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10 Reasons to Keep Fit as You Age
10 Reasons to Keep Fit as You Age A lot of us don't get the kind of day-to-day physical activity we need, and so we are physically "unfit." "Physical activity" means any movement of the body that is made by skeletal muscles – and requires energy to accomplish. "Physical fitness" means the ability of a person to do physical activity. Physical fitness can be measured by determining endurance, power and flexibility. How physically independent you are depends on how well you can function physically. That is...
11 Ways to Raise a Healthy Child
11 Ways to Raise a Healthy Child As a parent, you are an important teacher of health care and health information for your child. Here are 11 recommendations to help you succeed at this important job. 1. Choose breast over bottle. Breastfeed and you will give your baby a health advantage from day one. Breast milk provides all the nutrients a newborn needs. It also has important antibodies that help babies fight infections. Research shows that breastfed babies have fewer ear infections and allergies and l...
5 Home Safety Threats You Might Overlook
5 Home Safety Threats You Might Overlook You're a careful parent who steers children away from things that could harm them. But hidden threats lurk in every house—sometimes where you least expect them. For safety's sake, look through your home often. Keep an eye out for not-so-obvious hazards. Here are five of them: Scalding tap water It is common for a home's water heater to be set above 120 degrees, and this can cause a scald burn to a child in seconds. Scalding hot tap water causes 3,800 injuries and...
A Kids' Asthma Journal
Kids' Asthma Journal Do you want to gain better control over your asthma? Put it in writing! By following the examples below, you can use a journal to track day-to-day changes in your asthma. The information helps you and your health care provider take better care of your asthma. This may be something you can do with he. If your parent or guardian help from an adult. Make copies of this page before you write on it so you can use it again! Starting date: ____________________ Symptoms Check the boxes belo...
A Safety Checklist for Parents
A Safety Checklist for Parents You can help keep your children safe by following these precautions and using common sense. General steps Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, particularly after using the bathroom -- and always before eating. Keep their immunizations up to date. Be sure you know where they are, who they're with, and what they're doing when out of your presence. Check the references of baby sitters or care givers carefully. In the home Thousands of chi...
Acute Severe Asthma
Acute Severe Asthma Acute severe asthma was previously called status asthmaticus. It is a sudden severe asthma that does not respond to medications. It is a life-threatening emergency. If you think someone has acute severe asthma, call 911 right away. Treatment takes place in the emergency department and the hospital. Causes Anyone with asthma can have an acute severe flare-up. Causes include: Respiratory infections, like a cold or sinus infection Severe allergic reactions Inhaling irritants Not taking ...
Age Doesn't Matter for Yoga
Age Doesn't Matter for Yoga More than ever before, Americans older than age 65 are turning to yoga for exercise. What is yoga, and why is it so popular? Yoga is a series of stretches and poses that you do with breathing techniques. It offers the powerful benefits of exercise. And since yoga is gentle, almost anyone can do it, regardless of age or fitness level. Yoga's benefits Yoga can make you stronger and more flexible. It's a great way to stay limber and energetic. You'll also feel more focused and a...
All About Muscle Cramps
All About Muscle Cramps Most of us have experienced the pain of a muscle cramp. Maybe you called it "charley horse," especially if the cramp was in your calf. Muscle cramps--involuntary muscle contractions--are common. But even though they can be quite painful, they don't usually cause damage. Any muscle can cramp, but the muscles of the calf, back of the thigh and front of the thigh are most commonly affected, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Cramps are also common in the feet,...
Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous
Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous Although Alcoholics Anonymous and other abstinence-based 12-step programs are the primary form of treatment for alcoholism in the United States, many people are unable to stick with them and return to dependence on alcohol. Today there are alternatives to 12-step programs. Some treatment programs teach problem drinkers to reduce their drinking, an approach that appeals to people who otherwise might not seek treatment. These programs are based on the belief that peopl...
Alzheimer's Disease Quiz
What Do You Know About Alzheimer's Disease? Find out more about this degenerative disease of the brain by taking this quiz. 1. Alzheimer's is the most common form of which of these? You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is It is a collection of symptoms characterized by decreasing intellectual and social abilities. A. Malnutrition B. Dementia C. Fatigue D. Psychosis 2. How is Alzheimer's diagnosed? You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is No single t...
What Do You Know About Anemia? Anemia is a condition that affects the number of red blood cells in your body. A number of medical diseases and conditions can cause anemia. Find out more by taking the following quiz. 1. Anemia is a common condition. What happens when a person has anemia? You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is These cells carry oxygen and iron to nourish all the cells in the body. Anemia isn't a single disease but a condition that has many different causes. A....
Anger Can Raise Cholesterol Levels
Anger Can Raise Cholesterol Levels When someone cuts you off on a busy highway, do you pound the steering wheel in fury and shout at the driver? Or do you swallow your anger and dwell on it later? Either way, you're not being kind to your heart, researchers say. If you respond to every anger-inducing situation by blowing your stack or by holding it in, you could be setting yourself up for serious heart problems. Why? It's simple. According to Ohio State University researchers, there's evidence that peop...
Asthma on Campus
Asthma on Campus College has extra challenges for the student with asthma. New and unfamiliar living quarters, school and social stresses, and other factors can trigger flare-ups. As always, prevention is important: Do your best to avoid triggers and to stay healthy. Update your asthma action plan, including how to deal with emergencies. These tips can help. Your new space Before you leave for college, review your triggers with your allergist, pulmonologist, or primary care provider. Then review this li...
Asthma: Dealing with Your Child's School
Your Child's Asthma: School Strategies If your child has asthma, you may worry about how he or she copes with asthma at school. Research shows that informed, supportive teachers and staff can play a big role in helping students manage their asthma. School strategies The CDC has identified six key strategies that teachers and staff can use to help children with asthma thrive at school. Not every strategy is appropriate or practical for every school situation. In general, however, the more strategies used...
