giving tuesday

How Giving Can Help Your Well-being

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day to do some good for your community. It turns out, though, that being charitable is actually good for you as well! Research has shown that doing good for others can make you feel better. Here are some positive benefits for being charitable:

1)      You Feel Better

Have you ever given a gift to someone and felt a warm fuzzy feeling? It turns out that this feel-good feeling is more than just an emotional response to doing something charitable. Whenever you give a gift or do something generous, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for making you feel calm, at peace, and satisfied. Endorphins also help reduce your stress levels, which is a major contribution to a variety of health maladies, like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and more. Next time you give a gift, realize that you’re getting the gift of better health at the same time!

2)      Set a Good Example for your Children

Children learn through imitation, so if your child sees you doing something good in the community, they will be more likely to be charitable throughout their lives. You can also encourage your child to be charitable earlier in life by getting them involved in volunteerism. Remember: donating time is just as important as money in a lot of cases!

3)      Strengthens the Community

Everyone goes through hard times, and helping out your neighbor, even if you don’t know them, strengthens the entire community. Regardless if you know the person you’re helping or not, helping out is always the right thing to do. You never know when hardship might happen to you, so strengthening your community and encouraging others to be charitable can help you out in the end if you ever need assistance.

4)      Tax Deduction

Let’s not forget that most charitable giving is a tax deduction! When you donate to nonprofit organizations and charitable groups, you can write that money off on your taxes. If you are donating time in volunteering, you can sometimes also write off related expenses, like parking, gas, and money spent (so long as you are not reimbursed by the organization). Talk to a tax expert for all of the details.

There are a number of ways that you can be a positive force in your community this Giving Tuesday. Here are just a few ideas:

·         Donate money

Find a cause that is exciting to you and donate money. If you feel concerned about what organizations do with that money, do some research. You can also use resources like CharityNavigator.org, which evaluates organizations and details how money is spent.

·         Donate time

Especially around the holidays, organizations are looking for volunteers. Many large organizations have local chapters that welcome volunteers. Again, it’s all about finding a cause that you’re passionate about and clearing a little bit of time on your weekends or evenings!

·         Donate blood

Donating blood often gets overlooked. When disasters happen, you will often hear about blood shortages along with requests for donors. The best time to donate is actually before a disaster, so if you are a healthy individual, consider donating blood and save a life!

Giving Tuesday is a great time to reflect on things that are really important. Be a positive force in your community and give back to the people around you!

coughing

National COPD Awareness Month

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects more than 3 million people every year, with around 30 million people currently diagnosed with COPD in the United States. November is COPD Awareness Month, and our team at MSCI has put together some information about this condition.

COPD actually describes a number of different diseases that affects your lungs. These diseases include:

·         Emphysema

·         Chronic bronchitis

·         Non-reversible asthma (refractory asthma)

·         Certain types of bronchiectasis

While someone with COPD might have some or all of these diseases, each one of them contributes to a feeling breathlessness. Many people confuse this feeling and coughing as part of the aging process, but in actuality, COPD could actually be the culprit. People who are particularly at risk of having COPD include:

·         Smokers

·         Individuals with chronic cough or increased sputum production

·         Individuals with reoccurring respiratory infections

·         Individuals who get shortness of breath while exercising (exertional dyspnea)

·         Individuals who have been exposed to environmental toxins

Most doctors can screen for COPD when you do your preventative care screening or wellness evaluations. If you have any of these symptoms and feel like you might be at risk for COPD. Many experts believe that COPD is under-diagnosed and under-treated.

COPD is usually treated in a couple of ways. If you are a smoker, your doctor will ask you to stop smoking. Although this can be difficult, continuing to smoke can make your COPD worse and make it increasingly difficult to breathe. If you are a smoker suffering from COPD and you are having difficulty quitting, talk to your doctor about creating a plan to help you to quit. Every smoker will have a different path to quitting.

If you are a not a smoker but still have COPD, your doctor will create a treatment plan based on your needs. These treatments often include an inhaler, either for a bronchodilator or for steroids. Sometimes, certain medications will combine both. These medications are designed to help you breathe easier by opening up your airways. There are also some other medications that your doctor may prescribe you.

If you are experiencing shortness of breath or having a difficult time breathing, talk to your doctor and see if COPD could be the problem. Our team at the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving are always here to assist you in your journey to better health. Call us at (972) 253-4200 to schedule your appointment.