Healthy You

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with Iredell Health System

The Lowdown on Flu and Other Vaccines Women and Lung Cancer

Healthy Diet, Healthy Weight,

Healthy You

family medicine

Q Do vaccines cause autism? A Current research has made no connection between

vaccines and autism. In fact, reports from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Institute of Medicine have cleared vaccines of causing autism and many other adverse effects.

Q &A

Q Can vaccines make my child feel sick? A Most of the time, vaccines don’t cause any side

Jeffrey Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA Family Care Center-Taylorsville 1668 NC Highway 16 South Taylorsville, NC 28681 828-632-9736 By their second birthday, most children will receive 17 or more separate vaccinations to immunize against diseases. Some of these include three or four vaccinations at a time. That might seem like a lot. Are kids receiving too many shots? These concerns—as well as fears about the safety of vaccines— have led some parents to delay or skip some vaccines. Jeffrey Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA, of Iredell Health System’s Family Care Center in Taylorsville, answers questions about childhood vaccinations.

ÄÄGET ANSWERS Talk with your child’s medical provider if you have concerns about vaccination. Together, you can make the best decision for the health of your family and community. To find a provider, visit



Health Matters | Fall 2016

effects. When they do, the side effects are usually mild and don’t last more than a few days. The most common side effects are soreness and swelling at the injection site. Severe side effects, such as allergic reactions, are extremely rare.

Q Isn’t vaccination a personal decision? Why should my child’s medical provider or anyone else be concerned about my child’s vaccination status? A Getting vaccinated can protect both your child and other members of the community—a concept called herd immunity. For example, if between 96 and 99 percent of the people in a community receive a vaccine for a specific disease, those too young or sick for shots also have protection from that disease. This is important because outbreaks of diseases preventable by vaccination can and do occur. For instance, outbreaks of chickenpox still happen every year, though the vaccine prevents more than 3.5 million cases. Whooping cough and German measles could also become threats if antivaccine trends continue. Also, diseases that have been wiped out in the U.S. but still occur in other countries, such as polio, could make a comeback.

Q Should I consider an alternative vaccination schedule for my child? A The official vaccination schedule is designed so that kids receive immunizations when the vaccines work best with a child’s immune system. The amount of germs—called antigens—in vaccines is much lower than in a typical child’s environment. Vaccines are tested for safety at specific ages and regularly monitored.


What You Need to Know About Flu If you caught influenza, or flu, last winter, you were not alone. About 5 to 20 percent of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. Although most people with the flu are sick for only a few days, some have a much more serious illness and may need to go to the hospital. In some cases, the flu can lead to pneumonia and even death. Read on to learn more about this common illness and how you can protect yourself.

What Is Flu? “The flu is an easily spread respiratory tract infection caused by a virus,” explains Dr. Jodi Stutts of Iredell Family Medicine. “Flu is generally passed from person to person through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs.” The flu usually starts abruptly, with fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and a cough. People of any age can become ill from the flu.

Your Best Shot at Health Each year, health experts develop a vaccine that protects against the flu viruses most likely to circulate that year. Experts recommend the vaccine for everyone ages 6 months and older. “It’s especially important to get vaccinated if you are at high risk for serious

flu-related complications,” says Dr. Stutts. “This includes those who are pregnant or have a chronic medical condition—such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease—or live with someone who does.” While a flu shot won’t make you immune to all strains of the flu, you can still benefit. Having the shot beforehand can make your symptoms milder even if you do get sick. A flu shot can also protect those most vulnerable around you: older adults and young children.

ƒƒ Cover your nose and mouth after coughing or sneezing and wash your hands after doing so.  ƒƒ If you have flu, stay home at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided to avoid infecting other people.

Protect Yourself—and Others A healthy immune system helps protect your body against flu and other infections caused by viruses and bacteria. You can keep your immune system in shape by: ƒƒ Sleeping 7 to 9 hours each night ƒƒ Getting 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate exercise weekly ƒƒ Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods ƒƒ Reducing stress with relaxation techniques like meditation You can also take steps to stop the spread of harmful germs: ƒƒ Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. ƒƒ Avoid crowded places during peak flu season.

Jodi Stutts, M.D.

ÄÄNEED A FLU SHOT OR OTHER VACCINES? Make an appointment with Dr. Stutts today. Jodi Stutts, M.D. Iredell Family Medicine 544 Brawley School Road, Mooresville, NC 28117 704-360-5190



diet and weight management

New Ways to Eat Fall's From Halloween candy to the Thanksgiving feast, autumn arrives with its fair share of opportunities to overdo it. Fortunately, Mother Nature provides an antidote: a bounty of fresh, delicious fruits and veggies to keep your taste buds happy, your body healthy, and your waistline in check. Hit the produce aisle and farmers market to pick up these seasonal options.

