Protect Your Health in Freezing Temps

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Actions to protect your health in freezing temperatures include:    

Preparing your family and home:

•Replenish your emergency supply kits including battery-operated radio and flashlights.

•Have extra blankets on hand.

 
•Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

•Check on family members and neighbors who are elderly or have special needs.

•Move family pets indoors or to an enclosure out of the elements.

•Maintain a sufficient supply of heating fuel.

•Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during cold weather to avoid freezing.

•Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

 
•Keep fire extinguishers on hand. Make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them.

•Do not bring heating devices, barbecues and other cooking equipment or other fuel burning devices intended for outdoors inside.

Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water, even if you’re not thirsty.

Avoid alcohol, which makes your body lose heat.

Eat Light

Light meals are best before heading out in the cold.

Heavy meals require a large blood flow to the gastrointestinal system to aid in digestion, which may prevent warm blood from circulating to your fingers and toes.

Save the heavier meal for when you are back indoors.

Bundle Up

•Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.

The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.

Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.

•Wear a hat. 50% of heat is lost from your head. 

Wear warm socks.

Outer shell of your layered clothing should shield wind.

Protect your lips with lip balm and any exposed skin with moisturizer.

Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Exercise Indoors

Maintain your exercise routine by doing so indoors

Recognizing symptoms of cold weather exposure

Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and shivering are signs of possible hypothermia.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

 
Gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy skin are symptoms of frostbite.  See a physician.

 
In the case of overexposure to severe temps, remove wet clothes an warm the body with a blanket or warm fluids.

During a storm

Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. 

Keep warm blankets, extra clothing, hats, scarves, gloves and healthy snacks in  your car during severe temperatures.

If you must drive: travel in day; don’t travel alone; let others know your schedule; stay on main roads; avoid back road shortcuts.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

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For more information visit:
Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety – (CDC)

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Cold Weather Survival Guide from NJ.com  http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/cold_weather_survival_guide_wh.html

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Exercise and Your Mental Performance By Howard LeWine, M.D. Brigham and Women’s Hospital

We hear so much about the physical benefits of regular exercise. What effects do exercise and staying fit have on our cognitive function — the mental activities by which we acquire and process information that becomes knowledge?

Researchers have done experiments to look at how well people perform mentally while exercising and immediately after an exercise session. Other researchers have examined the association between fitness level and age-related cognitive decline.

Unlike physical measurements that can be taken with some precision, defining tests of mental performance and exercise to get reliable outcomes is a much greater challenge. Despite the obstacles, researchers have made some headway.

 

Mental Performance Tasks Influenced by Exercise

During a session of moderately intense aerobic exercise, mental performance improves in several measurable ways

  • Reaction time
  • Perception and interpretation of visual images
  • Earlier automation of certain skills, what is sometimes called muscle memory
  • Executive control processes

Of these, exercise exerts the most positive influence on tasks of executive control, such as:

  • Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Coordination of people, places, events, etc.
  • Working memory — the brain’s ability to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out complex mental functions
  • Inhibition — the ability to block out unnecessary distractions

Personally, I like to catch up on my medical journals while riding a stationary bike. I find that my concentration and comprehension are better than at any other time.

 

Impact of Exercise Duration

Improved cognitive function begins to show at about 20 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and will be maintained for about another 40 minutes. Beyond 60 minutes of exercise, fatigue is likely to become a factor. For very fit individuals, enhanced mental performance could continue beyond an hour.

Once fatigue sets in, you start to lose the mental edge you have gained. If exercise continues, then mental performance actually will decline to a level lower than where you started.

The positive cognitive effects of exercising for 20 to 60 minutes are primarily related to increase in blood flow to the brain and stimulation of nerve cells to release more neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals between brain cells). These positive effects will be maintained for a short time after the exercise session as long as you have not become overly fatigued. If you expect to have a long and hard workout, don’t plan on doing any important decision making or complex mental functions immediately afterward.

 

Influence of Exercise Intensity

Moderate intensity aerobic exercise that keeps you breathing a little faster and makes you sweat is probably the optimal intensity level to get the mental boost. If you monitor your heart rate to guide your intensity level, you want to strive for about 75% of your maximal heart rate.

With moderate intensity exercise, your body is activating the sympathetic nervous system and raising levels of adrenalin. These are likely the two main factors driving improvements in mental performance.

At high intensity of exercise, you will perceive your level of exertion and this sensation will likely interfere with concentration and ability to perform mental tasks. Personally, when I am over 80% of my maximal heart rate, I am only thinking about keeping my breathing under control while visualizing a beautiful, peaceful place.

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Fitness Level and Cognitive Function

Generally healthy people age 55 and over who are physically fit are less likely to lose cognitive function than sedentary people in similar health. However, unlike the improved measurements of cognitive function seen during and shortly after exercise, levels of fitness as related to mental performance assessments can only be suggested.

Although some indirect evidence is compelling, there is no direct evidence that fit people operate at a higher mental performance level in between their exercise sessions. Any association of being more fit and maintaining higher cognitive function may or may not indicate a direct relationship. People who are more fit tend to have greater motivation, eat a healthier diet, and be more engaged in their own health care.

 

Fluid Intake and Exercise

Dehydration is associated with a marked reduction in mental performance, independent of whether it is exercise-induced or caused by other factors. Researchers have shown that the decreased cognitive function immediately after exercise-induced dehydration can be quickly reversed once fluids are given to return body weight to the pre-exercise level.

One study found that hyperhydration — extra fluid beyond what is lost — improved mental performance more than just replacing fluid losses. This principle should not be taken to extreme, since overhydration with water during prolonged exercise can dangerously lower blood levels of sodium (a condition called hyponatremia).

Water and sports drinks are equally effective at maintaining hydration during exercise. Sports drinks that contain simple carbohydrates (sugar) may provide a mental advantage for other reasons.

 

Carbohydrates To Feed the Brain

The brain needs a constant supply of glucose to function normally. During exercise, the body preferentially uses glucose as the main energy source for contracting muscles, including the heart and the muscles used to expand the lungs. At moderate intensity exercise of 20 to 60 minutes, there is still plenty of sugar available to the brain to allow the improved mental performance noted above. If exercise is more prolonged, especially at a high intensity level, then the amount of blood sugar available to the brain may be an issue.

Studies have shown that cognitive function is better when fluids are replaced with a sugar-containing solution rather than a drink without any calories. However, when blood glucose levels are measured, they are not low enough to say that hypoglycemia is the explanation. More likely, the sugar-containing solutions improve endurance and lessen the perceived level of exertion. Improving both of these factors positively impacts mental performance.

 

Boosting Cognition Now and for the Future

In the short run, each session of aerobic exercise on a stable piece of equipment such as a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine has the potential to give you a double benefit for your time spent. Not only will you be improving your fitness, your ability to concentrate on and perform mental tasks also will likely be enhanced.

