Health & Wellness Blog

in Brain


main image

Concussions is Arcola Health & Wellness Ministry Topic of the month for March 2020

  • A concussion is a brain injury that actually changes how the cells in the brain normally work. 
  • It is caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull.   
  • Even a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. 
  • Concussions can result from a fall or from players colliding with each other or with obstacles, such as a goalpost.
  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Athletes who have, at any point in their lives, had a concussion have an increased risk for another concussion.
  • Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.
  • The CDC estimates 1.6-3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities annually. However, these figures vastly underestimate the total, as many individuals do not seek medical advice.
  • Cheerleading is the only sport where more head injuries occur during practices than during competition.  

While parents are more educated than ever, concern about what resources parents are finding is troubling. The Archives of Diseases in Childhood has reported that less than 40% of the health information is correct and consistent with guidelines. The medical education website ‘SayAH!’ says that parents are overwhelmed, and typically patients forget 80% of what a doctor tells them. It is best to have the conversations before their child sustains a concussion.  For more details follow at Chris Snoddy: 

Identifying, managing and preventing concussions is a long-standing priority of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). 81% of its members serve as team physicians. It is committed to publishing the most significant research on concussions through its 3 peer reviewed journals: American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM), Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach and Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine (OJSM).

What to watch for


• Headache or “pressure” in head

• Nausea or vomiting

• Balance problems or dizziness

• Double or blurry vision

• Sensitivity to noise or light

• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

• Concentration or memory problems

• Confusion

• Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”



• Appears dazed or stunned

• Is confused about assignment or position

• Forgets an instruction

• Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

• Moves clumsily

• Answers questions slowly

• Loses consciousness (even briefly)

• Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes

• Can’t recall events prior or after hit or fall

In many places a "buddy" system has been introduced in which team members are assigned to watch for signs of concussion in designated teammates. If they spot signs, or their teammates tell them they are experiencing symptoms, the buddy is encouraged or required to immediately report the possible injury to the athletic trainer. This is now critical, for an athlete’s reluctance to self-report has become culturally entrenched. Source: Moms Team

‘Concussion for Students’, developed in Partnership with the Barrow Neurological Institute, has been designed specifically for students to inform them on how to identify, react to, and prevent concussions.  This free course is presented as a social media conversation, showing how four different students learn about concussion in different ways.  It includes high school students and medical professionals discussing concussion.  The key goal is for students to be able to identify signs and symptoms of a concussion so that they can get immediate help before any further injury can occur.  Source: - National Federation of State High School Associations

In May 2009, the State of Washington passed the “Zackery Lystedt Law” to address concussion management in youth athletics. The Washington law was the first state law to require a “removal and clearance for Return to Play” among youth athletes. Now all 50 states have a Return to Play law:  1. Remove immediately from activity when signs/symptoms are present.  2. Must not return to full activity prior to a minimum of 240 hours (10 days). 3. Release from medical professional required for return.  4. Follow school district’s return to play guidelines. 5. Coaches continue to monitor for signs/symptoms once athletes return to activity.  Content source: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNational Center for Injury Prevention and Control

National Concussion Awareness Day: September 18, 2020 
Recognized on the third Friday of September. 
National Concussion Awareness Day ® was founded in 2016 by Brooke Mills, who suffered a concussion as a high school freshman.  “Concussions have become an epidemic in the United States, with millions of mild traumatic brain injuries happening each year.  The purpose of National Concussion Awareness Day ® is to create an opportunity for public discussion of this issue with Health care professionals, non-profit organizations and support groups from across the United States. Source:

The national awareness team suggests these ways to support/participate:

1. Share your story! Spread concussion awareness by sharing your story with your local newspaper, TV, or radio station, or simply share your story on your own social media. Remember to use the hashtag #nationalconcussionsawarenessday

2. Create an educational opportunity. You can host an information table at your school, library, or public place. Or invite a local concussion expert as a speaker to your school, work, or community group. 

The free CDC HEADS UP Concussion and Helmet Safety app will help you learn how to spot a possible concussion and what to do if you think your child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury.  The application also includes a 3D helmet fit feature that teaches about proper helmet fit, safety and care.



For more information on brain injuries check the following websites:

“Let each of you look not only to his interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:4-5

Posted by Philip Mowrey with
in Cancer

Breast Cancer

main image

“ …Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Fast Facts About Breast Cancer

  • Each year in the United States, more than 245,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among America women.
  • Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.

How Can I Prevent Breast Cancer?

Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Recommendation: age 50 and every 2 years until age 70. If family history, discuss with your doctor.

  • Perform monthly breast self-exams: practice monthly breast self-examination. Instructions for breast self-examination can be found at the American Cancer Society Web site by typing "How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam." Talk to your daughters about monthly self-exam.

What Are the Symptoms?  Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can notice symptoms.  These could include changes found during a breast self-exam. You should report any changes that you notice to your doctor or health care provider

There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include:

  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood).
  • A new lump in the breast or underarm.

Factors that influence your risk for breast cancer:

  • Being older, most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. However, 10% are found in younger women.
  • Family History -  If you've had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, your risk is 5 times higher than average.
  • Having changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The genes most commonly affected in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are the breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 (BRCA2) genes. About 3% of breast cancers (about 6,000 women per year) and 10% of ovarian cancers (about 2,000 women per year) result from inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
Posted by Marilee Moot with