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Healthy from head to toe



If you want to remain healthy, regular checkups with your doctor, dentist, optometrist, and other health-care professionals are essential. These appointments help ensure that problems are detected early, which maximizes your chances of receiving timely treatment and making a full recovery. The frequency of your visits should be based on your age and risk factors, although you should also book an appointment if you experience pain or other worrying symptoms.

In the meantime, there are plenty of ways you can lead a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you remain in peak condition.

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes when you’re outside and use safety goggles while playing certain sports, handling dangerous substances, or working in a dusty environment. Additionally, remember to blink often and take regular breaks if you use a computer all day. This will help prevent eye strain and dry eyes.

To preserve your hearing, favor headphones over earbuds, listen to music at a reasonable volume, and wear noise-canceling earmuffs in loud environments. Never use cotton swabs to clean your ears, as doing so can create earwax blockages and damage your eardrums.

Keep your teeth and gums healthy by adopting good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle brush and flossing daily. It’s also a good idea to limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are bad for your teeth such as sticky candies and soft drinks.

Muscles and joints
You should always warm-up before you exercise, stay hydrated before and during physical activities, and listen to your body to prevent injuries. At work, be sure to maintain an ergonomic posture and vary tasks as much as possible to avoid prolonged repetitive movements.

To protect your feet, choose comfortable footwear that fits properly, avoid shoes that scrunch your toes, and save high heels for special occasions. These practices will help you avoid aches, blisters, and other common foot problems. You should also regularly wash and dry your feet, and don’t cut your nails too short.

There are numerous ways you can reduce the risk of heart disease. Among other things, you should exercise regularly, limit your consumption of alcohol, get enough sleep, manage your stress, and eat a healthy low-sugar, low-sodium diet.

To keep your skin healthy, wash with mild soap and warm (rather than hot) water. Take care to pat yourself dry, as rubbing can cause irritation. You should also moisturize daily, take steps to protect your skin against the sun, and eat plenty of berries and other foods rich in antioxidants.

In addition to getting your daily dose of fiber (which should come from a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains), there are several ways to promote healthy digestion. Eat slowly, drink plenty of water, use antibiotics only when necessary, and avoid restraining yourself from going to the bathroom when you feel the need.

Reproductive organs
Keeping your genitals clean is a must, but women should avoid douches and other types of scented products. Men should protect their testicles when playing contact sports by wearing a protective cup. Both men and women should practice safe sex, get tested for sexually transmitted infections, and find out if they’ve been vaccinated against HPV, among other things.

To help prevent kidney disease, you should reduce your salt intake, drink plenty of water, and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. You should also limit your use of over-the-counter medications and respect the dosage of any prescription drugs you take.

You should familiarize yourself with the look and feel of your breasts so that you’ll notice if something changes. However, breast health goes beyond self-exams. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, learn to manage your stress, adopt an active lifestyle, and take steps to maintain a healthy weight.

To keep cognitive decline at bay, make sure to regularly challenge yourself. Solving crossword puzzles, playing strategy games, and learning a new language are ways you can keep your mind active. It’s also important that you maintain a social life that allows you to regularly connect with others. Additionally, make sure to wear a helmet if you cycle, ski, play contact sports, or work in a hazardous environment.

Eating foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D (fatty fish, eggs, milk, mushrooms, etc.) will help keep your bones strong. Consult your doctor to find out if you should be taking a supplement. Additionally, be sure to exercise regularly and limit your consumption of coffee and alcohol.

Wash your hands frequently and take steps to prevent the spread of germs that target your respiratory system. You should also avoid smoky and dusty environments, and improve your home’s indoor air quality by opening windows, vacuuming often, and getting your ducts cleaned regularly by a professional.

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5 ways to help your partner deal with depression



If your significant other is experiencing moodiness, irritability, a change in appetite, altered sleep patterns, and a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, they might have depression. Living with someone who has this mood disorder can be challenging, and it’s normal to feel helpless and overwhelmed. Here are some ways you can offer your support.

1. Learn more about it. There are many reputable resources online you can reference to educate yourself about depression. Demonstrating compassion and understanding is one of the most powerful ways you can support your partner.

2. Encourage treatment. Depression seldom improves without treatment. You can help your partner by encouraging them to seek support from a qualified professional.

3. Focus on small steps. Urge your partner to create micro goals and acknowledge each achievement. Positive reinforcement can help your partner to make progress.

4. Spend time together. People with depression may avoid social interactions. You can help them stay connected by planning activities such as watching a movie, playing a board game, or going for a hike in the woods.

5. Help them make healthy choices. Encourage your partner to exercise regularly and eat nutritious food. If you do these things together, you’ll both reap the benefits. Consider going for a daily walk, bike ride, or swim and preparing healthy meals.

If you want to be able to support your partner, it’s important that you also take care of yourself. Be sure to make time for the things you enjoy doing and reach out to friends, family members, or a support group. Finally, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if your own mental health starts to deteriorate.

