12Aug
0

supplements1

You’ve heard the arguments from whole foods only advocates, and what they say seems to make sense. Why would you take a supplement for something when you could get it from a local, organic whole food instead? Going with whole foods can help you plan healthier meals, feel fuller with fewer calories if done wisely, and supports the local economy. Isn’t this a win-win situation?

In an ideal world, yes, but it’s virtually impossible for almost anyone to get 100 percent of their nutrition from foods alone. Once you start adding in the need for all those minerals and vitamins you’ve never heard of (but which are paramount), you suddenly realize you’d need a 5,000+ calorie per day diet to work it all in. Unless you’re a professional body builder or Dwayne Johnson, that’s not going to work.

A case for supplements

It’s true: Whenever possible, get as many vitamins and minerals as you can from whole foods. However, there’s a caveat. A lot of people have food sensitivities or health issues (such as high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, etc.) that makes it very difficult to get the nutrition they need from foods without upsetting their sensitivities or health issues. Let’s say you want to get in your daily reverstrol, but you’re pre-diabetic and there are only a few places to get this naturally (the skin of red grapes, mainly). They’re loaded with sugar, so what can you do?

Do the best you can given your unique parameters, budget and preferences and then supplement the rest. However, don’t just reach for the most available or cheapest supplements available. Do your research and choose a supplement with no additives and with reviews from independent testing organizations. Many times, you can get all natural ground supplements (turmeric is a great example) that’s basically the same thing as spooning powdered turmeric from your spice cupboard.

Mix things up

Humans are prone to getting into ruts, and that’s never truer than with supplements. Change up what you eat each week so that you’re getting your nutrition from different whole foods each week and supplementing with others. To make sure you’re on track, get an annual nutrition deficiency test from your doctor. Together, you can pinpoint where you need some work and test which foods and/or supplements your body responds to best.

Supplements are just what they sound like: They “supplement” a healthy diet, they don’t replace it. Treat them as such, and the path to health will be much smoother.

 

03Aug
0

woman-neck-pain

Neck pain can be, let’s face it, a pain in the neck! There are many causes to a person having sudden or chronic neck pain, but one thing that is certain is that it can be debilitating. When trying to get rid of neck pain, it is important to figure out what is causing it. If you find the cause, you can generally find the solution just as easily.

Technology can Byte

While many people do not associate pain with cellphone, tablet or even computer usage, neck pain has been associated with technology more and more in recent years. If you would like to read more information on the subject, this article can be a great place to start. Basically, the position that your head and neck is in while using modern technology can make you strain and stress muscles and nerves. This can lead to sudden onset or chronic neck pain. While a crick in the neck is painful, strained muscles are even more so. It is important to take proper care while using technology, if you don’t want to face the pain that can be caused by such usage.

Alleviating the Pain

More often than not, neck pain can be controlled or cured from the comfort of your own home. While some people recommend heat, others may recommend ice compresses. The truth is that a rotation of cold/hot compresses is going to function better than a single application of either one. Both cold and heat has ways of helping your body alleviate pain. According to the article, “10 Tips and Tricks that Reduce or Eliminate Neck Pain,” there are several home remedies for helping that neck pain go away.

Decide when it is Serious

Many people try to push neck pain to the back of their minds, but it’s not something that should sit on the back-burner. Due to the fact that neck pain can actually indicate a serious medical condition, it should be taken seriously. If after a few days, the pain persists or worsens, it is imperative that you contact your physician. Underlying health problems may not be easily detected by someone who isn’t trained in different types of spinal and nervous system pains. Even if the pain has only just started, if it feels like it might be serious, it just may be. The spinal cord plays an important role in your body’s ability to do many things. If there is a chance that you have somehow damaged your spinal cord, it could cause permanent disabilities or worse. In this article, you can find more information on causes of neck pain and different ways to alleviate it.

Neck pain is not a joking matter. Due to the extremely intricate make-up of the spine and nervous system, it is important to know when to see a doctor and when self-medicating is okay. If you are unsure, make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider. It’s always better safe than sorry.