In the long run, physical activity appears to be at least as important in staying mentally sharp as keeping your mind active and maintaining strong social connections. Multiple studies have shown that people who exercise regularly will have less age-related cognitive decline and lose less brain tissue seen on MRI and PET scans.

 

 

 

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

Reviewed by Faculty of Harvard Medical School 

Cleveland Clinic on Affordable Care Act

Today, the 5-4 Supreme Court Ruling in favor of the “Affordable Care Act” upheld the individual health insurance mandate as tax.

The decision will require most Americans to obtain minimum health insurance coverage. CLEVELAND CLINIC President and CEO, Dr. Toby Cosgrove, says the law will ultimately change the face of healthcare.

CG: Dr. Toby Cosgrove/Cleveland Clinic

“I’m really pleased that we’ve seen the healthcare law held up. I think that what this means is that we’re moving ahead, we’re continuing on a journey of reforming healthcare in the United States . We’re addressing access for people who haven’t had access before. We’re beginning to address quality and developing a more efficient healthcare delivery system. I think one of the things I’d like to see more of however is more emphasis on wellness and reducing the incidence of chronic diseases that we see, secondary to behavior.”

THE  HEALTH CARE LAW ALSO INCLUDES PROVISIONS THAT BAR INSURANCE COMPANIES FROM DENYING COVERAGE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS, REQUIRES INSURERS TO COVER CHILDREN IN FAMILY PLANS UNTIL THEY ARE 26 YEARS OLD, AND INCLUDES A MASSIVE EXPANSION OF THE FEDERAL MEDICAID PROGRAM.

 

 DR. COSGROVE SAYS CHANGE IS NEEDED.

 

 

 

CG: Dr. Toby Cosgrove/Cleveland Clinic

“We started out with a healthcare system that was really designed for the 1950’s, a different set of diseases, different things we could do for patients and a different level of sophistication that we can bring to patient’s problems. All that’s changed now. We have a bigger population. We have an older population. We have more things we can do for people. Now we have to change the system in order to accommodate those changes.”

 

DR. COSGROVE HOPES TODAY’S DECISION WILL HELP TO CLEAR UP SOME OF THE CONFUSION OVER THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE.

CG: Dr. Toby Cosgrove/Cleveland Clinic

“I’m delighted we finally have a decision. It’s taken one more unknown out of the equation. For a long time we haven’t known what the rules of the game are, now we’re starting to know the rules of the game and that’s going to continue over a long period of time as we understand the law better, but we’ve got the first steps.“

 

  http://www.clevelandclinic.org

Sleep Paralysis: Can’t Scream or Move Nightmare

Cope with Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a condition where people are paralyzed at the onset of sleep or upon waking. It is a disorienting condition that may also proffer vivid and terrifying hallucinations. Here are some steps to help you identify and cope with sleep paralysis.

Recognize the Symptoms

  1.  

    Learn to recognize the symptoms. Sleep paralysis can affect you in many different ways. There are, however, some commonalities that people experience, including[1]:

      
     
     
    An inability to move the trunk or limbs at the beginning of sleep or upon awakening 
    • Brief episodes of partial or complete skeletal muscleparalysis
       
    • Visual and auditory hallucinations(people often sense an evil presence, or feel a phantom touch, or hear an unidentifiable noise in the room)
       
    • A sense of breathlessness (or chest pressure)
       
    • Confusion
       
    • Helplessness
       
    • Fear
       
     

What to Do During Sleep Paralysis

  1.  

    Focus on body movement. You may find that you are able to move a part of your body (often your toes, fingers, or tongue) to force yourself to a fully waking state. [2]

      
     
  2.  

    Focus on eye movement. Your ability to open your eyes and look around is generally not hindered by sleep paralysis. Some people recommend rapidly moving their eyes back and forth to break the paralyzed state.[2]

     
      
     
  3.  

    Focus on breathing. Controlled breathing can be an excellent relaxation technique. Knowing some breathing techniques in advance may help you regain control during a sleep paralysis episode.

     

     
     
  4.  

    Imagine yourself moving. Some people intentionally induce a sleep-paralysis state to induce what they believe to be out-of-body experiences. Imagining oneself moving effortlessly from the body may be a pleasant alternative to sleep paralysis.[2]

     
     
     
     
     

Treating the Symptoms

  1.  

    Sleep regularly. Sleep paralysis is thought to happen when the sleeper enters the REM-sleep state prematurely.[2] Since this is more likely to occur when a person is sleep-deprived, maintaining a regular healthy sleep pattern and getting enough sleep can significantly reduce the likelihood of sleep paralysis episodes.[3] If you suffer from insomnia, train yourself to fall asleep more easily.

     
     
     
     
     
     
  2. “Sleeping on my side worked for me.” -Maria

    Sleep on your side. About 60% of sleep paralysis episodes reportedly occur when the sleeper lies on his or her back; to break this habit, sew a pocket or pin a sock to the back of your nightshirt and insert a tennis ball or two.[2]

     

     
     
  3.  

    Exercise regularly.[3] You don’t have to go to the gym. Simply introduce a low-impact exercise regimen to your day. Taking a walk in the morning, for example, is a good idea.

     
     
      
     
  4.  

    Eat healthy. Nothing is more important than what you put inside your body. Cut out the things that will affect your sleep, such as caffeine, alcohol, and sweets.

     
     
     
  5.  

    Relax. Stress interrupts normal sleep cycles, which can greatly contribute to the likelihood of sleep paralysis.[2] There are many things you can do to help you calm down, such as meditating, listening to music, and playing with a pet. Decide what works best for you.

     
     
     
     
  6.  

    See a doctor. When episodes occur once a week for 6 months, it’s time to consult with your personal health care provider.

     
     
     

Further Preemptive Treatments

  1.  

    Talk about it with your friends. It’s much easier to deal with a medical condition when you know you’re not the only one. You might be surprised to learn that someone you know has gone through something similar.

     
     
     
     
     
     
  2.  

    Keep a log. Track the details of the experience, the time, your sleep pattern, sleeping position, mental/emotional state before and after you were paralyzed, and if you were paralyzed while falling asleep or upon waking up. This can all be useful information, especially if you decide to a see a doctor about the condition.

     
     
     
     
     
     
  3.  

    Identify the triggers. Sleep paralysis can be triggered by a variety of situations. For example, some researchers have found that it can be caused by the position you fall asleep in. These researchers recommend sleeping in any position other than your back. It can also be caused by certain sedatives or pain medication. Switching medications can eliminate the problem.

     

     
     
  4.  

    Avoid the triggers. After identifying your personal triggers, do your best to avoid them. This will significantly reduce the chances of experiencing sleep paralysis.