Asthma: First Doctor Visit for Your Child
Your Child's Asthma: First Office Visit Your child has been coughing or wheezing, and you’re wondering whether it might be asthma. The first step toward finding out is scheduling a visit with your child’s health care provider. As you prepare for this visit, you may be wondering what questions the provider will ask or what tests and exams your child will need. With the information below, you and your child can go to that first visit knowing more about what to expect. Medical history Before starting the e...
Asthma: When to Get an Allergy Test
Asthma: Allergy Testing If you often have allergy symptoms—such as itchy, watery eyes; a runny nose; wheezing; sneezing; and hives or itchy skin— allergy testing can help determine if your symptoms are from allergies. Sometimes you can tell the allergic substance because of the time that your symptoms happen in the spring or fall, for instance. But you may need specific allergy testing to figure out other allergies. The health care provider will test how you react to allergens. For example, dust mites, ...
Avoid Injury Around Barbecue Grills
Avoid Injury Around Barbecue Grills The act of flipping a row of sizzling burgers on a barbecue grill is one of summer's simple pleasures. But there is danger lurking in those glowing embers, and the potential damage is far worse than a few charred cheeseburgers. Because barbecue grills are operated in a casual, relaxed atmosphere, they tend to be taken for granted. And that can lead to serious injury, even death. Each year, Americans go to the emergency room because of injuries from carbon monoxide poi...
Be in the Know When on the Go in Winter
Be in the Know When on the Go in Winter If you live in an area where winter brings snow, slush and ice, the best advice about driving in these conditions is not to drive in such conditions. But if you must venture out, be prepared. Many newer vehicles have added safety features that can take some of the hazard out of winter driving. But it is important to know how to use optional equipment such as an anti-lock brake system (ABS). Give yourself a brake In slippery conditions, using the proper emergency b...
Binge Drinking Dangers for Young People
Binge Drinking Dangers for Young People For millions of young adults in this country, the weekend will pass in an alcoholic blur. They'll toss down drink after drink as fast as they can, throw up, pass out, revive themselves, then reach for more booze. For one or two of these otherwise healthy kids, the next drinking binge could end in death. Binge drinking is drinking to get drunk—the point at which the drinker is risking health or behavioral problems as a consequence of drinking. For men, that means h...
Celiac Disease Can Harm Digestion
Celiac Disease Can Harm Digestion Suppose you or a friend has frequent abdominal distress, bloating, and other symptoms that seem to puzzle doctors. Today, experts believe those doctors should consider celiac disease. Also known as celiac sprue, this illness can cause a range of symptoms and problems. Among them: diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue, irritability, infertility in women, depression, and anemia. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and...
Clinical Guidelines for Heart Failure
Clinical Guidelines for Heart Failure To receive the best care for heart failure, talking frankly with your health care team is a good place to start. It’s also helpful to know about a resource published by health experts that outlines treatment plans recommended for patients with chronic heart failure. Since 1980, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have jointly published clinical guidelines to help health care providers create good care plans for their patients. The g...
Concussions: Caution Is a No-Brainer
Concussions: Caution Is a No-Brainer It's better to miss a game than a whole season. That's the key message of a campaign by the CDC aimed at an underrated health threat: sports-related concussions. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head that causes the soft tissue of the brain to knock against the skull's bony surface. Although they range from mild to severe, they're all serious injuries that can harm the way the brain works. For many of these injuries, the athlet...
COPD: End-of-Life Care
COPD: End-of-Life Care Many people have not talked with their loved ones about how they’d like to be cared for at the end of their lives. It’s an important talk to have, especially for those living with a chronic disease. What kind of care would you want if you were no longer able to speak for yourself? If you developed severe breathing problems, would you want to be placed on a ventilator, or a machine that breaths for you? It's not easy to talk about end-of-life issues. Let your family know that by ta...
Diabetes and Sensitive Topics
Diabetes and Sensitive Topics Diabetes affects every part of your life, and it can create problems that aren't easy to talk about with your health care provider. It's important, however, to bring them up, because most problems are treatable. And though you might feel embarrassed, it may help to know that providers see these problems every day. Here are some common sensitive topics that people with diabetes deal with and suggestions for how to talk about them. Depression Depression refers to feelings of ...
Diabetic Skin Troubles
Diabetic Skin Troubles We often take our skin for granted, but if you’ve ever had an itchy rash or a boil, you know how painful even a small skin problem can be. About one-third of people with diabetes get a skin problem sooner or later. Fortunately, most problems can be prevented or easily treated. Here are three common problems and how to prevent them. Dry, itchy skin When blood glucose is high, your body loses fluid. Diabetic nerve damage can also decrease sweating. Both can lead to dry skin. To prev...
Do I Really Need a Fire Extinguisher?
Do I Really Need a Fire Extinguisher? You probably know already that a smoke alarm is by far the best home-safety investment you can make. For as little as $10, a smoke detector can help you literally rest assured that a fire won't catch you sleeping. But you'd like to take the next step in fire protection. Perhaps you'd like to be able to fight a fire before it spreads through your home. Should you buy a fire extinguisher? Yes, provided you know when and how to use it. Fire extinguishers can be a small...
Do You Have a Family Disaster Plan?
Do You Have a Family Disaster Plan? Natural disasters can strike quickly and force families like yours to evacuate your neighborhood. But families can and do survive such circumstances if they make preparations in advance. Knowing what to do is your best protection—and your responsibility. These suggestions can help you plan for the worst. Be informed Your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter is a great place to start. Seek answers to these questions: Does our community have a...
