American Cancer Society agrees that every day you should eat some type of berry, bursting with nutrition. That is because berries contain a powerful type of antioxidant called polyphenols – including ellagic acid – and anthocyanins that counteract, reduce, and repair damage to cells. And if you’ve ever admired berries’ jewel-like tones, you should. In fact, the darker the color of a fruit (or vegetable), the higher the concentration of phytochemicals, a plant substance good for reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

Cherries

While not native to the U.S., cherries are grown in most parts of our country. The dark, rich color of sweet red cherries indicates their high levels of anthocyanin pigments and phenolic compounds.  Cherries also supply a good source of vitamin C and satiating fiber. Besides vitamin C and antioxidants, sour red cherries are also an excellent source of vitamin A, which is necessary for regulating the growth and differentiation of all cells in the body.

Lyndon Library to host Alzheimer’s information class

Lyndon Carnegie Library will host a class for people experiencing Alzheimer’s disease, either as a caregiver or patient. The class, Alzheimer’s 101 – Know the 10 Signs, will be 2:30-3:30 p.m. July 21, 2022, at the library.

Alzheimer’s and other dementias cause memory, thinking and behavior problems that interfere with daily living. Anyone interested is invited to join the class to learn how to recognize common signs of the disease, how to approach someone about memory concerns, the importance of early detection and benefits of a diagnosis, possible tests and assessments for the diagnostic process, and Alzheimer’s Association resources.

The class is free but registration is requested. Participants can register on the library’s website, www.lyndonlibrary.org, or by calling 785-828-4520, or visiting the library at 127 E. Sixth St., Lyndon, Kan.

RCIL to host two learning sessions for those with vision loss

RCIL will host a two-part seminar to help people who have vision loss. Attendees will learn about topics such as self-care, and using technology to help with every day needs. The seminar will be 12-2 p.m. on two days, July 6 and July 13, 2022, at the Osage County Senior Center, 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

The first session will cover self care, shopping, and cooking; second session will include reading, writing, and using technology.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Amanda Smith, of Resource Center for Independent Living, at 785-528-3105, or amanda.smith@rcilinc.org.

Frontier Extension District enlists interns for summer programs

The Frontier Extension District has been awarded three summer interns through a K-State Research and Extension grant to help combat COVID and promote learning within local communities.

With health and wellness frames in mind, the Extension district created Bicycle SPIN (Special Interest) Clubs partnering with local libraries. With interns’ assistance, youth will be able explore nature, food and nutrition, exercise, and much more. The SPIN clubs will provide a safe space where kids feel welcomed.

Welcome these Frontier Extension interns for the summer. Here they tell you a little bit about themselves.

Josie Thompson

Hello, my name is Josie Thompson. I am from Osage County and was a member of the Willing Workers 4-H Club for 12 years. I was involved in many projects over the years, but my favorites were livestock and food and nutrition. I am so excited to be a 4-H intern and make many connections with 4-H members.

As an intern, I plan to make the kids we work with feel included and as if they belong. I believe there is something for everyone in 4-H. Youth should be able to find their passion, whether it be cooking, Legos, showing livestock, or even fashion. I can foresee how much fun this internship will be this summer!

Hailey Gillespie

My name is Hailey Gillespie, and I am the 4-H Youth Development summer intern in Anderson County this summer. Over the last several years, I have been an active member of the Seekers Not Slackers 4-H Club and Anderson County FFA. In 4-H, I was involved in numerous projects, but the sheep project was always my favorite.

Currently, I am a Fort Scott Community College Livestock Judging Team member while I work towards my associate degree. After Fort Scott, I plan to transfer to Kansas State University. I am so excited to be working with youth over the summer!

Ethan Hatfield

Hi, my name is Ethan Hatfield and I am the 4-H Youth Development intern for Franklin County. I was born and raised in Pomona, Kan., where our family runs a small Hereford cattle operation. Throughout 4-H, I have been involved in numerous projects and events, but the one I enjoyed the most was showing cattle.

I am currently attending Kansas State University with a biomedical engineering degree on the pre-med track. My future career goal is to work as a family physician in a rural area. I’m looking forward to all the fun and great experience we have planned this summer.”

For more information about the Bicycle SPIN program, contact the Frontier Extension office at Ottawa, 785-229-3520, or inquire at a local library.

Eat Well to Be Well: Take practical steps for improving poor digestion

Life is usually good when our gut feels good – no bloating, diarrhea, gas or constipation. But when those symptoms rear their ugly head, and for many they do, suddenly your happy-go-lucky life has just taken a turn down the wrong road.

Having a gut that works like a charm the majority, if not all of the time, is one of life’s most valuable health assets. When tummy troubles are under control, we can enjoy life much more. Luckily, good gut health and the ability to digest what we eat without worry can be achieved by most of us when specific steps are taken.

Causes of poor digestion

There can be several reasons why we may experience poor digestion. Here are some common ones many may have:

  • Taking too many over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Eating too many sugary foods and beverages or refined carbohydrates.
  • Too much “bad” bacteria instead of “good” bacteria.
  • Stress.
  • Environmental contaminants.