     
     

    Tips

  • Avoid caffeine 5 hours before sleep.
  • Sleep paralysis can be terrifying but it isn’t dangerous or harmful.
  • Consider having your doctor administer a sleep study diagnosis. With proper treatment of a diagnosed sleep apnea condition, the sleep paralysis may subside and/or disappear.
  • If you feel an episode coming on at night, try sitting up and staring at a bright light for a minute or two.
  • If you experience disassociation (“out of body” feelings), try to “feel” the texture of your sheets, clothes, or furniture around you. It’s easier to wake up if you focus on one of your senses. Alternately, ignore the sense of paralysis, and allow yourself to follow the “out of body” feelings; you can turn an unpleasant surprise into an enjoyable lucid dream, which you may be able to control. Try visiting friends or pleasant spots you have visited. No harm can come to you, so don’t be afraid.
  • Sleep paralysis is a very common medical phenomenon. Do not worry about the supernatural or spiritual implications of such an episode.
  • You might find yourself still dreaming while experiencing paralysis. This is the time when sleep paralysis is most confusing. For example, you might awaken to see the outlines of your bedroom, but at the same time you might see an intruder in your dream. These sorts of dreams are common in conjunction with sleep paralysis, and they are known to be exceptionally frightening.
  • You might feel the urge to break free of the paralysis by trying to sit up or moving a lot. Doing this can often cause you to be paralyzed further and the pressure to increase. The best way is to simply relax and recognize that you are in no danger and the feeling will soon pass.

Sources and Citations

  1. Guardian article on sleep paralysis
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 University of Waterloo resources on sleep paralysis – this site also has an ongoing study on sleep paralysis where you can contribute your experiences
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sleep Paralysis Information Service
 

Dr. Oz: How to Boost Your Metabolism All Day Long

Here are some fantastic tips from Dr. Oz on how to boost your metabolism all day long:

6:30 A.M.
Do a little yoga. It can double your metabolic rate first thing in the morning. I recommend a gentle cycle of two sun salutations. If you’re new to yoga, check out my seven-minute morning routine (which also includes a few strength-building exercises).

6:40 A.M. 
Drink cold water. Five hundred milliliters of H2O (a little more than a pint) may spike metabolism by 30 percent for as long as an hour. Water triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn stimulates your metabolism. Cold water may also force your body to use energy to warm it.

6:50 A.M. 
Take 500 milligrams of white bean extract. In a 2007 study, people who took the extract (which may slow the absorption of carbs) for 30 days experienced a significant improvement in their muscle-to-fat ratio. That’s good news for metabolism since muscle burns about three times more calories than fat.

7:00 A.M. 
Eat a protein-packed breakfast. Digesting protein takes up to seven times more energy than digesting carbohydrates or fat. Try making a dozen hard-boiled eggs on Sunday, and eat one or two each day.

8:00 A.M. 
Enjoy a cup of joe. Caffeine promotes an increase in norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that keeps your sympathetic nervous system activated and your metabolic rate humming. According to research, coffee may increase the amount of energy you burn by 16 percent for up to two hours.

9:30 A.M. 
Take 50 milligrams of forskolin. Recent studies indicate that compounds in forskolin—an extract derived from a medicinal plant—might break down fat and help raise levels of thyroid hormones, which play an important role in regulating the speed of metabolism.

10:00 A.M.
Snack on tahini dip. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, a rich source of zinc. And zinc may increase the production of leptin, a hormone that improves metabolism and curbs appetite.
11:15 A.M.
Chew a stick of sugarless gum. New England Journal of Medicine study found that this mindless activity can help your body burn 19 percent more calories per hour. (At that rate, if you chewed gum every waking hour, you’d lose 11 pounds over the course of a year! And likely drive everyone around you nuts.)
12:00 P.M. 
Go for a brisk 15-minute walk. A trip around the block can triple your metabolic rate. This boost continues after you stop moving because the body consumes more oxygen, a crucial player in metabolism, when it’s recovering from exertion.
12:45 P.M.
Spice up lunch with peppers. Capsaicin, the key substance that makes chili peppers hot, stimulates your “fight or flight” stress response and may increase metabolism by 23 percent. Peppers may even improve your muscle-to-fat ratio: Research suggests that capsaicin inhibits the generation of fat cells.
2:00 P.M. 
Sip a cup of green teaThis miracle beverage pairs caffeine with a compound known as EGCG—and together they create an even greater bump in metabolism than caffeine alone. Studies also indicate that green tea may reduce body fatand trim the waistline.
5:00 P.M.
Use your muscles—with your mind. Believe it or not, visualizing a workout can actually trick your body into strengthening your calorie-zapping muscle: A Cleveland Clinicstudy discovered that participants who spent 15 minutes a day imagining flexing their biceps had a 13.5 percent increase in their strength after three months.
5:15 P.M.
Use your muscles—with your muscles. After age 30, we lose 3 to 8 percent of our muscle mass per decade, which is one of the main reasons metabolism slows. To counteract that loss, aim to do two to three 30-minute strength-training sessions a week, using moves that engage as many muscles as possible, like squatsplanks, and lunges.

6:30 P.M. 
Cook dinner with coconut oil. Most of the oils we eat are converted largely into fat. But coconut oil, with its unique molecular makeup, is rapidly converted into energy—and may causea 12 percent bump in your metabolism.

6:55 P.M. 
Add dairy to your meal. Calcium can help improve your muscle-to-fat ratio in two ways: It binds with fat to reduce the body’s absorption of fat. And any remaining calcium typically circulates in your bloodstream, helping to break down fat cells.

7:00 P.M. 
Garnish with dill weed or chives. Both of these herbs are packed with kaempferol, a flavonoid that has been shown to increase the production of metabolism-spurring thyroid hormones by about 150 percent.
7:45 P.M. 
Unwind with a glass of wine. Alcohol can raise your metabolic rate for up to 95 minutes. In fact, a large peer-reviewed study found that women who regularly enjoy a drink are seven to eight pounds lighter, on average, than teetotalers.

10:30 P.M.
Hit the hay. Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt the circadian rhythm of your cells, throwing your metabolism out of whack. Do your best to get a steady eight hours of rest each night.

Keep reading: 4 more ways to turn back the clock

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/How-to-Increase-Your-Metabolism-All-Day/7#ixzz1wSfYZpRa

Kaiser Leads Mobile Healthcare

Nearly 9 Million Kaiser Permanente Health Records Securely Available on Mobile Devices

Kaiser Permanente already has the largest electronic medical record system in the world.

The Pew Internet Project reported that 40 percent of American adults access the Internet via their mobile phones, and in some cases, mobile phones are their primary source of Internet access.