Dress for Success--and Your Health
Dress for Success—and Your Health Are you a slave to fashion? You might be doing damage to more than just your pocketbook. For women, ill-fitting, irritating, or otherwise inappropriate clothing and accessories could contribute to health issues ranging from back pain to crooked toes to eye infections. Avoid these faux pas by shopping smarter—and healthier. What lies beneath First things first: Good undergarments are the foundation of any look. Given their important functions and their close proximity to...
Ease the Pain of Muscle Cramps
Ease the Pain of Muscle Cramps You're on the final leg of your daily run when a cramp strikes your lower leg. Your stride shortens and you begin to limp, hands reaching toward your calf. What causes this painful problem that's sometimes called a Charley Horse? Experts aren't exactly sure. Cramps can occur during exercise when a muscle becomes tired from repeated activity and when there's a salt/fluid imbalance. The muscle suddenly contracts, often causing a very tight ball or knot. Some cramps occur at ...
Endometrial Cancer Click Image to Enlarge What is endometrial cancer? The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Cancer of the endometrium, the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs, is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the endometrium. Cancer of the endometrium is different from cancer of the muscle of the uterus, which is called uterine sarcoma. About 80% of all endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas. Endometrial cancer is highly curable when found ea...
The Eye Quiz Don't sit too close to the TV. Don't watch TV without a light on in the room. Don't use over-the-counter eyedrops. Are these statements true? Find out by taking the following quiz. 1. Sitting too close to the television will harm your eyes. You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is This is one of the biggest myths, eye experts say. Sitting too close to the TV does not make vision worse. A. True B. False 2. If I see well, then I don't need eye checkups. You didn't a...
Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Health Issues
Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Health Issues People of any sexual orientation can face health problems. But people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender may be at greater risk for health problems because they don't always see a health care provider when they need to. This may be because they feel embarrassed, have had a bad experience, fear judgment, or have a health care provider who is uninformed. Here are some health issues you should be aware of and talk about with your health care provider. Hormone i...
Get the Right Help for Headaches
Get the Right Help for Headaches Most people who suffer from headaches tell their doctors about their pain only as an afterthought. And many sufferers have never even seen a health care provider for their condition, according to the National Headache Foundation. The result is a lot of needless suffering. If headaches disrupt your work, social life, or home life, it's time to make an appointment for a medical evaluation. When seeking treatment for headaches, start with your primary care provider. Discuss...
Get to the Heart of Oral Health
Get to the Heart of Oral Health Did you know that research shows a link between gum disease and heart disease and stroke? It’s true. Evidence is mounting that people with periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection, may be more at risk for heart disease and stroke. In fact, gum disease may also worsen existing heart conditions. The inflammation caused by gum disease may contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits inside heart arteries. Although gum disease is not an independent risk factor for hear...
Hand Tool Safety
Hand Tool Safety Despite the advent of power tools that do everything from drilling holes to driving nails, conventional hand tools are still strong sellers. You may have some in your house, and you might assume they're much safer than their electric brethren. But don't get overconfident. While hand tools do not pose the same lethal threat as some power tools, they are still a factor in a number of accidents each year. Here are some guidelines for safe use of simple tools: Always wear safety goggles. Yo...
Have a Hazard-Free Halloween
Have a Hazard-Free Halloween When we think of Halloween, we picture children laughing in colorful costumes, jack-o'-lanterns glowing in house windows, and buckets brimming with candy and treats. Experts warn, however, that this fun-filled night can pose safety hazards. An alternative is to throw a Halloween party and invite kids, rather than have them out on the street. If your kids will be going door-to-door trick or treating, however, some precautions can make the evening safe and enjoyable for everyo...
Heart Attack Treatment Options
Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Heart Attack Not everyone who has had a heart attack needs open-heart surgery, such as a bypass operation. A procedure known as angioplasty can help unblock arteries. And people can do well with medication, gradual exercise, and healthy lifestyle changes. These different types of treatment can help you manage heart problems and prevent another heart attack: Angioplasty A heart attack can happen as a result of a narrowed or blocked artery. This prevents enough blood from...
Heart Disease: Communicating with Several Providers
Heart Disease: Communicating with Several Providers If you are like most people with heart disease, you have several health care providers who each treat you for a different health issue. When a team of health care providers cares for you, it's important to keep each one up-to-date on your overall health. Doing so helps them understand the "big picture" of your treatment, while preventing drug interactions. Keep these tips in mind: Tell your health care providers the names and specialties of all your ot...
Heart Disease: Considering Cold Relief
Heart Disease: Considering Cold Relief Colds and the flu can be serious for people with heart disease. Not only are you at risk for pneumonia, but it’s hard to tell whether your symptoms are a sign of a cold or of worsening heart failure. And if you do have a cold, you may not be able to take over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to help you feel better. Drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or diclofenac, for example, also called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause you to retain fluid and ...
Heart Disease: How Disease Management Helps
Heart Disease: How Disease Management Helps Regular physical activity and a heart-healthy diet are two essential components of managing heart disease. On some days, though, it may be difficult to keep up with your exercise routine or meal plan. It’s not always easy coping with heart disease on your own—but the good news is you don’t have to. When you participate in a disease management program for people with heart disease, you get lots of help and support. That can help motivate you to stick with your ...
Heart Disease: Keep Your Gums Healthy
Heart Disease: Keep Your Gums Healthy People with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than people with healthy gums. Gum disease occurs when too many bacteria are thriving in the mouth. Gum disease is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, possibly because of overall increased inflammation. Here’s what you can do to keep your gums healthy and protect your heart: Brush and floss your teeth every day. See your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Let your dentist know wh...
Heart Disease: Managing Multiple Medications
Heart Disease: Managing Multiple Medications Like many people with heart disease, you probably take more than 1 medication. Heart medicines may help you be more active, and live longer and more comfortably. Using them correctly is essential to your health. Whether you take prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine or both, there are important guidelines to follow to get the most from your medicines — and to avoid unpleasant or dangerous side effects: Always follow the label directions. Follow ...
