Spring Clean
Your Health

Boy drinking water

Many people opt to do some deep cleaning as a way to start fresh after the dark, cold months of winter. Your home isn’t the only thing that can benefit from a cleaning though, your health can too! Keep reading for some simple tips that will help you hit the reset button on your health journey as the weather warms up. 

Stay hydrated 

Dehydration can pose serious health risks. Even if you’re only mildly dehydrated you can experience fatigue, low energy, and headaches. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. A glass of water before a meal can also prevent overeating. An easy way to encourage yourself to drink more water: carry a reusable water bottle with you. 

Enjoy some fresh air and sunshine

Did you know that sunshine helps boost your serotonin levels and improves your mood? Sunshine also helps your body produce vitamin D which is good for bone health and other functions. Going for a walk or run outside on uneven terrain can engage more muscles and improve your balance, compared to moving on a flat surface. Just remember to apply sunblock to protect against UV rays before heading outside and wear appropriate shoes for your planned activity. 

Add in-season fruits and veggies to your diet

There are plenty of yummy options to choose from this time of year including arugula, brussels sprouts, collard greens, mushrooms, squash, and sweet potatoes. 

Check out Teague Farmers Market on Saturday, March 25, from 10am-3pm for fresh, local produce and enjoy some live music while you’re there! 

Improve your sleep habits

To clean up your bedtime routine, avoid exercising or eating large meals within two hours of going to bed, and avoid alcohol within four hours. Cutting out caffeine in the afternoon will also help you unwind and sleep better. Avoid spending time in front of a computer or phone right before bed as the light from devices tends to turn your brain on, making it more difficult to fall asleep. It’s helpful to eliminate all unnecessary ambient light in your bedroom and keep the temperature near 65 degrees, give or take a couple of degrees.   

When it comes to waking up, wake up at the same time every day and let some light in right away. Consistent wakeups get your body used to a routine and make it easier to stick to over time. 

Check in with your doctor

Spring is a great time to schedule your annual physical to make sure you’re up to date on immunizations and to discuss any health questions or concerns you may have with a medical professional. 

Using these tips as a jumpingoff point to take charge of your health now will make a big difference down the road. Even a small change can have a lasting impact on your overall health. For any questions, or to schedule an appointment with one of Freestone Medical Center’s practitioners, give us a call at (903) 389-2121.  


Ticks and Lyme Disease

Spending more time outdoors increases the likelihood of a tick encounter. As tick bites can transmit Lyme disease and other germs, it’s important to thoroughly inspect your body for any hitchhiking ticks once you return indoors. If you do discover an unwelcome passenger, 

  • Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. 
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by: putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.

Even though Lyme disease isn’t common in Texas, be on the lookout for the following symptoms after a tick bite: 

  • Bull’s-eye pattern rash
  • Joint stiffness and swelling
  • Weakness in limbs
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Symptoms usually appear within 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick. If you experience the symptoms above, contact your healthcare provider to determine if you contracted Lyme disease through a blood test. Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics and most people who are treated in the early stages recover completely.  

Venomous Snakes 

With 105 different species and subspecies of snakes that call Texas home, it’s important to be aware of venomous snakes in our area, as well as how to proceed if bitten. 

Most Common Venomous Snakes

Rattlesnakes: gray, black, brown, olive, or yellow scales and banded, diamond, or spotted patterns are the most common. Known for the rattling noise made by the segmented joints on the ends of their tails 

Cottonmouths: dark brown or gray background color with a black or brown belly and a white-lined mouth 

Copperheads: chestnut or reddish-brown crossbands against a lighter-colored body 

Coral snakes: red and yellow bands that touch each other

If you’ve been bitten by any snake, remain calm. Do NOT put ice on the bite or apply a tourniquet. Likewise, trying to ‘suck out the venom’ as seen on TV is useless at best and dangerous at worst. Elevate the affected area as soon as possible and seek immediate medical attention.