Twenty-five percent of smart-phone owners go online primarily using their phone; of these, roughly one-third have no high-speed home broadband connection.

Three months ago, the health care organization announced that 9 million Kaiser Permanente patients now can easily access their own medical information anywhere in the world on mobile devices through a mobile-optimized website.

An additional app for iPhone will be released in the coming months.  Meantime, iPhone users can download a shortcut icon to kp.org

In 2011 alone, more than 68 million lab test results were made available online to Kaiser Permanente patients.

Kaiser Permanente patients will have 24/7 access to lab results, diagnostic information…

direct and secure email access to their doctors, and will also be able to order prescription refills.

Kaiser Permanente had more than 12 million e-visits in 2011 alone, and they expect that number to rise.

The Android app is available now in the Android Market at no charge.

Users of other mobile devices can access the same set of care-support tools at no charge through the new secure, mobile-optimized member website, which is available through smart-phone Internet browsers.

Kaiser Permanente patients or family members who can act on their behalf, now have 24/7 access from their mobile devices to view their secure personal health record, email their doctors, schedule appointments, refill prescriptions and locate Kaiser medical facilities on kp.org

“This is the future of health care. Health care needs to be connected to be all that it can be. This new level of connectivity is happening real time, and it is happening on a larger scale than anything like it in the world,” said George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente.

“The fact that a Kaiser Permanente patient in an emergency room in Paris or Tokyo can simply pull out their mobile device and have immediate and current access to their own medical information is an evolutionary and revolutionary breakthrough for medical connectivity.”

“Our members love our current connectivity tools,” said Christine Paige, senior vice president of marketing and Internet services.

“Now we will extend our entire connectivity tool kit for patients through a mobile phone. Our mobile-optimized site and app take connectivity to the next level by making the mobile experience easy and enjoyable. We believe that convenience, paired with a great user experience, will meet members’ needs and will ultimately result in improved health and patient-physician relationships.”

iPHONE SHORTCUT ICON

  • Go to kp.org on your iPhone mobile Web browser
  • Click on the middle icon at the bottom of your screen
  • Choose “Add to Home Screen
  • A short cut will be added to your iPhone icons

Members using the Android app have access to their kp.org accounts by touching the app icon on their phones.

Those visiting kp.org from a mobile phone Internet browser are seamlessly redirected to the mobile-optimized website, which was designed for optimal viewing on a mobile-phone screen.

In both cases, a streamlined menu of mobile-optimized features helps members find what they need quickly and easily with minimal taps.

“Providing our patients with clear and convenient access to their health information is a step forward in connectivity and improving the health care experience for patients, no matter where they are,” saidJack Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation.

“We already have complete connectivity among Kaiser Permanente care sites through Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®. This new level of connectivity extends the reach of information to our patients in a more convenient and user-friendly format. This new app and mobile-optimized site is very good for patient care and will revolutionize connectivity by bringing health care for the first time to the level of connectivity other parts of our economy have achieved.”

Users’ personal health information is safe and secure while using the new app and the mobile-friendly kp.org, which employ the same security safeguards that protect patient information on the traditional kp.org website, including secure sign-on and automatic sign-out after a period of inactivity.

“The benefits of mobile extend beyond member engagement,” said Philip Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer of Kaiser Permanente.

“Mobile solutions can have a positive impact on health. Health care, itself, will be much more convenient for many people. The mobile-friendly site and app are also a springboard for new innovations that will inspire members to be aware of their health and take steps to improve it.”

“There has been an explosion in the growth of mobile devices and users are looking for new and improved ways to manage their lives online,” Halvorson said.

“It is time to make health information easily accessible from mobile devices.”

This is a major new connectivity offering, but it is not Kaiser Permanente’s first mobile app. Other, more targeted tools, were released earlier. Kaiser Permanente launched its first mobile application, KP Locator for iPhone, in July 2011.

The facility-finder app has been downloaded 42,000 times.

KP Locator combines the power of kp.org’s robust facility directory and the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to make searching for Kaiser Permanente facilities fast and easy for patients on the go.

It answers three of the most basic, but vital, user questions thoroughly and simply — where are the Kaiser Permanente locations close to me, how can I contact and get to them, and what departments and services can I access there? Kaiser Permanente also released its Every Body Walk! app two months ago to help encourage people to walk and maintain healthy activity levels, and that app was rated No. 5 in the Top 100 Green Apps by Eco-Libris.

Kaiser Permanente is known for its leadership in the use of health information technology. The Kaiser Permanente electronic health record is the largest non-governmental medical record system in the world. KP HealthConnect enables all of Kaiser Permanente’s nearly 16,000 physicians to electronically access the medical records of all 8.9 million Kaiser Permanente members nationwide and serves as a model for other care systems.

Kaiser Permanente has received numerous awards for its health IT expertise, including four 2011 eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

You can learn more about how patients, clinicians and researchers are using My Health Manager and KP HealthConnect by checking out Kaiser Permanente’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/kaiserpermanenteorg. Kaiser Permanente also has what might be the world’s most complete electronic medical library to support its caregivers by providing convenient access to the best and most current medical science. That electronic medical library is for internal use only.

Nearly 9 Million Kaiser Permanente Health Records Securely Available on Mobile Devices

Kaiser Sunset Hospital in Los Angeles, CA
Kaiser Sunset Hospital in Los Angeles, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Obesity or Greed Epidemic? by Maria Dorfner

Today, as some docs want to regulate toxic sugar I’m reminded of a blog I wrote on this day in ’05:

June 4, 2005 – Every day we are bombarded with media messages about the “obesity epidemic“.  The AP puts a new story on its wires and TV news writers end up rewriting the wire copy for broadcast, so the propaganda ends up in our living rooms.

Who is distributing the Press Release? What is their motive? What have they got to gain by scaring the public into believing we’ve all got one foot in the grave? Turns out, a lot of folks have a lot of money to gain.

In 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO), officially declared obesity a disease. You can’t declare something a disease unless it’s widespread and statistics back it up. Recently, we have seen how the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) admitted inflating those numbers. The CDC was able to receive about $40 million dollars a year allocated towards obesity based on their previous numbers.

In 1993, a study by McGinnis & William Foege, M.D. published in JAMA estimated that the most prominent contributors to mortality in the U.S. were, in order, tobacco, diet and activity patterns, alcohol, microbial agents, toxic agents and firearms with “dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyle being the most common source of unnecessary death and disease among Americans“.

That was 19 years ago, yet we keep getting told the same information as if it’s new.

 

They want us to believe that obesity has surpassed tobacco deaths. Maybe the people who quit smoking started eating.  Although, the alarming number of deaths due to obesity that Foege quoted back then were the same wrong numbers derived from the CDC. 

