Healthy Lifestyles Online – January 26 Edition

LeConte’s Healthy Lifestyles is a health and wellness publication printed twice a month in local newspapers serving Sevier County and South Knoxville. And here online! We hope you find this information healthful.

Table of Contents

Resolve to Get Your Health Screenings This Year
Make Sleep a Priority This Year
Corporate Team Challenge Highlights Work Wellness
LeConte Earns ACR Accreditation in Breast MRI
Download this edition as a PDF

Resolve to Get Your Health Screenings This Year

One important component to living a long and healthy life is to get preventive health screenings for serious diseases. If your doctor finds a disease early, the problem is often easier to treat and may cause less damage. In addition to celebrating milestone birthdays, consider them reminders for certain important health checks.

Here’s a timeline for health screenings through the decades:

Breast cancer. This screening uses X-rays to look for breast cancers when they are still small. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends annual mammograms for women starting at age 40. Talk with your doctor about frequency, as well as other possible imaging tests if you have a family history of breast cancer. Women should begin performing monthly breast self exams at the age of 20.

Cervical cancer. Women between the ages of 21 and 65 should have a Pap smear every one to three years.

Prostate cancer. The ACS suggests that men talk with their doctor at age 50 about being tested for prostate cancer. This screening involves a blood test measuring a substance called PSA. It may also include a rectal exam of the prostate. African-American men and men with a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65 should have this talk at age 45.

Testicular cancer. Men should perform monthly testicular self exams beginning at age 20.

Osteoporosis. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests that women be screened for osteoporosis starting at age 65. Your doctor might advise you to start at a younger age if you are at high risk for bone loss or a broken bone.

Colorectal cancer. The ACS suggests that both men and women be screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. The gold standard diagnostic test is the colonoscopy. If no precancerous polyps are found, you may not need to have it the test repeated more than once every 10 years.

Diabetes. The National Institutes of Health suggests that everyone age 45 or older think about being tested for diabetes. Consider starting at a younger age if you’re overweight and have other factors that put you at higher risk for diabetes, such as an elevated blood glucose level, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Cholesterol. The USPSTF suggests that men have cholesterol screenings starting at age 35. Women should begin at 45 if they’re at high risk for heart disease. Both men and women should consider getting this blood test at an earlier age if their risk for heart disease in particularly high.

Abdominal aneurysm. Men should have a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm between ages 65 and 75 if they have ever smoked, the USPSTF suggests. This ultrasound test looks for a weak, bulging spot in a major blood vessel in the abdomen. The USPSTF doesn’t recommend the screening in older men who haven’t smoked or in women.

Vision Screening. A primary care provider should perform a vision screening every one to three years beginning at age 20.

Screenings are just one step you can take to prevent disease later in life. Other crucial steps include:

  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy
  • Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation, if you drink

And, don’t forget, one of the most important steps is to establish relationships with local providers to ensure they have a complete record of your health history and you have easy access to care when and where you need it. Need to find a physician? Call our physician information line at (865) 453-WELL (9355) or visit

Make Sleep a Priority This Year

Sleep deprivation means you’re not getting enough sleep. For most adults, the amount of sleep needed for best health is seven to eight hours each night.
When you get less sleep than that, as many people do, it can eventually lead to a whole host of health problems. These can include forgetfulness, being less able to fight off infections, and even mood swings and depression.

What causes sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is not a specific disease. It is usually the result of other illnesses or due to life circumstances.

Sleep deprivation is becoming more common. Many people try to adjust their schedule to get as much done as possible, and sleep is sacrificed.

Sleep deprivation also becomes a greater problem as people grow older. Although older adults probably need as much sleep as younger adults, they typically sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans than younger people. It’s estimated that half of all people older than 65 have frequent sleeping problems.
What are the symptoms of sleep deprivation?

At first, sleep deprivation may cause minor symptoms, but over time these symptoms can become more serious.

Initial sleep deprivation symptoms may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impaired memory
  • Reduced physical strength
  • Diminished ability to fight off infections

Sleep deprivation complications over time may include:

  • Increased risk for depression and mental illness
  • Increased risk for stroke and asthma attack
  • Increased risk for potentially life-threatening complications, such as car accidents, and untreated sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe mood swings

Can sleep deprivation be prevented?

If your sleep deprivation is mild, these simple strategies may help you to get a better night’s sleep:

  • Exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes each day, at least five to six hours before going to bed. This will make you more likely to fall asleep later in the day.
  • Avoid substances that contain caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, all of which can disrupt your regular sleep patterns. Quitting smoking is always a good idea.

