This Issue

Checkup

Mental health
is equally important

Back to school health checklist

Q & A

Mind and body:
Your emotions can affect your health


When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body tries to tell you that something is not quite right. The following are physical symptoms that your emotional health may be off kilter:

• Back or chest pain
• Change in appetite
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Dry mouth
• Extreme fatigue
• General aches and pains
• Headaches
• High blood pressure
• Trouble sleeping
• Lightheadedness
• Palpitations — feeling that your heart is racing
• Sexual problems
• Shortness of breath
• Upset stomach
• Weight gain or loss

If these symptoms persist for several weeks and have no known medical cause, you should discuss them with your doctor.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Are you depressed and don’t know it?

Mind and body: Your emotions can affect your health

Take a good look at yourself

Get the right number

Health
screenings

Health screenings

RoxComp
435 Warren Street, Roxbury
Date: August 10
Time: 4 - 7 p.m.
617-442-7400 x2278

United for Elders Expo
Central Boston Elder Services
Boston Sheraton Hotel
39 Dalton Street, Boston
Date: August 11
Time: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
617-267-2244

South End Community
Health Center

1601 Washington Street, Boston
Date: August 13
Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
617-425-2000 x3088

Health Care Revival
Mattapan Community Health Center
294 River Street, Mattapan
Date: September 10
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
617-296-0061


Upham’s Corner Health Center

Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Road, Dorchester
Date: October 15
Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
617-740-8128
Another good reason to visit the dentist


“All you have to do is open your mouth.”

— The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance


The oral cancer examination is painless and quick … and life-saving. When cancers of the head and neck are found early, the cure rate is high. Annual screenings by a doctor or dentist should be a part of your regular physical or dental checkup. The provider:

• Inspects your face, neck, lips and mouth.

• Feels the area under your jaw and the sides of your neck, checking for unusual lumps.

• Asks you to stick out your tongue to check for swelling, color and texture.

• Using gauze, lifts your tongue and pulls it from one side, then the other.

• Checks the roof and floor of your mouth and the back of your throat.

• Feels and examines the insides of your lips and cheeks for red or white patches.

• Places one finger on the floor of your mouth and, with the other hand under your chin, presses down to check for unusual lumps or sensitivity.

Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer
Awareness Week is May 8 – 14.


Photo by Vannessa Carrington/Mass. Eye and Ear

Get screened for head and neck
cancer. It’s free, quick and painless.

Boston Medical Center
Moakley Building Lobby
830 Harrison Avenue
Date: April 2
Time: 8 a.m. - noon
617-638-8260

Tufts Medical Center
860 Washington Street
Date: May 12
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
617-636-1664
Mass Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street
Date: May 13
Time: TBA
617-573-3340
Dedham Family Dental
Dr. Helaine Smith
30 Milton Street, Dedham
Date: May 11
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
781-326-4600

Mass General Hospital
Voice Center

One Bowdoin Square,
11th Floor
Date: May 13
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
617-726-0218
Remember to call ahead to confirm
time and date
of screenings.

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Get the right number

Blood Pressure

• Normal
Less than 120/80

• Pre-hypertension
120 to 139 / 80 to 89



• Stage 1 hypertension
140 to 159 / 90 to 99

• Stage 2 hypertension
160/100 and above
Cholesterol

• Total — Less than 200

• HDL — “Good” Cholesterol
Greater than 40




• LDL — “Bad” Cholesterol
Less than 100
Triglycerides
Less than 150
Blood Glucose

• Fasting
Less than 100


• Random (after eating)
Less than 140
Waist Circumference

• Women
under 35 inches


• Men
under 40 inches
Body Mass Index (BMI)
18.5 - 24.9

Take a good look at yourself

 

Even if you’re feeling well, you should regularly see your health care provider to check for potential problems. The visit serves to screen for diseases, assess health risks, update immunizations and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Also key is establishing and maintaining a relationship with your provider. The following are general guidelines for adults 18 years and older that can be personalized to one’s risk and health status.

Screenings for men (M) and women (F)
ages 18 and above
M
F
Screening Test
Starting Age
Frequency
    Cardiovascular
 
Blood Pressure*
18
Every 1 to 2 years
Cholesterol*
20
Every 3 to 5 years
Glucose (diabetes)*
45
Every 3 years
  Abdominal aortic aneurysm
65-75
One time for men who have ever smoked
    Cancer
 
  Cervical (Pap test)
21
Every 1 to 3 years
  Breast (Mammogram)**
40
Every 1 to 2 years
  Prostate (PSA)***
45
Yearly
Colorectal***
45
Every year - fecal occult blood test
Every 5 years - sigmoidoscopy and fecal blood test
Every 10 years - colonoscopy
Skin
18
Yearly
Head and Neck
18
Yearly
    Immunizations
 
TdAP/TD
(Tetanus Diphtheria booster)
19
Every 10 years
Flu
6 months
Yearly
  HPV
9 to 26
3 shots
Shingles
60
One time only
Pneumonia
65
One time only
    Others
 
Dental exam
18
Yearly
Eye exam
18
Every 2 years



Osteoporosis
65
70
As needed
As needed
HIV
18
Based on sexual activity
Chlamydia
Sexual Activity
Yearly based on sexual activity

*Those with a blood pressure exceeding 120/80 or those with diabetes, heart
disease or kidney problems may require earlier or more frequent monitoring.

**Women at high risk of breast cancer may start screening at a younger age.

***African Americans are advised to start screening at 45 rather than 50.

Sources: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force,
National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association