Obesity programs are funded primarily by the National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention. There’s that word “disease” again. The budget? $747,472,000.

Turns out, a lot of folks want to get their hands on that money under the guise of conducting “obesity research”. The Medicaid Obesity Treatment Act of ’01 required medicare prescription drug coverage to cover drugs medically necessary to cover obesity.

By declaring obesity a disease many unhealthy strategies for weight loss (stomach stapling, liposuction, diet pills, body wraps, herbal remedies, etc.) might become warranted. Doctors could justifiably use these treatments and feel confident that they are improving the client’s health simply by decreasing his or her weight.


Pharmaceutical companies would be able to market their quick fix pills and quacks could promote radical diets that promote fast weight loss. It must be emphasized that the effect of these treatments would only be temporary since they don’t address long-term behavior change, such as lifetime physical activity and improved dietary habits. In addition, even if weight loss is achieved and maintained there is no guarantee that it will be accompanied with health benefits.

It’s bureaucracy growing in inverse proportion to its effectiveness. It can justify more government taxing under the guise of “tax policy as a social engineering tool”. There are so many special interest groups that want us to buy into the obesity epidemic under their insatiable search for funding. When the truly obese do not respond to their efforts — then they go after the mainstream. More numbers enables them to justify their perpetual fundraising efforts.

The so-called obesity epidemic brings in revenue. In order for these organizations to keep the money rolling in they have to expand the nationwide guilt trip and falsify numbers. The motive is money. Plain and simple.

Foundations redirect their funding when a new disease pops up. Millions of dollars in grants have been awarded under the “obesity epidemic” war. There’s some obese person out there somewhere who seriously needs help and doesn’t have money, but that person probably never gets help.

If these foundations really want to help people, why not make the grant application open to the obese individuals instead of research institutions and organizations that keep getting grants merely to reinforce that a problem exists. That would cost less and help more.

Long-term diet and exercise modifications are the only effective lifestyle changes that affect obesity. It doesn’t take billions of dollars to make people aware of that. Yes, some people have a genetic predisposition towards obesity, but even they can make changes in their eating and activity level.

Stop lowering the threshold for who is considered obese, so that more and more people fall into a category so companies can sell more drugs to them. So far, adults, children, elderly and even newborn babies have been included in this ever-expanding “Greed” epidemic. 

A lot of wallets expand along with waistlines, and consumers need to be wary of studies and research reports that keep reinforcing the same ol’, same ‘ol with a new twist. The new twist is usually a result of some people sitting in a room saying, “We have to figure out to get more money” from this.

How does telling you you’re fat get them more money? Because then you go to the doctor and ask for help. He recommends drugs or surgery. Fast food? The government puts another “sin tax” on it. What’s next? A “sin tax” for computers and televisions because after all, they do contribute to inactivity. Let’s not forget the lawyers who benefitted from tobacco settlements who would love to go after another big industry as well.

[by Maria Dorfner, NewsMD Communications, originally posted on a blog Saturday, June 04, 2005 @ 7:45 PM

newsmdcommunications.blogspot.com/Cached]
 
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2012 UPDATE – 7 years later.  The headlines as predicted want to include MORE PEOPLE in this “epidemic”. More people. More money.   The headline should be:  Obe$ity Greed Epidemic Much Worse Than Americans Believe.

 

Study: American Obesity Epidemic Much Worse Than CDC Believes

The traditional measures of obesity are inadequate, according to a new report

April 2, 2012 RSS Feed Print

The American obesity epidemic might be much worse than many experts believe because of the limitations of the Body Mass Index, which is the most popular number used to diagnose the condition…

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Pets are included now. 

Statistics tell us there is no change in this epidemic.

A recent article I read by Pope in the New York Times backs this up.  It’s not because there are a lack of medications.  I begin to wonder if all these pills are merely placebos.  The side effects that kill tells me that’s not the case.  At least not in a few batches.

Here’s a link to all the pharmaceutical drugs available to treat obesity. http://www.drugs.com/condition/obesity.html

There is also an organization called Obesity in America.  The website is www.obesityinamerica.org.  It was created to educate, legislate and reverse obesity. It will also feed information to reporters. That’s enough sugar-coated sweetness to make one obese.

There are people who require medical intervention.  They need to be the focus here.   I cry if I watch The Biggest Loser.  I can feel their pain.  I often wonder why God didn’t create bodies that stayed exactly the same no matter how you eat.  Why do people have to suffer over how their bodies look or how they perceive their bodies to look?  Why is it so hard to lose and so easy to gain?

Being thin doesn’t make you immune to stress and challenges either.  It’s easy to blame extra weight for every problem in your life. When that extra weight is gone –it gets harder because when you discover the problems are still there you begin to feel even worse. Only now you can’t comfort yourself with ring dings.  It’s a vicious cycle.  You absolutely have to have new coping mechanisms and habits to deal with any triggers that made you reach for comfort food in the past. 

On “The Biggest Loser” people are led to believe that once they lose the weight, they will be happy.   Many of these people actually look into the camera and exclaim, “I’m SO happy now!”   Happiness doesn’t work like that.  You could be happy obese.  Obesity doesn’t make you unhappy.   Happiness does not rely on external factors.   Once you attach it to an external factor –it will crash because things do not stay the same. They change. Look at nature if you want to understand how this works.  If you can change, yet stay the same –you will be happy.   Your habits result from your beliefs. 

Establishing good habits from childhood is so important.  Habits are things we do automatically.  When I was a kid, we ran outside to play after school.  They will tell you being poor or being stressed will make you a fat kid. That is baloney. 

Bikeriding was big after school. So was jogging, touch football, tag or stoopball right on the steps. And I played tennis with Rob Bonomolo in grade school. We learned how from watching “Hart to Hart” on television. Jump rope was big after lunch in the lunchroom. Susan Favola, Lorelei Donofrio and I made sure to cover the entire alphabet while jumping.

What belief system did we have then? We associated being outdoors with freedom. Freedom from homework (presumably that was done before you ran outside), freedom from sitting in a stuffy classroom, freedom from work, freedom from carrying heavy books, freedom from wearing a uniform.

We could dump our way too heavy book bags, get into comfortable clothing and run free.

Think about that feeling. Close your eyes. Fresh air. Running. Not a worry in the world. We weren’t sitting staring at screens. We were active outdoors. Flying free. Like birds.

Wrong photo.  Those birds are sedentary.  You get the picture.   Visualize flying ones. 
If the economy were as it is right now when I was growing up and my Dad was out of a job –I would still run outside and play, even more.

You don’t need Big Brother telling you you have a disease and you’re part of an epidemic that is bigger than HIV (it’s not).

Maybe if the government focused on fixing the economy, as much as they focus on fixing your waistline, the stress would go away for the unemployed, underemployed, single mothers, single fathers, uninsured and kids.

