Parish Nurse News

Also called “Faith Community Nursing”, this is a specialized practice of nursing which promotes understanding of whole person (mind, body, and spirit) health and wellness, and  provides disease prevention services. There is an emphasis on spiritual care. These services are provided by a registered nurse with educational preparation in wholistic ministry, and who provides health promotion services within a faith community. The goal of the Faith Community Nurse is to assist individuals in gaining optimal mental,  physical, and spiritual health by complementing the ministry provided by our pastor and other lay ministers. 

 

March is National Nutrition Month

The human body is 75% water, the human brain is over 80% water.  Next to oxygen, water is the most important element for sustaining life.  We can live for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.  (Most of us have already heard that one.) So it’s only fitting, even though we talk mostly about food during National Nutrition Month, that we give a shout-out to water also, and the importance of drinking enough of it to help us reach our goal of optimal health and wellness.

In the body, all life processes require water.  It’s a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord, it regulates body temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, helps deliver oxygen all over the body, carries nutrients to every cell and allows cells to survive and grow. It takes water to think, to breathe, to burn fat, chew and digest food, to create energy so our muscles can move, and without hydration our wounds would not heal.

Remember, you are always losing fluids (constantly) both day and night through many body processes and it’s easy to become dehydrated without feeling thirsty. Signs of dehydration may include fatigue, headaches, kidney disease including kidney stones, constipation, arthritis, and circulatory diseases. Colds can be more severe. The next time you have a headache, a migraine or otherwise, think about whether you have been drinking enough water.

To help you reach optimal personal wellness, it’s important to rehydrate your body every day.  As a general rule, it’s recommended we drink about 64 ounces of water daily, or eight glasses, eight ounces each.  So I would like to CHALLENGE each of you in the month of March, to be drinking about 64 ounces of water each day.  A few cups of coffee or tea may be counted toward your daily goal. Try increasing your intake gradually over a few weeks if you are not close to 64 ounces now. Try carrying a bottle of water with you wherever you go.  Smaller sizes fit in pocket or purse. Change it up by adding slices of citrus fruits to your glass or pitcher of ice water. Or try mint, cucumber slices, or fresh herbs such as basil, lemongrass, or cinnamon. Experiment!

Let’s turn our March CHALLENGE into a lifelong healthy habit- 64 ounces of water every day!  And here’s to National Nutrition Month!

Yours in Faith and Health,
Sherry F., RN,BC