How to manage sleep deprivation

Creating a relaxing bedtime routine often helps to conquer sleep deprivation and get a good night’s sleep. This can include taking a warm bath, reading, or meditating and allowing your mind to drift peacefully to sleep.

Another step that may help you to get a good night’s sleep is sticking to a consistent schedule, meaning that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If possible, waking up with the sun is a good way to reset your body’s clock more naturally.

Also, keep your bedroom at a reasonable temperature, because a bedroom that is too hot or too cold can disrupt sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try doing something else like reading a book for a few minutes. The anxiety of not being able to fall asleep can actually make sleep deprivation worse for some people.

Finally, be sure to see a doctor if your problems with sleep deprivation continue. Don’t let sleep problems linger.

If you have sleep concerns let the Sleep Disorders Center at LeConte Medical Center put them to rest. Call (865) 446-7625 or visit to learn about what the Sleep Center can do for you.

Corporate Team Challenge Highlights Work Wellness

or 2016, Covenant Health has assembled a marathon team to specifically focus on corporate wellness. Each team member represents a participant in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon’s Fittest Company Challenge.
or 2016, Covenant Health has assembled a marathon team to specifically focus on corporate wellness. Each team member represents a participant in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon’s Fittest Company Challenge.

High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, aches and pains – these are all common problems affecting millions of people in the American workplace. We learn to live with it, take the pills, and clock in, because there’s a job to be done.

But what if there’s a better way?

Covenant Health has assembled a team of representatives from local businesses to train for events in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, April 3, 2016, as a path to better health and fitness. The new team members are ready to get serious about getting healthier, and have made a commitment to help others do the same.

For a little extra motivation, they will be competing against each other to see who can make the greatest strides in health and fitness by race day. The team will be coached by Covenant Health fitness advocate Missy Kane, who is an Olympic runner and a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

At the end of the three-month training period, a winner will be named based on improvements in health and fitness, goals reached, and team participation. The winner will receive a package of prizes from marathon sponsors, but Kane says past team members have told her the real prize is the new lease on life that comes with being healthy and strong.

This year’s team members were chosen from the marathon’s Fittest Company Challenge participants, a variety of employers throughout East Tennessee who are encouraging their work force to use marathon events to achieve optimum wellness. The team will receive expert advice on diet and exercise, and will serve as community ambassadors for health and fitness.

Covenant Health’s first team was assembled for the inaugural marathon in 2005. Since then, the program has grown and changed to reach various groups of people. The 2016 team will be the first to focus primarily on corporate wellness, striving to help employers support workers’ efforts to be healthy.

To learn more about the team, visit, and to register for the marathon, visit

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Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Corporate Team Challenge logo


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2016 Team

Allison Benge, Cellular Sales
Lisa Benton, Denso Manufacturing
LeeAnn Bowman, WBIR-TV
Naomi Blair, Radio Systems Corporation
Chris Blevins, Regal Cinemas
Chip Braeuner, Knoxville Police Department
Neva Foust, Tennessee Valley Authority
Tatia Harris, City of Knoxville
Melissa Hart, TeamHealth
Robert Holder, News Sentinel
Cindy Jones, Pattison Sign Group
Jennifer Marsh, DeRoyal Industries
Misty Monday, Pilot Flying J
Bob Yarbrough, Cumulus Radio

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2016 Coaches

Missy Kane, Covenant Health fitness advocate
Phil Kaplan, Assistant Coach
Joe Mitchell, Assistant Coach


LeConte Earns ACR Accreditation in Breast MRI

Gold Seal Represents Highest Level of Image Quality and Patient Safety

LeConte Medical Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI of the breast offers valuable information about many breast conditions that may not be obtained by other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound.

“We’re so proud of our MRI team, and excited about achieving this new accreditation. This certification is a huge asset to our Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, providing a full array of services for our breast patients,” said Teresa Huskey, manager of diagnostic services at LeConte Medical Center.

Danna Moore and Lewis Sartain, members of LeConte’s MRI team, are shown with their accreditation certificate. This accreditation is the  most recent available from the American College of Radiology.
Danna Moore and Lewis Sartain, members of LeConte’s MRI team, are shown with their accreditation certificate. This accreditation is the most recent available from the American College of Radiology.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR practice guidelines and technical standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report it can use for continuous practice improvement.

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.

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