It’s not an epidemic.  Thinking that releases the exact kind of stressful hormones  you don’t want in your body.  Remain calm.  It’s your private health. Take care of it one day at a time.  Make good choices.  Stay positive.   You are going to be okay.

Habits of the World’s Healthiest People

Meditation

 

The United States is facing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions: Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Diabetes and heart disease rates are on the rise. For the first time in living history, the life expectancy of America’s children is less than that of their parents.

In other parts of the world, however, people are living longer, healthier lives.

In certain areas known as Blue Zones, people tend to live well into their 90s and beyond while remaining mentally and physically vibrant.

It’s no coincidence that people in these regions share several lifestyle traits.

The Blue Zones

1.   Sardinia, Italy: a mountain village where researchers encountered a 102-year-old man who hikes at least 6 miles a day.

2.   Okinawa, Japan: home to some of the world’s longest-lived people.

3.   Loma Linda, California: where a group of Seventh Day Adventists commonly live to 100 years old and enjoy more healthy years of life than the rest of the United States.

4.   Icaria, Greece: a tiny island with 20 percent lower rates of cancer, 50 percent lower rates of heart disease, and almost no dementia.

5.    Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: where residents enjoy lower levels of obesity and longer lives than the rest of Costa Rica.

Dan Buettner, explorer and writer for National Geographic, has worked with longevity researchers to identify the habits that allow Blue Zone inhabitants to reach the age of 100 at ten times greater rates than most of the United States, while suffering a mere fraction the rate of heart disease and cancer as the rest of the world.

The key to living longer, fuller lives, says Buettner, is to create an environment of health.

Science has determined that less than 25% of a person’s lifespan is determined by genes. The rest can be influenced by lifestyle factors.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Buettner and his team of researchers have identified nine lifestyle factors common among Blue Zone inhabitants, all of which are associated with an extra 3-6 years of quality life.

The secret to vitality and longevity is incorporating these habits into your daily life.

Adopting all nine of these habits — known as the Power9 — is not necessary to experience the benefits of increased health and longevity; according to Buettner, practicing just six of the Power9 will deliver 90% of the benefits.

His book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, provides practical guidelines for setting up your home, your social life, and your work place to help add more quality years to your life.

Surprisingly, only one of the Power9 deals with exercise, and a full third involve social factors. In fact, says Buettner, the single most important thing you can do is extend your life is to build your own “Right Tribe.”

The world’s longest-lived people were either born into or choose to associate with the right people — those who provide emotional support and the motivation to engage in healthy activities.

Research shows that if you surround yourself with people who are active and eat healthy foods, you are more likely to adopt these habits yourself.

The Power9

1. Move naturally

Find ways to move mindlessly and adopt a lifestyle that makes moving unavoidable. In many Blue Zones, walking is the main mode of transportation.

People also engage in some sort of moderate daily activity such as gardening, walking, or playing with their children. Buettner believes that many Americans exercise too hard; our bodies were not made to withstand years of heavy pounding and high-intensity physical activity.

Regular, low-intensity activity — doing something light every day — may be more beneficial. Focus on activities you enjoy — even something as seemingly simple as a daily walk can provide health benefits.

2. Know your purpose in life

Having a meaningful reason to get out of bed in the morning can help reduce stress and ward off disease. Studies show that people who retire early often see a decline in their health and even experience higher mortality rates than those who continue to work.

If you enjoy your job, keep working as long as possible. Volunteer work and community service can also help provide a sense of purpose.

3. Downshift

People in Blue Zones typically have less stress in their lives. Look for ways to simplify your life: slow down, get plenty of rest, and take vacations.

Try to punctuate your day with periods of calm, whether that means meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or carving out some time for yourself to engage in a hobby.

4. Follow the 80% Rule

As Americans, we’re used to eating until we’re full, but allowing yourself to feel hunger can actually be beneficial. A study involving mice revealed that the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin may help fight stress and depression.

People in Blue Zones typically stop eating when they are 80% full. Buettner’s book and the Blue Zone web site provide advice on adopting healthier eating habits.

5. Eat a plant-based diet

People in Blue Zones don’t diet; they eat wisely. Blue Zone diets consist of large amounts of locally grown vegetables and less protein than the average American diet.

Limit processed foods, meats, fats, and sweets as much as possible. Also drink plenty of fresh water and herbal teas. In Icaria, residents drink high levels of herbal teas that act as diuretics, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease.

6. Drink red wine

Red wine is high in powerful antioxidants that can help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol. In Sardinia, researchers found a red wine with the world’s highest-known levels of antioxidants.

Drink red wine consistently and in moderation — a glass or two a day is recommended.

7. Belong to a healthy social network

Having a strong and supportive social system is key to reducing stress and living a healthy life. There is a biological link between social connection and how well our bodies function.

Fifteen years ago, the average American had three good friends; that number is now down to two. Our increasingly wired society and busy lifestyles have made us more isolated, which can shave years off our lives.

Make an effort to spend time with friends and nurture a face-to-face network instead of just connecting with people online. Proactively build friendships with people who practice healthy habits.

Participating in social exercise groups or volunteering are great ways to meet healthy, like-minded individuals.

8. Have a belief system

Having some sort of faith system or spiritual practice has been shown to have health benefits. Participating in a belief system doesn’t have to mean organized religion: Okinawans believe in ancestral worship; yoga and meditation are also forms of non-religious spiritual practices.

“People who feel their life is part of a larger plan and are guided by their spiritual values have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart attack and cancer, and heal faster and live longer,” says Harold G. Koenig, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

9. Put your family first

People in Blue Zones make family a priority and nurture supportive relationships with their loved ones. Studies have shown that the average working American parent spends just 19 minutes a day engaged in childcare.

As you work on simplifying your routine, look for new, beneficial activities you can do with your children and extended family members. Complete a craft project together, get the family together for a bike ride, or involve the children in making dinner and choosing healthy foods for the family.

For more information, visit the Blue Zones web site, which features a Vitality Compass for gauging your current state of health and life expectancy.

[Originally posted on April 16, 2012 by http://erindenil.com/2012/04/16/habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people/]

Additional Resources

The Island Where People Live Longer
Find Purpose, Live Longer

For More Information visit:  http://www.bluezones.com

To Get the Book Click on the Cover:

Cover of "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Liv...

Back Pain: Snap Out of It!

If only you could just “Snap Out of It!” when you have back pain.  But, that persistent backache that you’ve attributed to pulled muscles or neck strain may very well be osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis no matter what your age.  See the best diet for osteoarthritis at the end of this, as that also plays a role.

According to doctors, X-ray screening of the spine will uncover degenerative arthritic changes in 95 percent of people over the age of 50 — yet not all will have back pain, at least not right away.