Signs of poor digestion

Many of us associate poor digestion with the typical symptoms of bloating, gassiness, constipation, or diarrhea. But poor gut health can make itself known by causing other symptoms outside of our abdomen, such as joint pain, unexplained headaches, fibromyalgia, skin problems, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program to begin

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is an eight-week exercise program presented by K-State Research and Extension and geared toward older adults and sedentary middle-aged adults. The goal of the evidence-based program is to improve health, quality of life, and maintain independence through strength training.

Adults can begin to lose muscle mass, even in their early 30s. And, in their 50s, adults can see the decline in muscle mass really begin to accelerate. Older adults, however, are sometimes reluctant to start strengthening activities to counter the effects of aging on their bodies. The idea of going to the gym or not knowing the proper exercises to do at home can keep people from starting.

The Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program addresses these concerns by providing an environment where older adults can learn how to strengthen their muscles from certified instructors. Participants in the program meet for one hour, twice a week for eight weeks. Each session includes warm-up exercises, simple strengthening exercises with and without weights, and cool-down stretches. Class members are also encouraged to do the exercises on their own once more per week. Over the eight weeks, participants learn the exercises and begin to improve strength and balance. After eight weeks, participants are encouraged to continue the program at home or with a community group.

The potential benefits of strength training include a decrease in arthritis pain, weight maintenance, and a reduction in the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Stress management and improvement in sleep quality are other potential benefits.

The program will be offered in the Frontier Extension District from June 1-July 22, 2022, in Lyndon. The class will meet weekly 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, at the Lyndon Community Center, 204 Topeka Ave., Lyndon, Kan.

Registration is requested by May 31 and the cost to participate is $20. For those 60 and older, the cost to participate is free of charge due to a grant through the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging.

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Oven-Roasted Lemon Parmesan Asparagus

Effortless, this side dish bursts with delicious hints of lemon, garlic, and Parmesan when perfectly paired with asparagus. Here’s a recipe that brings out the best in this perennial veggie by roasting. Easy and quick to make and tastes incredibly good, this recipe you’ll use again and again. Roasting strong-tasting vegetables like asparagus caramelizes the flavor, reducing its natural bitterness. Even the pickiest of eaters will find a liking to roasted asparagus.

Most grocery stores stock asparagus year-round. However, April and May are the peak months when asparagus is at its best. Typically we think of the color green with asparagus, but it also comes in white and purple. White asparagus tastes similar to its green cousin, while purple asparagus is much sweeter.

Eat Well to Be Well: Asparagus, a perennial spring favorite

One of the most sought-after vegetables usually signaling the arrival of spring is asparagus. Farmers markets and supermarkets are brimming with this “king of vegetables,” aptly named by France’s King Louis XIV, who cultivated them in greenhouses so he could enjoy them throughout the year.

This tender perennial stem vegetable belonging to the Asparagaceae family was considered a prized delicacy by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Asparagus is closely related to Liliaceae plants, which also include onions and garlic. Asparagus is believed have originated along the coastal regions of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions, and is considered one of the oldest known vegetables.

Health benefits of asparagus

Asparagus is naturally rich in many healthy nutrients and compounds we can take advantage of. Therefore, this “king of vegetables” is a must-buy not only for its delicious flavor but to obtain its powerful nutritional benefits:

DEA hosts 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2022. This bi-annual event offers free, anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office, 131 W. 14th St., Lyndon, Kan., will serve as a drop off point on Drug Take Back Day, but Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells reminds citizens that medications are also accepted at the sheriff’s office any time during business hours.

More than 230 law enforcement agencies within DEA St. Louis Division are hosting collection sites this April.

“Disposing of unneeded medications can help prevent drugs from being misused,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs. I encourage everyone to dispose of unneeded prescription medications now.”

DEA’s St. Louis Division, which includes the states of Missouri and Kansas, as well as southern Illinois, collected a total of 37,189 pounds during the Oct. 23 Drug Take Back Day, in 2021.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.

Eat Well to Be Well: Grocery shoppers can use money saving strategies as inflation soars

Stocking up on healthy staples and reducing food waste are just a couple of strategies to help you with rising prices

Soaring inflation is hitting many consumers hard while buying groceries for their families. From snack foods like chips and cookies to everyday items like milk and meat, food prices are rising up and down the supermarket aisles across the United States. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs have had some of the highest price increases. According to the latest Consumer Price Index data from early 2022, overall inflation rates rose to 6.8 percent over the previous year, marking the fastest annual increase in the inflation rate since June 1982.

Depending on where you live, many shoppers are also dealing with countless food product shortages, often due to widespread supply chain disruptions. This double whammy of inflation paired with food shortages is particularly concerning since eating is a basic human need.

Even before inflation arrived, many families struggled to feed their families nutritious foods. Now, with food prices continuing to rise, it’s more important than ever to have a plan of action on ways to cut costs and still eat healthy.

Here’s at look at shopping strategies to help save on food while still making nutritious meals:

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