healthy living

By DR. VEITA BLAND

Barber Cutting HairIt has long been known that barber shops hold a very special place in the heart of the African American community. They are a place where Black men gather, talk and are treated with respect. There is comfort there, trust is there and guards may be let down. In the mist of living everyday life, the barber shop can be a wonderful resource that provides a caring environment for African American men.

It is no secret that African American men have the least lifespan of any group in America. It is also no secret that hypertension and cardiovascular disease are two reasons for the early demise for African American men.

In a stunning study presented at a recent cardiology conference, it was shown that Barbers and Pharmacists were cutting edge in giving medical care. More ↠

By DR. KEVIN WILLIAMS

The opioid crisis in the United States is at an all-time high; impacting thousands of Americans every day.

What may surprise you is the impact this crisis has on people with medical conditions that cause severe pain, particularly when they receive treatment in the emergency department (ED).

In light of the current opioid crisis, ED staff has become much more vigilant in monitoring suspected drug abuse. This can have particular implications for people with sickle cell disease (SCD), whose top reason for visiting the ED is to seek relief from the debilitating pain crises associated with their disease. More ↠

By DR. VEITA BLAND

ImodiumMost of us are aware of the opioid epidemic either from firsthand knowledge, experiences of friends or family or from the news media. The rising numbers of deaths are alarming and the dysfunction that occurs to many lives is real and difficult to see. Even more disheartening are the effects this addiction has on family members, friends and especially on the children involved.

The quest to get that euphoric high has resulted in abuse of some commonly used medications. Some of these have been around for a very long time and have value to patients. The misuse and abuse of these medications have prompted the FDA (the US Drug and Food Administration) to examine this issue.

Imodium (the over the counter version) or loperamide (the prescription version) is an opioid based medication that has been used for many years to help people deal with diarrhea. More ↠

By VEITA BLAND

So many of us view the New Year as the starting point for new behaviors in our lives, we make those resolutions that proclaim our new behavior to ourselves. Does it matter if we make them privately versus publicly?

As the song goes, “find a little help from my friends.” A little help does make a difference. Encouragement from friends, family and coworkers is important to one’s success for many people. Now indeed there is a difference between encouragement and nagging. We want supportive people not naggers as they do not help, but may harm the efforts. More ↠

By MAGGIE FOX

romaine lettucePeople should stay away from romaine lettuce until U.S. and Canadian health officials get to the bottom of an outbreak of E. coli infections, Consumer Reports says.

The consumer advocacy group called on the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do more to warn people about the outbreak, which at last count had made 58 people sick in the U.S. and Canada. One person has died.

The CDC last reported on the outbreak on December 28. It said 17 people were sick in 13 states, dating back to November. The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported on 41 illnesses. The infections have occurred in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont and Washington. More ↠

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is once again asking the community to lend a hand for patients in need. But probably not in the way you’d think.

The local nonprofit blood center started off the New Year with the launch of its Blood Donor Emoji campaign. To petition the Unicode Consortium to create an emoji depicting the lifesaving act of blood donation, they need signatures – 30,000 signatures to be exact. That’s where you come in.

“Every day, we ask people in our community to step up and donate blood for local patients in need,” CBCC President and CEO Martin Grable said. “Today, we’re just asking for your signature. We’re asking you and people around the globe to join us as we work to shine a spotlight on the incredible volunteers in every community who so generously give of themselves in such a remarkable way.” More ↠

man breaking cigarette If you’re thinking about quitting or have tried to quit in the past without success, the FDA’s new smoking cessation education campaign at EveryTryCounts.gov offers support.

Red envelope icon Subscribe: FDA Consumer Health Information

What are your New Year’s resolutions? If you smoke, maybe this will be the year that you decide you want to quit. And you may not be alone: Nearly 70 percent of current adult smokers say they want to stop.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved many products that can help. In fact, data has shown that using an FDA-approved cessation medicine can double your chance of quitting successfully. Plus, every time you put out a cigarette is a new chance to try quitting again, according to a new FDA campaign called “Every Try Counts.” More ↠

STATESVILLE, NC – Mitchell Community College was recently selected to take part in Cohort 11 of the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program, an initiative administered by the University of Pittsburgh and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science Education division.

SEA-PHAGES, an undergraduate research program focused in the biological sciences, currently includes 147 colleges and universities in their network. Mitchell will be the eighth school to join from North Carolina and only the second community college (the first, Durham Technical Community College). The program is designed to immerse students in authentic, valuable and accessible research. More ↠