When spinal arthritis does affect the nerves and disks, the result can be persistent, excruciating pain that affects quality of life.

And when your back hurts, you’ll do just about anything to feel better: In 2005, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that Americans spent $85.9 billion dollars seeking relief.  

Luckily, if you do have arthritis, new treatment options are becoming available. Here are five telltale signs that your back pain is caused by arthritis:

1. Pain that comes on gradually and worsens over time

Typically, back pain that’s not osteoarthritis comes on suddenly and results in an excruciating attack that may leave you immobilized but gradually improves as the underlying problem heals.

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, may start with a twinge here, a twinge there, and before you know it you have a backache almost every day.

What it feels like: Acute pain or overall achiness in one or more parts of your back. Pain due to osteoarthritis may come and go; you may feel better for a few weeks or months, and then the pain comes back worse than before.

Why it happens: The cartilage between the vertebrae wears down, causing the bones to rub against each other. With less cushioning between the vertebrae, the joints become inflamed. 

2. Stiffness and limited range of motion

If you feel stiff and achy when you get out of bed in the morning, it’s often a sign of osteoarthritis rather than sore muscles or a disc problem.

What it feels like: Your back feels stiff and unbending but becomes more flexible as the day goes on. When you bend over or arch your back, it may trigger more severe pain.  You may also notice “migrating” sore muscles that recur in different areas.

Why it happens: Over time, degeneration of the joints of the spine causes inflammation around the joints. 

 3. Neck pain that radiates into the head and shoulders

A pulled muscle in the neck or shoulder typically affects one localized area — you may even be able to touch or pinch the muscle and feel that it’s swollen. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, may affect the cervical or thoracic spine, causing pain to be felt upward and outward.

What it feels like:  Upper back or neck pain that radiates upward into the neck and base of the skull. Some people experience headaches.

Why it happens:   Increased stiffness and reduced range of motion may cause you to use different muscles than you typically would, causing tension, muscle strain, and soreness throughout the neck and shoulders.

4. Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, and fingers

Some people confuse carpal tunnel syndrome with arthritis of the spine because some of the symptoms can be similar. A loss of sensation or stiffness in the wrists, hands, and fingers may make it feel like you’re losing control of your fine motor movements.

What it feels like: Twinges, tingling, or numbness that radiates down from the shoulder through the arm. Depending on where nerve compression is occurring, you may feel pain all the way down your arm or in one specific place, such as your wrists, and it may come and go.

Why it happens: Inflammation and bony overgrowth of the cervical and thoracic spine can impinge upon and irritate spinal nerves, causing numbness, stiffness, and tingling and reducing sensation and motor control in the arms, hands, and fingers.

5. Pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs

A feeling of numbness or tingling that radiates down the buttocks and into the legs is typical of osteoarthritis of the spine as it progresses.

What it feels like:You might notice a lack of sensation in your legs, as if they’re numb or asleep. Your legs might also feel weak or as if they’re cramping or buckling.

Why it happens: Over time, wear and tear can cause the spinal canal — the opening inside each vertebra where the spinal cord passes through — to become narrower.

When this narrowing becomes significant (a condition known as spinal stenosis), it can pinch or compress the spinal cord or the nerve roots that emerge from the spinal cord, leading to pain and numbness that radiates down the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet.

Disc compression or injury, often occurring at the same time or as a result of arthritis, can also cause pain, known as sciatica, that radiates down the legs.

This content was originally published by Caring.com: “Back Pain” and this excerpt reprinted here with permission.  Click here for the entire article and more information.

 

Essential Self-Care for Arthritis

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Emotions can be key players in the pain game.

Joe Smith, a certified athletic trainer in an orthopedic clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, says he encourages clients with severe pain to name the place in their body where they hold their stress. Then he asks them to talk about what’s bothering them emotionally, such as an upcoming professional event or difficulties at home. “Sometimes that’s enough for people to identify why they’re having this pain,” he says.

Numerous studies document the close ties between chronic pain, especially back pain, and a sufferer’s psychological state. Medical studies also show that psychological interventions such as biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapies can be far more successful than traditional medical approaches.

Renee Bonjolo, a licensed massage therapist and owner of Body Central in Rhinebeck, New York, sees a clear link between what people are going through psychologically and how their bodies feel. Often these emotions involve guilt and anxiety, she says, especially with clients who are juggling work while caring for a parent, spouse, or child. She’s found that the process of releasing tension and recognizing emotions relieves some of her clients’ physical pain.

Attitude can also help, says podiatrist Wolpa.   He’s noticed patients who don’t believe their pain will go away will often have difficulty completing treatment, creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. “Emotions have a lot to do with one’s well-being,” he says.

VIVIAN EISENSTADT, a.k.a. THE BROOKLYN HEALER AGREES:  http://www.preventthepain.com/brooklyn_healer.php

She can help when traditional treatments do not work.  What works for you?  Let us know. 

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The Best Diet for Osteoarthritis: 

Find out how a specific diet plan can help you manage osteoarthritis symptoms, which foods work best, and how to maintain a healthy weight.

Medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH

  
If you’re one of the 27 million Americans with osteoarthritis, you know that the goals of osteoarthritis treatment are to relieve pain and maintain joint function. Experts say the best way to manage osteoarthritis is by educating yourself about the disease, making helpful lifestyle changes, and using medication if needed. And one of the best lifestyle choices for easing osteoarthritis pain is maintaining a healthy diet.

“A goal of active participation in your osteoarthritis disease treatment should be to reduce pain and inflammation and increase movement and function without dependence on medication,” says Carol Wolin-Riklin, MA, licensed dietitian and nutrition coordinator at the University of Texas Medical School, in Houston, Texas. “This may be achieved through weight loss and natural supplements.”

Osteoarthritis Diet: Controlling Symptoms

Being overweight by just 10 pounds increases the stress on your knee joints by the equivalent of 30 to 60 pounds with each step you take. Studies show that losing weight can keep your osteoarthritis from getting worse and can reduce osteoarthritis pain symptoms.

“Weight reduction helps to alleviate pressure placed on joints during physical activity and may also help reduce circulating cytokines that promote inflammation,” notes Wolin-Riklin. Cytokines are proteins that stimulate swelling and inflammation, and research has shown that fat cells are a key source of cytokines in the body.

A healthy diet combined with exercise is the most effective therapy to achieve weight loss. If you have severe osteoarthritis, you can still find ways to exercise while sitting or in a swimming pool. “Nonimpact exercise is better tolerated. Exercise will promote the loss of fat and help you to maintain lean muscle mass,” says Wolin-Riklin.