Heart Failure and Physical Activity
Heart Failure and Physical Activity If you have heart failure, you may wonder if physical activity is good for you. How could putting more strain on your heart and making it work harder be a good thing? The heart is a muscle, and like other muscles, it gets stronger with use. Regular and moderate physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or biking, can improve heart failure symptoms, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. It can also decrease blood pressure, improve circulation, and help you los...
Heart Failure: After Hospitalization
Heart Failure: After Hospitalization Being in the hospital for heart failure can be a difficult and frightening experience. Once you’re back at home, you may worry about your health. Here’s how you can stay healthy and prevent the problems that can lead to a stay in the hospital. Eat healthy foods You’ll need to consume less salt and sodium. Try to eat fewer fast foods and packaged foods, such as canned soups, frozen meals ("TV dinners") and snack foods, which are high in sodium. Anything brined, such a...
Heart Failure: Breathe More Easily
Heart Failure: Breathe More Easily One of the earliest symptoms of heart failure is shortness of breath. When your heart can't function well enough to pump the blood out of your heart, this causes blood to back up in the blood vessels leading to the lungs. Fluid then leaks from your blood vessels into the air sacs in your lungs. This makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the blood, causing shortness of breath. You may experience breathlessness during exertion, such as when carrying groceries, climbing ...
Heart Failure: Getting the Care You Need
Heart Failure: Getting the Care You Need If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with heart failure, you probably have a lot of questions. What can I expect from treatment? What can I do to manage the condition? What kind of care will be needed in the future? It's important to have an open and honest discussion with your health care provider about these concerns. These tips can help you make sure your needs are met. It's important to ask your health care provider questions during your visit to make sur...
Help Your Babysitter Prepare for Anything
Help Your Babysitter Prepare for Anything Everyday activities keep many parents so busy that they can't take their children with them everywhere. That makes it crucial to find the right babysitter and make sure that the sitter can be entrusted with your child. When you're looking for a babysitter, give yourself enough time to be selective. You should: Look for a sitter within your circle of friends, church, or community. Look for someone who already works with children. Always check references. Safe Sit...
Help Your Teen Manage Asthma
Helping Your Teen Manage Asthma Having asthma isn't easy, and for most kids, neither is being a teen. You can help your teen with information and support. Providing support and information Make sure your teen understands he or she is not alone. Asthma is a common condition among children and teens in the United States. According to the CDC, in 2013, 7 .4%pf people in the U.S. have asthma. Even though asthma management can be disruptive, try to keep things as normal as possible. Your teen may not believe...
Helping Teens Embrace Self-Care
Helping Teens Embrace Self-Care Before teens leave home, parents need to teach them to make their own health care decisions. One way is to provide information and involve them in their own self-care from an early age. It is important to remember that an adolescents' ability to cope with increasing responsibility is often enhanced by the parents' willingness to support them as they face new challenges. By involving teens as full participants in their self-care, they're more likely to choose healthy behav...
How Does Your Garden Grow?
How Does Your Garden Grow? For many of us, spring means gardening--and our pursuit of greener grass or pest-free flowers may lead us to fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Recent studies, however, raise a red flag on chemical use, pointing to a possible link between herbicides and pesticides and diseases such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, other lymphoproliferative cancers, Parkinson's disease and other neurological problems such as memory loss. Experts are calling for more research, but the home garden...
How to Manage Diabetes During Illness
How to Manage Diabetes During Illness Battling a cold, getting over an injury or undergoing surgery is no fun for anyone. For people with diabetes, managing blood sugar is an extra concern. The stress of illness or injury can cause blood sugar to rise and make insulin less effective. This can lead to serious problems, including diabetic coma. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when illness strikes. Manage medication When you’re sick, your blood sugar can be high even if you’re not eating much....
How to Map Out a Safe Vacation
How to Map Out a Safe Vacation If you're going on vacation—whether to cruise the Greek islands or visit your grandchildren in Maine—a little planning goes a long way. Although we all enjoy a bit of excitement on vacation, most of us don't like unexpected surprises. By thinking ahead and planning for your vacation before you go, the only surprises you'll encounter are the nice ones, such as finding a deserted beach or hearing your grandchild's first words. Health matters When getting ready to leave, you ...
How to Quit Smoking, Again
How to Quit Smoking, Again If you're like most smokers who have tried to quit, you may have tried unsuccessfully several times. But you can try again and succeed. The following suggestions can help you kick the habit, again, for good. Understand your relapse If you relapse, the first thing you should do is not give up. Instead, take stock of the situation. When did the relapse start and what caused it? Once you understand why it happened, you can begin to consider ways to get back on track. Here are som...
In Case of Emergency...Be Ready for Anything
In Case of Emergency...Be Ready for Anything You may not want to think about it, but wherever you live you could someday face the wrath of nature—or man. You shouldn't duck this subject until you're dealing with the threat or the aftermath of a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, avalanche, or even a terrorist attack. In the hurried confusion, you're likely to miss important items as you prepare your home or leave to seek shelter. Experts at the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Mana...
Insulin and Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin and Type 2 Diabetes If you have type 2 diabetes and your health care provider recently put you on insulin, you may feel disappointed that lifestyle changes and diabetes pills weren’t enough. Or, you may think that you should have tried harder to manage your diabetes. But you shouldn’t blame yourself. Many people with diabetes need to change their treatment plan at some point. There are advantages to this. For example, taking insulin can make it easier to manage your blood sugar and prevent compl...
Insulin Pump Use
Insulin Pump Use Can anyone with diabetes use an insulin pump? Insulin pumps are used most often by people with type 1 diabetes, but some people with type 2 diabetes also use them. Insulin pumps can be used instead of administering insulin by injection. These pager-sized pumps clip to your clothing or attach directly to your body. Through a tube attached to your skin, usually on the abdomen, thigh or buttock, the pump delivers a continuous (basal) dose of insulin 24 hours a day. Before a meal, you push ...