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30Jul
0

pregnant

Remember that experiment where they told kids they could either eat the cookie in front of them right now, or wait different periods of time and then they were promised two cookies? It turns out, those who waited ended up being more successful and more intelligent than the ones who opted for instant gratification. Waiting to find out your baby’s gender until the birth may not mean you’ll be a more successful parent, but it can certainly lead to a more rewarding experience during the birth.

More and more people are choosing to wait in order to enjoy the biggest and best surprise of their life. While shopping for unisex clothes and getting creative at baby showers can be a challenge, for many it’s well worth it. If you’re expecting or TTC, consider the upsides to waiting.

1. Get the joy of choosing two names

Nothing is as fun as thinking about baby names while you’re expecting, but if you wait you can roll two names over your tongue or even think of unisex names. This lends to the element of surprise on the day of the birth.

2. Save money

It’s natural for parents to be (and grandparents to be) to overspend on clothes and accessories that will only be used once if at all. You see a frilly pink dress or adorable overalls and just have to buy it. However, shopping in gender neutral zones only or waiting to find out your baby’s gender can save a lot of waste. You’ll need it once you find out just how costly babies really are.

3. Opt into the greatest surprise of your life

It’s no secret that labor and delivery is tough, painful and arguably the worst part of being pregnant. However, when you have the best surprise of your life waiting at the other end, it can make it a little more bearable.

4. Prevent yourself from pink or blue overload

Parents to be can get a little nutty when it comes to decorating the baby’s room. An explosion of pink or blue can just happen, and you may regret it during the millionth diaper change when your eyes are being blasted with the same hue. Neutral tones for baby’s room is much more soothing and classic.

Whether you choose to wait or not is up to you, but there’s something special about that surprise element. Are you up for holding out for another metaphorical cookie?

28Jul
0

prescriptiondrugs

If you’ve ever thought that you’re paying too much for your prescription medications, you’re probably right according to this Consumer Reports article. Even those who have a standard medical insurance program that covers prescription drugs are paying higher prices than ever. Fortunately, there are many ways you can cut down your prescription drug costs without sacrificing your health and well-being.

Asking Your Doctor for Samples

Communicating with your doctor can help get the point across that you’re having trouble paying for your medications. Your doctor may offer you a month or two of free samples of medication or coupons to cut down on your out of pocket expenses. According to this article from the FDA, you can also ask your doctor about alternatives to pricey products. Show your physician your Medicare Part D prescription savings drug plan information to see if the medications you need are part of the plan.

Using Mail Order Services

Shopping through mail order pharmacy services can save big bucks on your prescription drugs, explains this Huffington Post article. Ask your doctor to write a 90-day supply with refills for your medication. You can send in your prescription by fax, mail or electronically to an online or mail-order service that participates in your Medicare Part D plan. Mail-order pharmacies don’t have as much overhead, so they can charge less money for the same medications. You can also enjoy the convenience of having your medication show up at your doorstep instead of having to head out to wait in line at a retail pharmacy.

Requesting Generic or Formulary Drugs

One way to cut down your out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs is to request generic medications instead of name brand. According to this feature from WebMD, choosing generic over name brand medications could save as much as 80 percent when it comes time to pay. Another way to save on your medication costs is to check with your insurance benefit program about its prescription drug formulary. A formulary is a listing of medicines that the insurer has contracted to provide at a discount. Choosing these medications over non-formulary drugs may also result in a significant savings. Combine generics or formulary drugs with a Medicare Part D prescription savings plan for the best level of savings.

Participating in a Prescription Drugs Saving Plan

If you enjoy the interaction with your pharmacist as well as the personalized services that you’ve come to expect at your favorite pharmacy, Medicare Part D plans are a good option to help cut down on your medication costs. Many independent and national chain pharmacies participate in these savings plans. You’ll likely find that most or all of the medications you need are discounted by these benefit programs. In addition to the savings you enjoy from your Medicare Part D program, you may get additional benefits or discounts from the pharmacy by using a customer loyalty card when you pay for your prescriptions.

