How to Manage High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

High blood pressure is twice as likely to affect a person with diabetes than a person without diabetes. In fact, as many as 2 in 3 people who suffer from diabetes report having high blood pressure or are advised to take high blood pressure medications. Not only do these conditions work together, but they also cause a significant increase in one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease. This is why it is so important to us at HHM Health to help our patients take preventative measures to treat or prevent high blood pressure. Here are HHM’s top tips for managing and preventing high blood pressure and diabetes: 

  1. Keep a Healthy Weight

People who have been diagnosed with or fall into the categories of being overweight or obese are at higher risk for health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. By trying to maintain a healthy weight, you can lower your risk for health problems and make it less likely that you will get heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, losing as little as 5 to 10 pounds can help lower high blood pressure, and patients also tend to be happier after losing that weight. 

  1. Reduce Salt Intake

Salt can cause your body to hold on to extra fluid, causing bloating and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day to help lower blood pressure and, thus, lower their risk of heart disease. By checking the sodium content on nutrition labels, you can easily track your salt intake when you cook at home and know what goes into your food. The tricky part of tracking sodium intake is that 70% of the sodium we eat comes from packaged and restaurant-prepared foods, so by eating fresh food and preparing meals at home, you can significantly lower your daily sodium intake. 

  1. Keep Active

Exercising regularly is an easy way to lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, and lose weight. Exercise also improves one’s overall well-being and health, both mentally and physically. The British Journal of Sports Medicine says that when people want to lower their blood pressure, exercise works just as well as medicine. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise weekly, which is only 20 to 30 minutes a day of walking, biking, or swimming. 

  1. Reduce Alcohol Intake

The consumption of alcohol can cause a spike in your blood pressure, especially if you drink a lot of it over time. Reducing alcohol intake significantly lowers blood pressure in those who drink regularly. The American Heart Association recommends men have no more than two drinks per day, and women have no more than one drink per day. A drink is defined as 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of spirits over 80-proof, or 1 oz of 100-proof spirits. 

  1. Stop Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke

Nicotine and tobacco products are two of the main causes of high blood pressure, and the continued use of these products can lead to several health problems. Therefore, cutting down on or quitting smoking and inhaling less secondhand smoke is one of the best ways to keep your blood pressure down and your heart healthy. There are plenty of resources to help you quit, and for more information on those resources, contact HHM Health or your primary healthcare provider today!

HHM Health is a non-profit community health center that provides caring, high-quality medical care that is easy to get to. We provide services to the Dallas, Texas, area, which also happens to be the country’s most uninsured county. We welcome you to contact our center if you live in the Dallas neighborhood and need our services.

Behavioral Health With The Holidays

According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of Americans experience heightened stress during the holiday season, leading to physical illness, depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse. Those already suffering from mental illness noted that their conditions worsened around the holidays. This heightened sense of stress is due to a variety of factors, including a lack of time, financial pressure, and family gatherings. However, there are ways in which we can prepare ourselves and deflect some of the stress we experience during the holiday season. Our experts at HHM Health have identified common issues that arise during this season and ways to address them. 

Lacking the “Holiday Spirit” 

During the holidays, it can be embarrassing to be around people who are happy but don’t share your happiness. If you feel like you have to match their happiness, you may feel left out. During this time, it is important to recognize that you are not required to feel happy or joyful. Hundreds of thousands of people suffer through these same feelings around the holidays. If you can, hang out with people who feel the same way, and try to deal with your feelings instead of numbing them out with alcohol or other drugs. 

There is Little to No Sunlight

Less exposure to natural light actually has a negative impact on people, causing them to feel more depressed and anxious during the winter. To reduce these feelings, try to get as much sunlight as possible throughout the day. You can feel happier and more energized by working near a window, eating lunch outside, or putting in warm, bright lights in your home. Light winter candles and plug in twinkling lights for a reason. The winter is also a perfect time to work on quieter projects and activities due to the slower pace of the season, which includes knitting, writing, baking, etc. These projects help clear one’s head, allowing you to become more relaxed. 

You’re Feeling Isolated 

While we tend to be surrounded by our loved ones during the holiday season, the feeling of isolation may set in if you are away from loved ones, and you may find it hard to reach out. During this time, it is important to remind yourself of the people, places, and things that make you feel happy. Scheduling a call or video chat with friends and family on a regular basis will not only help reduce this feeling but also reduce the difficulty of reaching out in a time of need. Living in the technological age, there are so many ways to reach out to your loved ones. Holiday cards, emails, and social media are also excellent ways to stay in touch regardless of distance. 

The holidays are known as a time of giving. However, please do not forget to care for yourself during this time as well. Keeping a balanced diet, following a moderate exercise routine, and getting plenty of sleep are great ways to take care of yourself. Do not get carried away with distractions and stressors, as you’ll lose track of yourself and your basic needs.
We value your whole health. HHM Health provides accessible, affordable, and compassionate care.  If you continue to struggle with your mental health, we strongly advise seeing one of HHM Health’s mental health professionals or one of our primary care physicians, as we can work with you to figure out what is wrong and what we can do to help you.