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Orthorexia during the pandemic



The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many people. For some, the circumstances have prompted or aggravated eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and the lesser-known but increasingly common condition called orthorexia. If you’ve been increasingly preoccupied with healthy eating, here’s what you should know.

What is orthorexia?
With so much information about nutrition readily available, people who want to adopt a healthier diet may feel guilty about eating food with too much salt and sugar or not enough nutrients. However, for people with orthorexia, healthy eating is an obsession. Among other things, it can cause them to develop behaviors like:

• Banning specific foods or ingredients, such as gluten, without medical justification
• Planning meals in great detail
• Thinking about food for several hours a day
• Feeling guilty about eating unhealthy food, even on occasion
• Eating purely for the sake of nutritional intake rather than enjoyment
• Spending a lot of time analyzing and comparing product labels at the grocery store

For many people with orthorexia, the pandemic worsened their obsession with healthy eating, either by preventing them from going to the gym, giving them more free time to research the topic or simply making concerns about their health a higher priority.

In a society that highly values healthy eating, this disorder can be particularly insidious. People often take pride in being able to control what they eat, and they’re frequently praised for their discipline.

If you think you may be struggling with an eating disorder, or you want to improve your relationship with food, take advantage of the free resources available online and consult a psychologist or doctor.

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Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and Wound Healing



Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms and legs become completely or partially blocked. This blockage is caused by fatty plaque deposits that harden arteries, called atherosclerosis, and greatly reduces blood flow.

PAD affects nearly 10 million people in the United States, especially those over 65 years of age. PAD increases the risks of hard-to-heal wounds and associated lower-limb amputations by negatively impacting circulation and reducing blood flow to and from the legs.

The Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center, located right in the town of Warrenton, identifies these risk factors for developing PAD:

  • Age above 65 years
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive weight
  • Family history of artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking

The Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center can also perform non-invasive tests to diagnose and accurately treat PAD. An ankle-brachial index (ABI) test is painless and easy, and compares the blood pressure reading in the ankles with the blood pressure reading in the arms. An ABI can help diagnose PAD, but it cannot identify which arteries are narrowed or blocked. A Doppler ultrasound test may be done to see which artery or arteries are blocked. Up to twenty-five percent of those with advanced PAD will experience an amputation within one year due to a non-healing wound. Although the long-term effects of PAD are serious, an astonishing 40 percent of people with PAD do not experience any symptoms.

Fauquier Health spreads awareness during the week of September 13-17, by wearing a white sock to raise awareness of PAD, chronic wounds and amputation. #WhiteSockCampaign

If you are at risk for PAD, do not dismiss leg pain as part of growing old and seek care if you have these symptoms:

  • Pain or cramps in the back of your leg while walking or exercising. These pains or cramps go away when the walking or exercising stops.
  • Pain in the feet or legs while resting or that wakes you from sleep.
  • Decreased or no hair growth on the feet or legs.
  • Lower legs and feet that are cool to touch or that have shiny skin.
  • Legs and feet that appear pale when raised and bluish/purplish when hanging down.
  • Weak or absent pulses in the feet
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet and legs.
  • A sore or wound on your toes, legs or feet that does not heal.

People who are at risk for PAD should call The Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center if they develop a wound. Specialized care provided by the center that can help to reduce healing times, increase healing rates and significantly lower amputation risks.

For more information on identifying PAD and treating chronic or infected wounds, contact Wound Care Center located at 493 Blackwell Rd., Suite 101A, Warrenton, VA 20186 or call 540.316.HEAL (4325).

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September 2021 monthly health article – Prostate Cancer Awareness



Dr. Brian DeCastro, Urologist at Fauquier Health.

How Much Do You Know About Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a condition often heard about, but perhaps seldom fully understood. In recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we asked Dr. Brian DeCastro, Urologist at Fauquier Health, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions concerning this common form of cancer.

What is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland that is only found in men.  It is located just below the bladder and just behind the pubic bone of the pelvis.  It is an important reproductive tool because it produces some of the fluid during ejaculation which helps transport the sperm.  It surrounds the urethra – the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It’s about the size of a walnut but tends to increase in size as men age.

What is prostate cancer?
With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, one out of every nine men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.   Prostate cancer is a very treatable cancer if caught early but it is still the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men (only behind lung cancer).  That is why screening is so important.

Am I at risk for prostate cancer?
If you are a man and you have a prostate you are at risk for prostate cancer.  It more commonly occurs the older you get.  Those who are most at risk are patients with a family history of prostate cancer and African American men.  It is important that screening start at a younger age in these high-risk groups.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Unfortunately there are not a lot of symptoms of prostate cancer.  The majority of symptoms that get attributed to prostate cancer are typically secondary to an enlarged prostate (BPH).  Part of the evaluation for any of the following symptoms would prompt prostate cancer screening:

  • Difficulty with urination, including trouble starting or holding back urination, a weak or interrupted uninterrupted urine flow, pain or burning during urination, difficulty emptying your bladder fully, and frequent urination, especially at night
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the back, hips or pelvis that does not go away

It’s important to note that these symptoms are not exclusive to prostate cancer and are often secondary to benign (non-cancerous) conditions.