International Travel Quiz
How Much Do You Know About International Travel and Health? Test your knowledge of how to stay healthy when traveling abroad. 1. International travel may require prophylactic medicines and vaccines. How long before departure should you see your doctor? You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is Some vaccines must be given in a series over several days or weeks. You should see your doctor as early as possible before your departure to find out what medications or vaccines are reco...
Is It a Virus or a Bacterium? Know the Difference
Is It a Virus or a Bacterium? Know the Difference In general, most colds and other respiratory infections are not serious for adults in good health. It's just the hassle of dealing with runny noses, coughing, sneezing, fever, headaches, aching muscles, and fitful sleeping. But knowing whether your infection is caused by a virus or a bacterium makes a difference in how it is treated. Which is it? Bacteria are one-celled organisms that multiply by simple division. They are linked to such respiratory infec...
Is It Too Hot To Trot?
Is It Too Hot To Trot? When the first warm, sunny day of spring arrives, you may be rarin' to take your exercise program back to the great outdoors. Whoa, hold your handlebars. If you're not careful, you could wind up with a case of heat exhaustion just as easily as the couch potato next door, no matter how fit you might be. Indeed, although being fit increases your tolerance to heat and cold, your body still needs time to acclimate itself to warm weather. In winter, your body has had a relatively easy ...
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work Power tools make yard work easier, from mowing the lawn to trimming the bushes. These tools, however, also pose a threat to children if precautions aren't taken. Accidents involving lawnmowers send thousands of children age 18 or younger to emergency rooms each year. And several thousand more are hurt by other outdoor power tools. Lawnmower injuries include cuts, burns, and other injuries to arms and legs, loss of fingers and limbs, inhalational injuries from toxic fumes,...
Know About Niacin
Know About Niacin Along with diet and exercise, treatment to lower cholesterol may include the B vitamin niacin combined with other drugs, such as statins. Niacin is available by prescription, and over-the-counter as a dietary supplement. (The dietary supplement form is not recommended for lowering cholesterol.) Take niacin only under a doctor’s guidance. Niacin helps lower triglyceride levels and increase High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, which carries fat away from arteries. It al...
Know Your Peak Flow
Know Your Peak Flow A peak-flow meter is a small device that measures how fast the air is moving out of your lungs when you exhale. You and your health care provider can use information from a peak-flow meter to help stop a flare-up in its tracks. When the airflow from your lungs is slower than your normal rate, this can be a sign of asthma problems. It can help alert you to problems hours or even days before you start to experience actual symptoms, such as an increase in cough or shortness of breath. E...
Label Lesson: Flavored Rice Mixes
Label Lesson: Flavored Rice Mixes Put plain rice on the menu, and your family make just turn up its nose. Instead, try one of the many flavored rice mixes now on the market. Although the mixes are relatively low in fat, they can be high in sodium. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for rice mixes: Some mixes contain more than 1,000 mg. of sodium per serving. Look for those that contain lower amounts. A surprise ingredient in some mixes is sugar. To avoid it, look on the nutritional and ...
Learning to Live with Heart Disease
Learning to Live with Heart Disease Millions of people diagnosed with heart disease enjoy active, satisfying lives. By using your mind to help your body, obtaining appropriate medical care, and making changes in your lifestyle, you can learn to live life to the fullest despite your condition. The steps listed below can help you take charge of your heart health and your life. Learn all you can Empower yourself. Start thinking and acting proactively. Learn about your condition, treatment options, and the ...
Maintaining Weight Once You've Quit Smoking
Maintaining Weight Once You've Quit Smoking Although people sometimes gain weight when they stop smoking, you can reduce your chances of adding extra pounds by taking steps to prevent it. Being aware of situations in which you could be tempted to substitute food for a cigarette, and devising strategies to cope with those instances is your best bet. The following suggestions can help you maintain your weight after you stop smoking. Exercise regularly Taking a walk, riding a bicycle, dancing, or doing any...
Men and Mental Illness
Men and Mental Illness Mental illness is a difficult challenge for anyone to face, and it can affect men and women of any age. But because mental illness can cause different symptoms in men than in women, some disorders in men may be harder to recognize. Men who are depressed, for example, may appear angry and irritable rather than sad and withdrawn. It also may be more difficult for men suffering from depression to seek help because some may see it as a sign of weakness rather than a treatable illness....
Mental Health: Finding the Help You Need
Mental Health: Finding the Help You Need When your life spins out of control, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. The American Psychological Association recommends you seek the help of a trained mental health professional if: You constantly worry. You feel trapped. You aren't getting any better with self-help. You feel as if you can't handle things alone. Your feelings are affecting your job, relationships, or sleep or eating habits. Other reasons to seek help: Someone who knows you wel...
Metabolic Syndrome and Prediabetes
Metabolic Syndrome and Prediabetes One characteristic of metabolic syndrome is an increased level of glucose in the blood. This can also be a sign of prediabetes. When you have prediabetes, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes increases. Your chance of developing heart disease and stroke goes up, too. The good news is that you can help control and possibly reverse prediabetes by making some basic lifestyle changes. When it’s prediabetes Insulin is a hormone that helps cells turn glucose into ener...
Metabolic Syndrome and Soft Drink Consumption
Metabolic Syndrome and Soft Drink Consumption Regular soft drinks contain sugar, which only adds calories to your diet. Sugary drinks also raise insulin levels, which causes you to put on more visceral fat—fat deep inside, around the abdomen and other organs. Too much visceral fat can raise certain blood proteins, and that can lead to metabolic syndrome. When insulin is high after a sugary drink, it may increase hunger. That hunger may lead to overeating. You might even reach for another soda, thus cont...