22Jul
0

skincare

If you’re interested in being proactive against wrinkles and blemishes, it’s time to reassess you daily skin care regimen. Too much sun and years of neglect can cause your face to look older. You might begin to feel like your appearance does not accurately reflect your age. Here are five ways to combat the signs of aging skin.

Cleanse

Our faces accumulate oil and dirt throughout the day, which can eventually lead to blemishes. If these areas become severe enough, they can lead to slight scarring. You can prevent blemishes by using a daily cleanser on your face. Try to find a product that won’t make your face feel dry afterward. Cleaners can reduce the amount of oil and germs on your face, cutting down on the amount of blemishes that form.

Tone

Toners improve the overall smoothness of your skin by removing oil and tightening your pores. This beauty product has the added benefit of preventing blackhead buildup. Like cleaners, it’s important for you to find a toner that won’t result in dry skin or irritation. Apply the toner to a cotton ball and dab it across your face for the best results.

Moisturize

If your skin gets too dry, your skin and lose its elasticity. This can result in wrinkles, cracking, and peeling. Use a daily moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out. If you will be spending significant time in the sun, then try to find a moisturizer and sunscreen combo. This can protect your face from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Sun damage can lead to significant skin damage, resulting in wrinkles and increasing your risk of skin cancer.

Exfoliate

Exfoliate once or twice a week to give your pores a deep clean and remove impurities from your skin. This process helps you remove dead skin cells on your face, which can clog pores and lead to blemishes.

Skin Tightening

This procedure can leave your skin wrinkle free and smooth. As we age, our skin gets looser and less elastic. This can lead to the formation of wrinkles around our eyes and skin. Consult a skin care professional to learn more about laser skin procedures.

You must take a holistic approach to skincare to maintain a youthful appearance. A daily regimen of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, followed by periodic exfoliation can help your skin stay healthy. Laser procedures can also make a significant different within a short period of time.

13Jul
0

mobilehealth

Health apps have been steadily gaining traction, catching the attention of medical professionals and patients around the world. You can now use your mobile device to check in for your appointments, manage medication, and learn about preventative care. New advancements in diagnostic accessories are now allowing us to take care of our heath in new ways by giving us access to data that was previously difficult to measure at home. Here are four accessories that interface with mobile devices to give us detailed health reports.

Blood Glucose Measurements

Diabetic patients can now track their blood glucose levels with simple mobile attachments that plug into smartphones and tablets. This gives patients greater control over their insulin doses and long-term care strategies. Physicians can view blood test time lines and take a look at graphs to see spikes and drops in blood sugar. These portable devices can replace the need for additional equipment, making it significantly easier for diabetic users to manage their health.

Heart Rate Monitoring

Our heart rates help us understand the full impact of physical activity. It can be difficult to learn how effective our workouts are if we don’t understand how hard our hearts must work to pump blood through our bodies. Heart rate monitors that attach to your mobile device can help you determine the amount of calories you’ve burned performing an activity with greater precision. The peripherals can also inform you when your heart rate becomes too fast, indicating that you should reduce the intensity of your workout.

Lung Capacity Measurements

There are even smartphone accessories and apps that allow you to measure breath strength and lung capacity. In the past, these tests were only conducted in physicians’ offices with the use of a spirometer. Now you can check your lung performance at home. This is particularly important amongst patients who are recovering from surgery and the use of general anesthesia, since breathing performance can be affected and even decrease during a hospital stay.

Activity Monitors

Perhaps one of the most important health revolutions involving mobile devices is the stunning array of fitness accessories that have appeared on the market. Activity monitors provide us with a fun and interactive way to get daily exercise. Competitions and virtual achievements drive thousands of people to go for a walk, run or record their bike excursions.

Healthcare organizations can draw a significant amount of audience attention by investing in medical device development. Consumers worldwide are adopting these innovations so that they can achieve their health and wellness goals.

10Jul
0

osteoporosis_physician_and_patient

Bone is living tissue containing cells that continue to replicate and grow. When someone develops osteoporosis, the disease slows the regenerative process. Individuals might also lose too many cells before adequate replacement occurs. Bones become weak and break easily. Though fractures may occur during a fall, the brittle condition of osteoporosis might also contribute to breakage from slight pressure. Some people suffer spontaneous fractures as a leg bone gives way beneath normal body weight.