Should I be screened for prostate cancer?
Screening for prostate cancer is a simple blood test.  All men over 50 should be screened for prostate cancer.  Those with a family history of prostate cancer and African American men should consider PSA testing at age 40.  A discussion with your primary provider or urologist about the risks and benefits of testing is important.

Can I help prevent prostate cancer?
In general a healthy lifestyle is good for minimizing the risk of most cancers:

  • A healthy diet
  • Regular physical activity
  • Eating more fish
  • Avoiding trans fatty acids in foods
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation
  • Reducing stress

If you have any concerns regarding prostate cancer and its risks, symptoms and screening, have a discussion with your primary care provider or make an appointment with a urologist.

If you would like to be connected with a primary care provider, call 540.316.DOCS or visit the Find a Doctor tab at For more information about prostate cancer, visit and

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Nicotine withdrawal: what to expect



The decision to quit smoking is a courageous one, as it requires you to change your habits and temporarily live with the symptoms of withdrawal. Here’s what you can expect if you give up this vice.

Short-term effects
If you’re addicted to nicotine, you’ll experience a variety of physical and mental effects when your body is deprived of it. This is one reason why cravings are so strong, and those first few puffs offer such relief. For the first couple of weeks after you stop using nicotine, you may experience:

• Anxiety
• Coughing
• Difficulty concentrating
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Increased appetite
• Insomnia
• Irritability
• Tremors

Long-term benefits
As you go through the stages of nicotine withdrawal, it’s important to remember your symptoms are temporary and the benefits of not smoking far outweigh the discomforts of quitting. To help you stay motivated, keep in mind that by giving up smoking, you’ll:

• Save money
• Lower your risk of heart disease
• Be less likely to get cancer
• Have more energy and stamina
• Sound less hoarse when you speak
• Be able to smell and taste better
• Have healthier-looking skin
• Be less vulnerable to infections and viruses
• Spend less on insurance premiums

There are numerous tools and resources available to help you through the process of quitting your smoking habit. To maximize your chances of success, don’t hesitate to use them.

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The benefits of a pedicure



Think pedicures are only for people wearing strappy little shoes and taking social media photos of their feet on a tropical beach? Think again.

When done properly, pedicures promote good foot health. If you have diabetes, however, talk to your doctor about a safe alternative.

During the pedicure, you’ll start with a foot soak in a tub of warm water. Your toenails will be clipped — make sure they’re clipped straight across rather than on a curve, to prevent ingrown toenails. The technician will exfoliate dead skin off of areas like your heel, bottoms, and sides of your feet and elsewhere. You may receive a foot and calf massage, and you’ll likely have some gel or lotion rubbed onto your feet and ankles.

There’s a lot here that’s good for the health of your feet, including:

* Properly trimmed nails and the removal of dead skin, particularly in places that can harbor fungi, like the area between the toes.

* Improved circulation. The warm water and the massage stimulate circulation, which not only feels great but is good for your joints also.

* Removal of calluses.

* A close-up of your feet, which is an opportunity to catch any problems early.

A few last notes on safety: Make sure the salon is properly licensed, that it sterilizes its instruments, and that it drains and sanitizes foot baths between customers. You want to also be sure they don’t use non-metal tools (which are porous and can carry bacteria), or that if they do, they are only used for one customer and then tossed. And as much as you might be tempted, experts say not to shave before a pedicure, as bacteria is more likely to get in via small nicks and cuts.

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Upcoming Events

2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]
6:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 9 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets behind Mount Bleak. Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) Ambassadors[...]
5:00 pm 6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Last year we did not get to hold our annual Wine Pull due to COVID. We are so excited that we are able to have this fun fundraising event this year, so be sure to[...]
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 31 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
9:00 am Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Nov 6 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Carriage Barn. Sky Meadows State Park provides a unique opportunity to explore the rich natural diversity of the region. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable fall wild[...]
11:00 am Blue Ridge Sprouts – “Nourish, S... @ West Oaks Farm Market
Blue Ridge Sprouts – “Nourish, S... @ West Oaks Farm Market
Nov 6 @ 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Blue Ridge Sprouts - "Nourish, Savor, Learn" @ West Oaks Farm Market
A Festival for “Foodies” and the Whole Family! Love locally sourced food and want to learn more about the “real food” movement?  Be a part of this educational celebration and community fundraiser. Great for “tweens”[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Nov 6 @ 12:00 pm – Nov 7 @ 2:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log House to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer or ranger dons historic clothing and cooks delicious dishes using[...]