Metabolic Syndrome Worksheet
Metabolic Syndrome Worksheet To help manage your condition, fill in the dates on which you had or will have the following tests or checkups. Lipid profile I had a lipid profile on __________. A lipid profile is a lab test that measures the amount of certain fats and cholesterol in your blood. High lipid levels can lead to a heart attack or worsen heart disease. You should have a lipid profile at least once a year. Maintain healthy levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and HDL ("good") cholesterol. Healthy l...
Metabolic Syndrome: Lowering Your Heart Disease Risk
Metabolic Syndrome: Lowering Your Heart Disease Risk For people with metabolic syndrome, the risk of developing heart disease can be a concern. Here’s how you can help keep your heart healthy: Control high blood pressure. One characteristic of metabolic syndrome in adults is when one or both blood pressure numbers are higher than 130/85 mm Hg. According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure numbers of 140/90 mm Hg or higher are considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. To keep your nu...
Metabolic Syndrome: Managing Salt
Metabolic Syndrome: Managing Salt A key way to reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome is to lower high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium and salt in your diet is a great start. If you are like most Americans, you consume more salt than your body needs. The current daily recommendation from the American Heart Association is to have less than 2,400 mg, ideally less than 1,500 mg, of sodium per day. Sodium chloride or table salt is about 40% sodium. So, two-thirds teaspoon of salt equals abou...
Metabolism's Weighty Role
Metabolism's Weighty Role You would give up just about anything to be the same weight you were when you were younger, right? Believe it or not, you need not give up too much. But you do need to make some changes, which may actually be easy to do. Other factors Although metabolism plays a large role in controlling weight, it can't take all the blame. Genetics play a role, too. But genetics are predetermined, and cannot be changed. Lifestyle is not predetermined and can be modified. Metabolism is the amou...
Migraine News: How’s the Weather?
Migraine News: How’s the Weather? More than half of migraine sufferers are affected by weather. The most common weather factors that affect migraines are: Humidity Major weather changes over one or two days Changes in barometric pressure Some migraines attributed to weather are not related to it at all. Many people tend to pin their headaches on weather patterns, when other triggers, such as excessive consumption of caffeine or changes in sleep patterns, may actually be the cause. If weather truly is a ...
Migraine: It’s Time to Call Your Health Care Provider
Migraine: It's Time to Call Your Health Care Provider Because you suffer from migraines, getting a bad headache is not new to you. If your migraine pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Call your health care provider right away if you experience any of the following: A severe headache that comes out of the blue, sometimes described as a "thunderclap." Migraine headaches can be severe at times, but if you have a headache that co...
Migraines and Auras
Migraines and Auras If you are among the one-third of migraine sufferers who experience aura before a migraine, you know how unsettling this phenomenon can be. Auras may include: visual disturbances (jagged lines, called fortification spectra, with bright spots or flashes); temporary, partial vision loss; numbness; and tingling sensations. Scientists have speculated about the migraine aura for years but, until recently, they didn't have the tools to study brain activity during a migraine attack. Technol...
Migraines: A Monthly Misery?
Migraines: A Monthly Misery? Women who experience migraines around the start of their period may be able to prevent them. Migraine headaches associated with menstrual periods are generally one of three types: migraines that occur only during menstruation and at no other time;migraines that occur at other times, but are worse during menstruation; or migraines that occur before menstruation begins, in the premenstrual phase. Menstrual migraines are caused by changes in the female sex hormones that regulat...
Over-the-Counter Medication Quiz
What Do You Really Know About Over-the-Counter Medications? Just because a drug is available without a prescription doesn't mean it's safe to take, the FDA says. Take this quiz and learn the ins and outs of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. 1. How are prescription drugs different from OTC ones? You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is Prescription drugs require a doctor or other health care provider to monitor their effects. A. They contain higher amounts of active ingredients...
Play It Cool in the Hot Tub
Play It Cool in the Hot Tub What's more relaxing than a good soak in a hot tub? Hot water sure makes you feel great, but hot tubs and whirlpools can sometimes be dangerous—and even deadly. Let's take Joe, who's just finished a grueling workout on the stair climber. He jumps straight into his hot tub and cracks a cold beer to relax. What's wrong with this picture? Plenty. Your body can't cool itself when it's immersed in water that's hotter than body temperature. So Joe, already hot from his workout, has...
Potentially Harmful Remedies for Migraines
Potentially Harmful Remedies for Migraines If you’ve ever taken an herbal remedy, you should know that some herbs may interact dangerously with migraine medicines. Although researchers need to do more studies, they advise people to use caution. Triptans, a class of prescription medications used to treat migraine pain, and tricyclic antidepressants, used to prevent migraine, may interact with the following herbal remedies: Echinacea Garlic (in large doses) Ginkgo biloba Ginseng St. John’s wort Valerian r...
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of child abuse and is the most common cause for inflicted brain injury in the first two years of life. Shaking infants and toddlers can have dangerous consequences because of their large heads and immature brains. A baby's neck muscles can't support the stress of vigorous shaking; when the baby is shaken, its head moves in a sudden whiplash motion that can cause bleeding inside the head and increased pressure on the brain. Shaking a baby can ca...
Primer: What You Need to Know About Ecstasy
Primer: What You Need to Know About Ecstasy Many young people abuse a so-called club drug known as Ecstasy. Learning about the drug can help you explain its dangers to your children and help them avoid the sometimes fatal consequences of taking it. What is Ecstasy? Ecstasy, or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)—called "Adam," "E," "Ecstasy," "X," or "XTC" on the street—is a synthetic, psychoactive (mind-altering) drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. It is chemically similar to...