Things to Look for When Choosing Your Health Insurance

Choosing a health insurance plan may seem overwhelming, but HHM Health is here to help. Insurance companies use confusing terms regarding healthcare and selecting a plan forces you to think hard about your health and finances. Whether you are aging out of your parent’s plan, in a plan that no longer works for you or you’re uninsured and want to see available options, we have plenty of advice and tips to ensure you can find the right healthcare plan. 

  1. Know Where to Go

It’s not always obvious where to look for health insurance, as the United States has hundreds of programs available.

If you are 65 or older, you are eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a federally run program that involves the government paying for most of your health care. If you have a disability, you might also be eligible to receive Medicare. For those under 65, the vast majority will have health insurance options through their employer, who will typically cover between 50% and 90% of premium costs. 

Medicaid is another health insurance option. Medicaid is a health insurance program that mostly helps people with low incomes. It covers almost one in four Americans. This program is funded by federal and state governments but is run by each state, so where you live determines your eligibility. If you don’t know how to enroll in Medicaid and want to be seen at one of our clinics, HHM Health has an enrollment team that can help you. 

For anyone else, is your one-stop shop for health insurance, which the Affordable Care Act created. This is where you can shop for health insurance if any of the categories mentioned above do not apply to you. In this marketplace, you can apply for financial help depending on your income and choose a plan. 

  1. Think About Your Health

If you are overwhelmed by the options available to you, especially in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, it’s best to think about your health and what applies to you. Basic questions can help narrow this search down. For instance, do you have an ongoing health issue you will need care for?  

If you are healthy, a variety of plans might work for you. However, if your spouse or child has ongoing health needs, having more information can help narrow your choices to the health insurance that best suits your needs. You may even be able to enter medications and doctor’s names to filter out plans that do not cover them. 

There are two major types of plans to consider: HMOs and PPOs. Health Maintenance Organizations have a strict network of providers, so if you choose to see a provider outside of the network, all costs are on you. Preferred Organizations give you a more comprehensive range of providers. Even though it costs a bit more, it still pays for some of the costs. 

  1. Beware of Too-Good-To-Be-True Plans Online

The internet has proven to be a scary place as more and more scams have arisen online. It is important not to put your contact information in health insurance interest forms on random websites or click on online ads for insurance. 

Plans that appear on Google seem appealing due to their low cost, but tend to be short-term plans that do not cover basic prescriptions or annual check-ups. Experts advise going straight to because, no matter where you live or your financial status, you can go through the portal and find healthcare options that will work for you. Any plan found through will cover essential benefits, including preventative care and hospital coverage. 

HHM Health is a non-profit community health facility that offers compassionate, excellent healthcare that is easily accessible. We provide services to the Dallas, Texas area, which also happens to be the country’s most uninsured county. We welcome you to contact our center if you live in the Dallas neighborhood and need our services.

To find out more, go to now.

Why You Should Get Annual Dental Check Ups

You brush twice a day, use mouthwash, and floss regularly. So, is it really necessary to keep up with your dentist’s appointments and receive regular cleanings? 

The answer is yes, as it ultimately comes down to preventing issues from arising. According to the American Dental Association, the mouth is a window into the entire body’s health. Gum disease is often linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more!

Here are some advantages to having regular dental check-ups: 

  1. Preventative Care

The best way to prevent health issues like gum disease, cavities, or oral cancer is to schedule regular dental check-ups every six months. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 2 adults over thirty years of age have periodontitis, a more advanced form of periodontal disease. Your gums provide clues that allow dentists to examine for abnormalities that may point to gum disease, which has the ability to spread to other body organs. This is one of the primary reasons dentists recommend annual comprehensive periodontal evaluations for optimum health. 

Your dentist can examine and identify cavities as another potential problem before they become more serious. Not all cavities have pain, allowing them to progress into a severe infection that can enter the bloodstream after attacking the enamel on your teeth and the soft tissue underneath. 

Did you know that once plaque forms tartar, it cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone? Dentists are the only ones properly equipped with the tools to successfully remove the tartar on your teeth without permanently damaging the enamel on your teeth. If tartar continues to build up, it can lead to gum disease. Therefore, early prevention is vital. 

  1. Increased Self-Esteem

Nothing beats the great feeling of having clean teeth after leaving the dentist’s office. Clean teeth have been proven to increase the tendency of one to smile, which releases endorphins in the brain that make you happier. People also love those who smile. Smiling promotes friendliness and a pleasing attitude. So, dental appointments can improve you mentally, socially, and physically. 

  1. Financial Benefits

When you have proper oral hygiene, you end up saving money in the long run. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the average cost for a single tooth implant can be $3,000 to $4,500, with full-mouth implants costing around $20,000. By scheduling regular appointments with your dentist, you can learn good oral habits and promote oral hygiene that will be beneficial in the long run. Regular dentist visits can diagnose and prevent cavities, gum disease, oral cancer and oral surgery can be diagnosed and prevented with regular dentist visits, preventing expenses from piling up in the future. 

If you are in need of a dental check-up, let the staff at HHM Health help you. We have a team of dentists ready to serve you and provide dental check-ups for you. For more information, please contact HHM Health today to visit one of our clinics

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