Apples Bob for these beauties and you’ll come up with a heaping helping of fiber. You’ll feel fuller on fewer calories, helping you control your weight. Plus, fiber fights cholesterol and lowers your heart disease risk. Try this: Add sliced apples to salads or tortilla wraps; dice them into a homemade turkey meat loaf; stuff a whole apple with raisins, cinnamon, and oats, and bake for a breakfast or dessert treat.

Brussels Sprouts


The bane of many children’s dinner plates, these small cabbage-shaped veggies now appear on many trendy restaurant menus. Low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, and folate, brussels sprouts also contain antioxidants that protect your cells. Some evidence even suggests they reduce cancer risk. Try this: Roast at a high heat; steam with lemons, mustard, and walnut oil.

Cauliflower A favorite of lowcarb dieters, this nonstarchy vegetable makes a creamy, delicious stand-in for a portion of buttery mashed potatoes. And each spoonful serves up plenty of vitamins, minerals, and plantbased compounds called phytochemicals, which help keep arteries clear. Try this: Steam, then puree with plain Greek yogurt, garlic, and a bit of Parmesan; roast with olive oil and garlic; eat raw with your favorite low-fat dressing.

Healthiest Foods

Grapes You can find these green and purple globes in grocery stores yearround. But as they reach their peak each autumn, they’re flavorful and colorful, not to mention less expensive. These fruits and their juices may contain the very same antioxidants that give red wine its heart-healthy benefits. Try this: Pack a small bag for healthy snacking on the go; freeze and eat as a dessert treat; roast and combine with thyme, mustard, and cooking wine as a sauce for lean meats.

Sweet Potatoes Besides filling fiber, these bright tubers count as a great source of vitamin A and potassium. Vitamin A promotes healthy eyes and skin and boosts your immunity. Meanwhile, potassium helps control your blood pressure. Try this: Mash and stir in wheat germ to make sweet potato pancakes; bake in the oven and top with salsa, veggies, and cheese; dice and stir into hearty soups, stews, and chili.

ÄÄSHARE YOUR IDEAS Have other ideas for incorporating fall’s fab 5 into your diet? Share them on our Facebook page at www.facebook .com/IredellHealthSystemNC using the hashtag #fall5.



Health Matters | Fall 2016

Introducing a Long-Term

Approach to Weight Loss Weight loss. We love it, we hate it. It’s never easy, always more difficult than we’d like, and often yields short-term results. Thanks to a new program with Iredell Health System, individuals interested in making necessary lifestyle changes to lose weight and lead a healthier life can finally achieve the long-term results they desire. Iredell Healthy Weight, led by Dr. Yvette Pellegrino, is a comprehensive, individualized approach to weight loss that incorporates all components needed for a healthy lifestyle: nutrition, physical activity, and behavior change. The program takes patients on a weightloss journey that focuses on living a healthy lifestyle by utilizing a variety of program facilitators who are dedicated to helping patients achieve their goals and avoid the all-too-common disappointment of fad diets and over-the-counter supplements. Iredell Healthy Weight is a safe, effective program that uses a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including Dr. Pellegrino, a physician assistant, wellness nurses, a certified diabetes educator, a registered dietician, an exercise physiologist, and a social worker/counselor, to enhance success in the program. “This program is different,” says Dr. Pellegrino. “It is not a short-term plan. It is not a fad diet. It is not easy. It is a sixmonth educational experience to transform your life. If you are ready to commit to change, we are ready to get you there.” So, what does it involve? The program starts with a consultation with Dr. Pellegrino or a physician assistant. At that appointment, the individual discusses goals, reviews the program, and determines whether it is a good fit. Once an individual commits to the program, he or she undergoes laboratory tests, and may need to complete additional questionnaires to help facilitators individualize a plan. The participant will then meet again with Dr. Pellegrino to develop a treatment

plan. Once the plan has been created, the participant meets with Dr. Pellegrino monthly. Additionally, each participant meets with a team member every one to two weeks for further education. For Dr. Pellegrino, who is American Board of Obesity Medicine eligible, Iredell Healthy Weight is more than just about helping individuals finally take off those hard-to-lose pounds. It’s about ending a nationwide epidemic. “I wanted to start this program because obesity has become an epidemic in our country,” she says. “America has the highest obesity population percentage in the world, and North Carolina ranks fifth worst in the country for childhood obesity. Obesity is a disease that is destroying us, and it needs to be recognized as a disease and successfully treated.”

Yvette Pellegrino, M.D., FAAFP

ÄÄMAKE THE CALL To take the next step toward a healthier lifestyle, contact Iredell Healthy Weight. Call 704-878-4550 or stop by the Iredell Wellness and Diabetes Center, located at 285-D North Main St., Troutman. Participation criteria may apply.



pulmonary medicine

What Women Need to Know About Lung Cancer When it comes to lung cancer, many American women are misinformed, which puts them at risk of dying from this deadly disease. For example, according to an American Lung Association survey of 1,000 American women, more than half believe breast cancer is the number one cancer killer of women in the U.S. However, lung cancer has killed more women than breast cancer for the past 25 years.