Put a Stop to Nerve Injuries Called Stingers
Put a Stop to Nerve Injuries Called Stingers Body-jarring moves are part of the game for football players, wrestlers, and others who play contact sports. They're also the most common cause of stingers , painful electrical sensations radiating through one of the arms. These painful injuries affect the nerves in the neck and shoulders, or those in the neck that branch off from the spinal cord, according to the North American Spine Society (NASS). Stingers occur when the shoulder and head go in opposite di...
Q and A: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Q and A: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer from recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or repetitive behaviors (compulsions), which they feel they cannot control. Rituals such as hand-washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed in hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety. Left untreated, obsession...
Questions About Asthma Medication
Questions About Asthma Medication When you have questions about using your asthma medications or need to help your child with his or her medications, getting the right answers can make a big difference in controlling symptoms. Below are answers to some common questions about asthma medications. Be sure to talk with your health care provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about these medications. Q. What are some signs that my medication schedule may need to be adjusted? A. If you are using your...
Smoking and Asthma
Smoking and Asthma Did you know that smoking cigarettes can make your asthma worse? It also turns your teeth yellow, gives you bad breath, and makes you smell like an ashtray. There are also deadly diseases like cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and heart disease that are directly linked to smoking. You have lots of good reasons never to start smoking or to quit smoking if you already smoke. Effect on airways When you have asthma, your air tubes (bronchial tubes) react to things tha...
Smoking Hurts Your Back
Smoking Hurts Your Back Numerous studies show a link between cigarette smoking and back pain. Smoking damages your arteries, and it’s thought that the damaged arteries in the discs and joints in your back may lead to pain and injury. Smoking increases your risk for osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that can lead to back pain. Smoking also increases your risk of hip fracture as you get older. Fractures can take longer to heal due to nicotine's harmful effects on bone-forming cells. Quitting smoking t...
Special Caution on Concussions
Special Caution on Concussions Concussions occur frequently in athletes, but they are the type of sports injury about which we know the least. Experts say that's because of the brain's complexity, as well as a lack of research into concussions. Concussions—defined as a trauma-induced alteration in mental status—are often difficult for doctors to recognize. A forceful hit to the head or any part of the body that cause a rapid movement of the head may result in a concussion. The majority of concussions do...
Strength Training and Heart Disease
Strength Training and Heart Disease If you think that you can't begin a strength-training program because you have heart disease, think again. Heart patients who do a strength-training program 3 times a week build up their aerobic capacity in addition to building strength and flexibility. Strength training has many benefits. It can help you lose weight and help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression. It might even help you sleep better. Here are some tips on ...
Stretches for Your Lower Legs
Stretches for Your Lower Legs Stretching can keep your lower legs limber and your joints pain free. The following stretches involve the ankles and knee joints. Keep these guidelines in mind when doing them: Check with your health care provider before beginning any exercise program, and especially if you have had knee surgery. Begin each stretching session with 5 to 7 minutes of gentle aerobic exercise, such as walking or riding a stationary bicycle, to warm up your muscles. Start out slowly and build re...
The Metabolic Syndrome: At Risk for Depression
The Metabolic Syndrome: A Risk for Depression Everyone feels a little down now and then. When you have the metabolic syndrome, it’s also common to feel blue about your health concerns once in a while. But when the mood lingers, it could be a sign of depression. If left untreated, depression can make it hard to function at home, work, or school. Fortunately, treatment is available. The link between the metabolic syndrome and depression goes both ways. Managing various health problems can cause stress, an...
The 'Soft Teeth' Myth
The ‘Soft Teeth’ Myth You Can’t Blame Genes for Tooth Decay in Kids If you think that "soft teeth" are the reason that cavities tend to run in families, you'll be surprised to know the real reason: an infection. The infection is usually transmitted from mothers to babies during the first year of life. "Women of childbearing age who have cavities or have had a lot of fillings are at the greatest risk to infect their newborns with cavity producing bacteria," says Dr. Peter Domoto, chair of the Department ...
The Trouble with Bullies
The Trouble with Bullies Physical or emotional differences make children targets for bullies. Being a bully or a victim of a bully puts children at risk for engaging in violent behaviors, such as frequent fighting and carrying a weapon, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Bullying comes in different forms. It is commonly thought of as an actual or threatened act of physical violence. But name calling, spreading rumors, unrelenting teasing, and deliberately excludin...
Time to Fertilize? Wait a Minute!
Time to Fertilize? Wait a Minute! Springtime means gardening and lawn chores--mowing, mulching, planting, weeding. For many weekend gardeners, this is also the time when chemicals make their annual debut--as fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. In pursuit of a greener lawn or a pest-free garden, homeowners often become chemists of sorts. Recent studies, however, have raised a red flag on chemical use, pointing out a possible link between herbicides and pesticides and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate ca...
Tracking Symptoms of Heart Failure
Tracking Symptoms of Heart Failure If you have heart failure (HF), becoming aware of even small changes in your body can help you manage your condition. Here are common symptoms of heart failure: Fluid retention. You may notice swelling in the lower half of your body, especially the feet and ankles. This can lead to sudden weight gain. Weight gain. Weigh yourself every morning. Tell your health care provider if you suddenly gain 2 or more pounds in 1 day or 4 pounds in a week. Abdominal swelling or stom...
Traveling With a Chronic Condition
Traveling With a Chronic Condition Any trip requires advance planning so you can be comfortable and lower your risk for worsening symptoms. Use this checklist to create a smart travel plan for a safe and enjoyable trip. Bon voyage! Involve your health care providers Arrange a consultation with your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks before traveling. Get written instructions for how to handle problems while away. If you are crossing time zones, be sure to ask your doctor how to take your medicines on schedule...