Prevalence of Osteoporosis

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 50 million adults in the United States have a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Research warns that 50 percent of all women and up to 25 percent of men over the age of 50 have an increased risk of bone fracture secondary to lowered bone mass and osteoporosis. Studies indicate that the ailment contributes to approximately 2 million broken bones annually, which costs an average of $19 billion in health care costs every year. By the year 2025, osteopaths believe that these numbers will increase to 3 million fractures and health care related costs of more than $25 billion every year.

Osteoporosis Prevention

Physicians at the Mayo Clinic advise that eating a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, along with exercising regularly, helps bones remain healthy throughout life. Adults over the age of 18 require at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Women over the age of 50 and men over 70 must get 1,200 milligrams of calcium. Dietary specialists recommend getting the necessary nutrients by consuming cereals and juices that are fortified with calcium, canned salmon or sardines, and low-fat diary products. Taking oral supplements is also another option. Strength training and weight-bearing exercises strengthen the large muscle groups and bones along with maintaining cardiovascular health.

Hip Fractures

Anyone 65 and older diagnosed with osteoporosis stands a high risk of suffering a hip fracture. These bone breaks most often occur in the upper portion of the femur where the large bone fits into the hip socket. Symptoms of a fractured hip include:

• Excruciating pain in the groin or hip region

• Inability to put weight on the affected leg

• Shortening of the affected leg

• Abnormal inward or outward rotation of the leg

In rare occurrences, victims may only experienced knee or thigh pain. Proper diagnosis requires undergoing an X-ray. Physicians may also recommend a bone scan, CT scan or an MRI, which all provide a more detailed image of the affected area.

Hip Surgery

Depending on the type and extent of the fracture, an osteopathic surgeon may perform a hip pinning or a total hip replacement surgery. Pinning involves using screws, braces or other metal devices to hold the bone together as it heals. Hip replacement requires replacing the upper, fractured portion of the femur with a synthetic, metallic device that functions similar to a normal hip joint. Following surgery, patients typically undergo physical therapy to regain strength and facilitate normal joint movement. Patients must fully comprehend the healing process and the possible side effects associated with implants before agreeing to the procedure.

10Jul
0

workplacesafety[1]

Faulty or malfunctioning equipment, chemical exposure, exposed wires, and slippery floors – these are just a few elements that can create an extremely hazardous work environment. These issues can occur over a long-term period, or they can appear suddenly due to weather, environmental conditions, or accidents. Employees in the United States are protected by federal organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which enforces safety standards in work environments across the country. Here’s what to do when you feel like your work environment presents risks to employees.

Tell Your Supervisor

When you notice something dangerous at work, bring it up with your supervisor. If possible, show them the dangerous fixture and voice your concerns. Companies that are proactive about work safety can significantly decrease the risk of workplace injuries and fatalities. Do your part by informing your superiors about a risky environment, so that they have the chance to take action.

Talk to HR

Unfortunately, your supervisor might attempt to minimize your safety concerns or overlook them. If nothing is done about an unsafe work environment, then ask your HR department what can be done about a safety issue. Unfortunately, some organizations prioritize profit over safety, which can affect their response regarding a dangerous workspace.

Contact OSHA

If your employer refuses to address safety concerns at your workplace, you might wish to file a confidential complaint with OSHA. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries in 2012. It is possible that you could save some of your coworkers from injuries or even fatalities by reporting unsafe working condition. You have a federal right to report dangerous work environments without fear of retaliation.

Document Incidents

If you are injured at the workplace, it is extremely important to document the time, date, injury details, and setting of the incident. These details will be important in workers compensation claims and you might be able to pursue injury litigation. If possible, take photos of your injuries and the work environment to serve as visual reminders.

Unsafe work environments can expose you and your coworkers to needless levels of risk. Speak up when you see unsafe situations unfold, because you might be able to save yourself and your colleagues from harm. Don’t forget your federal rights as an employee in the United States.