Risk Factors “Most people know that smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer,” says Dr. Jose E. Perez of Piedmont HealthCare Pulmonology. “A nonsmoker’s chances of getting lung cancer are small, but exposure to secondhand smoke, radon, dust and fumes of industrial compounds, and air pollution can increase the risk.”

Lifesaving Screenings For most people, lung cancer is not diagnosed until it has spread to other organs or is locally invasive. Fortunately, studies have found a low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) scan reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual lung cancer screening for the following people: ƒƒ Heavy smokers—defined as those who have smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or more, or two packs a day for 15 years or more ƒƒ Those who currently smoke or quit smoking less than 15 years ago and are between ages 55 and 77

ƒƒ Frequent bronchitis or pneumonia ƒƒ Coughing up blood ƒƒ Weight loss ƒƒ Headaches or bone pain Contact your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms.

Test Your Knowledge Visit the National Institutes of Health at quizzes.html to take a lung cancer quiz and assess how much you know about the disease.

Symptoms Many people with early-stage lung cancer do not have symptoms. As the disease progresses, they may experience: ƒƒ Chronic cough or chest pain ƒƒ Hoarseness, shortness of breath, or wheezing

Ä ÄBREATHE EASIER If you have concerns about your lung health, make an appointment with a pulmonary specialist today. Jose E. Perez, M.D., FCCP, FAASM Piedmont HealthCare Pulmonology 208 Old Mocksville Road Statesville, NC 28625 704-838-8240 Dr. Perez also practices at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville.



Health Matters | Fall 2016


family health



STAY HOME IF … You feel too sick for regular activities


Fever decreases and you feel better


Body temperature is less than 100.4° without medications for 24 hours

You suspect flu—you may want to see your provider, too


Fever has been gone for 24 hours without medications

Your headache is incapacitating and/or includes throbbing or light or noise sensitivity


Your headache goes away or is no longer incapacitating


The rash is gone—or, if you had a fever, when your doctor says it's OK

The temperature on an oral thermometer reads 100.4° F or higher

It is rapidly spreading; you have fever, chills, weeping, or severe itching; or a family member has a similar rash You are having difficulty swallowing, or you're diagnosed with strep. You are vomiting or have uncontrollable diarrhea


24 hours after you start antibiotics if it is strep 12–24 hours after the onset, and you can tolerate food

To stop the spread of germs, practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently, and do not cough or sneeze directly in front of you—do it into a tissue, your shirt sleeve, or your elbow instead.

ÄÄWORKING FOR YOU Iredell Health System offers comprehensive services for employers. To learn more about how you can get your employees healthier and back to work quickly, contact: Joseph Wolyniak, D.O. Iredell Occupational Medicine 128 East Plaza Drive, Unit 3 Mooresville, NC 28115 | 7 980-444-2630

Iredell Memorial Hospital, INC P.O. Box 1828 Statesville, NC 28687-1828

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Iredell Memorial Hospital, INC

A New Approach to Weight Loss at Iredell See page 5.

©2016. Articles in this magazine are written by professional journalists or physicians who strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information. Our articles are reviewed by medical professionals for accuracy and appropriateness. No magazine, however, can replace the care and advice of medical professionals, and readers are cautioned to seek such help for personal problems. 10279M

For more info about Iredell Health System, please visit

Developed by StayWell

What You Can Do to

Prevent Diabetes

Wouldn’t you like to have a crystal ball that could warn you about serious diseases before they start? Thankfully, a simple blood test can reveal whether you have a condition called prediabetes. With prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Getting Screened Ask your doctor whether you should get a screening for prediabetes. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for adults ages 40 to 70 who are overweight or obese. Your doctor also may recommend screening if you have other risk factors.

What You Can Do Having prediabetes is serious, but you can make changes to lower your blood glucose levels within the normal range. They include: ƒƒ Losing weight. If you’re overweight, aim to lose around 7 percent of your total weight. ƒƒ Exercising. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days per week. Also, try to fit more activity into your daily life. ƒƒ Watching your diet. Cut back on the amount of fat and calories you eat per day.

The Road Ahead If you have prediabetes, you should have your blood glucose levels checked annually. Work with your health care team and take an active role in lowering your blood glucose levels. It can make a difference in your health today and for many years to come.

Thanks to the Iredell Wellness and Diabetes Center staff for contributing to this article!

ÄÄSUPPORT FOR DIABETES For information on classes and services available to help you and your loved ones prevent and/or manage prediabetes and other health conditions, contact: Iredell Wellness and Diabetes Center 285-D North Main St. Troutman, NC 28166 704-878-4556