Traveling with Asthma
Traveling With Asthma There are some extra challenges when traveling with asthma. The suggestions that follow can help you avoid asthma symptoms and make your travel easier. Be prepared if your asthma should worsen while you're traveling. Make sure you know where to go for medical care. Avoiding triggers Avoid asthma triggers by planning ahead. Plan your vacation at times and places where pollen counts are low. Avoid placed with high levels of air pollution. For example, stay away from very smoggy citie...
Type 2 Diabetes and Food Choices
Type 2 Diabetes and Food Choices You make food choices every day. Whole wheat or white bread? A side of french fries or fresh fruit? Eat now or later? Choices about what, when, and how much you eat affect your blood glucose. Understanding how food affects blood glucose is the first step in managing diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, following a diabetes meal plan can help you keep your blood glucose levels on track. Prevent problems Having type 2 diabetes means that your body does...
Understanding Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is a condition that occurs when the inside of the arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, becomes thickened. This can lead to abnormal stiffening and narrowing of the arteries. The condition can start as early as childhood and can lead to many health conditions, including heart disease and stroke. How does it happen? Atherosclerosis is a disease that develops slowly over time. Excess cholesterol and other substanc...
Understanding Eating Disorders
Understanding Eating Disorders An eating disorder is an unhealthy obsession with food and weight. People with eating disorders eat – or avoid eating – in extreme ways. At least 8 million people in the U.S. are living with an eating disorder. The overwhelming majority – about 90% – are female. These are the 3 main types of eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia severely restrict calories to the point of starvation. They are obsessed with being thin and have an unhealthy and distorted bo...
Understanding Kidney Disease
Understanding Kidney Disease Too often, diabetes leads to kidney disease. But it doesn't have to. When kidney problems are caught early, you can take steps to prevent more serious kidney disease. That's why it's important to check the health of your kidneys with a microalbumin test. The kidneys filter and clean about 50 gallons of blood every day, carefully removing the body's toxic waste products. Diabetes can be hard on the kidneys, and when blood sugar is high, they filter more blood than normal. Ove...
What Do You Know About Birth Defects?
What Do You Know About Birth Defects? According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, birth defects are structural or functional abnormalities present at birth that cause physical or mental disability. Some may be fatal. Several thousand different birth defects have been identified. Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life. 1. What percentage of U.S. infants are born with birth defects annually? a. 1 percent b. 3 percent c. 5 percent d. 10 percent...
What Do You Know About Prostate Health?
What Do You Know About Prostate Health? Prostate cancer and other diseases of the prostate are common. Learning about these diseases can help you recognize problems and seek medical treatment early. Mark each statement true or false. 1. The prostate is located beneath the bladder and consists of glands and ducts embedded in muscle fibers. True False 2. Prostate cancer is always fatal. True False 3. Most prostate cancers cause symptoms such as a weak stream of urine; pain while urinating; frequent urinat...
What is a Transient Ischemic Attack?
What is a Transient Ischemic Attack? A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a ministroke or warning stroke, causes symptoms similar to those of a stroke. The difference is that TIAs don’t cause permanent brain damage, and they usually last less than one hour but can last up to 24 hours. Approximately one-third of people will suffer a stroke in the year following a TIA. TIAs happen when a blood clot or artery spasm suddenly blocks or closes off an artery briefly. This stops blood from reaching a ...
What Is Cardiac Asthma?
What Is Cardiac Asthma? Cardiac asthma is not the same as bronchial asthma, although it causes similar symptoms. Bronchial asthma is triggered by allergies, pollutants, exercise, stress, or lung disease. The small airways in the lungs become irritated and inflamed due to these triggers. This inflammation results in wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Cardiac asthma can produce similar symptoms, but cardiac asthma is caused by the backup of fluid in the left side of the heart. This fluid backup ...
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
What Is Spinal Stenosis? Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and pinches the nerves, resulting in back and leg pain. In adults 50 years of age and older, the risk of developing spinal stenosis increases, although younger people who are born with a small spinal canal may also develop symptoms. Aging can cause the ligaments (tissues that connect the spine and bones) to become thicker and calcified, and the disks between vertebrae to break down. Growths called bone spurs may oc...
What's in the Food You Eat?
What's in the Food You Eat? Take a look at the ingredients of the packaged foods you eat. You'll quickly move from foods you know, such as tomato puree or wheat flour, into the strange world of food additives. Names like calcium propionate (used to control mold) or ascorbic acid (an antioxidant and color stabilizer) abound on labels. Most additives are safe and beneficial, experts say. What's more, they're everywhere. It's tough to find an additive-free processed food, although natural food stores offer...
When Rest Doesn't Relieve Fatigue
When Rest Doesn't Relieve Fatigue Fatigue is often described as being "bone tired" – a feeling of overwhelming weariness and lack of motivation or energy. Everyone feels this way now and then, but this kind of fatigue is usually short-lived and can be eased by getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and making changes to your eating and exercise habits. Sometimes, though, those common cures just won't work, or you have other symptoms in addition to fatigue. That's when you need to talk with your health c...
You Can Choose to Have a Healthy Life
You Can Choose a Healthy Life Each year, two out of every three deaths in the United States are caused by cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or stroke. That figure could be significantly reduced if Americans made healthier food choices, got more exercise, and stopped smoking, according to the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association. In fact, these organizations feel so strongly about the importance of everyday choices that they have sponsored a joint initiati...
Your Child's Asthma Action Plan at School
Your Child's Asthma Action Plan at School It's important to share your child's asthma action plan with his or her teacher and other school staff. If your child doesn't have an asthma action plan or it's not up-to-date, make sure you talk with his or her health care provider. What’s an action plan? What's an asthma action plan? This plan describes how to manage your child’s asthma. It includes information about your child's symptoms and medications. It also includes instructions about managing symptoms a...
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2500 South Woodworth Loop, Palmer, AK 99645
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2500 South Woodworth Loop, Palmer, AK 99645
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.