09Jul
0

nursinghome

Making the decision to send a loved one to an assisted living facility can be very difficult. Family members are often fraught with guilt, stress, and worry about their relative during this period. Taking an active role in searching for the best nursing home can help ease these tensions and anxiety, since you’ll know that your loved one will be in the care of highly qualified professionals. But what should you look for in a reputable nursing home? How can you ensure that your family member gets to enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle? Here are four factors to watch out for in your search for a nursing home.

Cleanliness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hold nursing homes to very strict quality of life standards, conducting regular onsite inspections to ensure that residents have safe living arrangements. Be sure to tour nursing homes and keep an eye out for sloppy housekeeping. Major red flags include sightings of biohazard materials, such as soiled linens or used medical equipment that are not contained or cleaned. Examine restrooms, dining areas, and resident rooms and assess the cleanliness of these areas.

Staff Qualifications

Don’t be afraid to ask nursing home staff about their qualifications and licensure. Depending on the type of facility, some nursing homes will have Special Care Units for working with Alzheimer’s patients, for example. These specialized departments often come at different price points for residents, since they must meet different care standards established by state-based agencies.

Visitation Rules

Once your loved one starts living at a nursing home, will it be easy for you to visit them? Do the visitation hours sync up with the schedules of your family members? Learn everything you can regarding the visitation restrictions.

Supervision

Depending on the physical and mental state of your loved one, they might require significantly more attention than other residents. For example, people who have trouble walking are at risk of falling down and sustaining an injury at the nursing home. This can lead to serious health consequences, especially if your loved one hits their head or breaks a limb. During your visit to the nursing home, take note of how much supervision the current residents receive.

Take some of the worry from your nursing home search by touring facilities thoroughly before your loved one becomes a resident. If you become concerned by the cleanliness, facilities, and care given to your loved one, be sure to address the issue with administrators. Visit your family member on a regular basis to assess their quality of life.

05Jul
0

BenefitsForLife

Millions of Americans have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. If you have one of these conditions, you might believe that obtaining a life insurance policy is impossible. According to this article on Nasdaq.com, chronic medical conditions may not necessarily preclude you from getting the life insurance coverage you desire.

Risks Associated with Chronic Medical Conditions

Some chronic medical conditions present a greater risk than others, which can affect the availability and pricing of life insurance policies. The chronic conditions with the greatest risk of premature death and disability as it relates to getting life insurance coverage include heart disease, obesity, pulmonary disease, diabetes and cancer, explains this article on Kiplinger.com. However, even within these guidelines, not all risks are created equally. A basal cell carcinoma type of skin cancer may not raise your risk as much as if you’ve had recurrent or metastatic colon cancer. Seasonal asthma does not affect risk in the same way as life-long asthma. Gestational diabetes is not factored in the same way as Type 2 diabetes.

Types of Insurance Policies for People with Chronic Conditions

When you have a chronic condition, you may not be eligible for the range of policies that are offered to people without these types of conditions. According to this article on Chronic Disease Preparedness, most people with a chronic medical condition are able to secure a term life insurance policy. A term life insurance policy affords you financial protection during your income-earning years while you still have dependents. Because the risk of your condition worsening with age or cutting your life short, a term life insurance policy is easier to obtain than a whole life policy. You can also look into a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, which is similar to whole life but is designed for people with chronic conditions.

Benefits of Life Insurance When You Have a Chronic Disease

Stress and worry about your financial situation or future may worsen some chronic diseases. According to this article at Cigna.com, NZ insurance companies offer life insurance policies that can bring peace of mind to those with a chronic condition. Knowing that your children, spouse and other loved ones will be provided for in the event of your passing may help reduce some of your anxiety about your condition and the future.

Affording Your Premiums

Keeping your chronic condition under control is the best way to find an affordable life insurance policy, explains this article on Jewish World Review. That may mean keeping up with preventive care, screenings, tests and staying on top of your medication. Your health insurance policy may offer you services to aid with chronic disease management. If you’re able to bundle your life insurance and health insurance policies with the same carrier, this can help you save even more on the cost of your monthly insurance premiums.

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