Osteoarthritis Diet: The Importance of Fiber

Pain is a common symptom in osteoarthritis. When nonmedical ways to reduce pain, such as heating pads and massage, aren’t doing enough, your doctor may prescribe opiate medications for pain. Opiates relieve pain by blocking pain receptors in your brain, but they also block the muscle cells in your digestive tract and can cause constipation. Though there are also medications to ease constipation, notes Wolin-Riklin, “relying on laxatives to help treat constipation may create a dependence on these medications. Nonmedical ways to promote bowel health are better.” She recommends:

  • Adding fiber supplements to your diet.
  • Eating a diet rich in foods that contain fiber such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Drinking plenty of water. This can help prevent constipation. “You should be drinking 48 to 64 ounces of fluid daily unless you have a medical condition that limits fluid intake,” says Wolin-Riklin.
  • Getting regular exercise. Constipation is more common when you are not physically active.

Osteoarthritis Diet: Dietary Supplements

Some nutrients have also been shown to benefit people with osteoarthritis. These include:

  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D can become trapped in fat cells and levels may be too low in people who are overweight. A blood test can be done to check your vitamin D levels — if they’re low, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter vitamin D supplements.
  • Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and copper. These antioxidants are all helpful in lowering the amount of cytokines in your blood, which help reduce pain symptoms caused by inflammation. “A good multivitamin with trace minerals can be effective,” notes Wolin-Riklin.
  • Fish oils. These oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. “Increasing intake of oily fish [such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines] to three times per week, or taking fish oil supplements, can help boost this anti-inflammatory effect,” Wolin-Riklin says.

If you have osteoarthritis, managing your diet and participating in a good exercise program — in addition to drug therapy when necessary — can make a big difference in reducing osteoarthritis pain If you’re taking medications that can cause constipation, be sure to drink enough fluids and get plenty of fiber through your diet. You might also consider adding a few supplements to your diet that can help reduce inflammation. Taking control of the way you eat is a great way to play an active part in your osteoarthritis treatment.

Follow @EverydayHealth on Twitter

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Related articles

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http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019/DSECTION=symptoms

Mayo Clinic · 200 First Street SW · Rochester, MN 55905 · store.mayoclinic.com

https://store.mayoclinic.com/products/books/details.cfm?mpid=33&trkid=21242S89457310&mc_id=comlinkpilot&placement=bottom

 

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When to see a doctor


If you have swelling or stiffness in your joints that lasts for more than a few weeks, make an appointment with your doctor.

 

Hot Program for Women Living with Cancer: It’s Free!

Here’s a hot health organization helping women with cancer look good, feel better.

In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects.  The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room.

Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but also her outlook.

She felt happier, less burdened and laughed for the first time in weeks.

With such a profound result, the Personal Care Products Council recognized the opportunity for its industry to help more women maintain their confidence and self-esteem.

Kavanaugh presented the idea to the Personal Care Products Council membership – the nation’s cosmetic industry leaders – who immediately offered funding and cosmetics.

The American Cancer Society enthusiastically joined the effort, providing a vital national network to assist women seeking information and access to the program.

Finally, the Professional Beauty Association | National Cosmetology Association (PBA | NCA) signed on as the third collaborator, encouraging its member cosmetologists to volunteer their services.

The program – dubbed Look Good…Feel Better – launched with two groups workshops at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., in 1989.

Today, Look Good…Feel Better group programs are held in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using products donated by Personal Care Products Council member companies.

 

Teen and Spanish programs, self-help mailer kits, online support, and a 24-hour hotline are also offered – as well as numerous independent licensed international Look Good…Feel Better affiliate programs across the globe.

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How can I find out where Look Good…Feel Better workshops are located near me?

Click the following link and enter your zip code to find a program near you.  Or call 1-800-385-LOOK (5665).

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs

Are Look Good…Feel Better services really free? How can you do that?

Yes, Look Good…Feel Better is a free public service program. It’s made possible by our generous Personal Care Products Council member- company donors who raise more than $2 million and donate more than one million individual cosmetic products, with a value of more than $10 million. The American Cancer Society administers the program nationally, including our toll-free number (1-800-395-LOOK [5665]) and volunteer trainings. And the Professional Beauty Association│National Cosmetology Association helps us recruit caring, qualified cosmetology volunteers. (Find out moreabout our sponsors.)

What will I learn by going to a group program that I can’t learn at home?

Group programs are step-by-step makeover learning sessions led by trained cosmetology professionals. Any questions you may have – such as how to fill in or draw in your eyebrows or how to camouflage particular types of pigmentation – will be answered firsthand. You’ll receive a free makeup kit with brand-name cosmetics to use during the session and to take home, helping minimize shopping time and expense. You will have the opportunity to experiment with various wigs, hats, and turbans in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere. And, perhaps most valuable of all, you will receive the support of other women coping with cancer treatment – those about to go through it, those experiencing it, and those who’ve been there. Put all these factors together and you’ve got a pretty powerful reason to sign up for a group program. Time after time, women who considered staying home tell us how glad they are to have made the effort to come. They say that the impact on their looks and outlooks is immeasurable. And those who care about them say so, too.

Where are group programs available?

Look Good…Feel Better group programs are offered nationwide in hospitals and community centers. Call us at 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) or contact your local American Cancer Society office to help locate a program near you. For those living outside the United States, please refer to our International Look Good…Feel Better programs to connect with us.

Does Look Good…Feel Better distribute wigs?

The Look Good…Feel Better program does not distribute wigs to participants. We do offer information about proper wig selection, fitting and care for alternative head coverings such as turbans, scarves, hats, etc. Some local American Cancer Society offices have wigs banks and may be able to offer assistance to women who need, but may not be able to afford, a wig. In addition, some insurance companies cover the cost of a wig when prescribed by a doctor as a “cranial prosthesis.”

Does Look Good…Feel Better accept hair donations? If not, who does?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept hair donations for wigs. We know of four organizations that accept hair donations and make wigs for those who need them. They are:

locksoflove.org
wigsforkids.org
pantene.com
pinkbarrette.org (This organization also accepts donations of gray hair. The others do not.)

Hopefully, one of these organizations will be able to use your hair donation.

May I donate gently-used wigs to Look Good…Feel Better?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept donations of gently used wigs.

How can I get Look Good…Feel Better brochures to distribute at my office/salon, etc?

The American Cancer Society supplies all printed materials at the local level. For physician’s offices, clinics, salons, or other community locations, we suggest the Look Good…Feel Better general informational brochure. To request free Look Good…Feel Better brochures, please contact your localAmerican Cancer Society, or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665).

Does Look Good…Feel Better have a program for men undergoing cancer treatment?

We offer Look Good…Feel Better teen programs, as well as the comprehensive 2bMe Web site. Though we do not offer group programs for men over 18, we have explored how the side effects of cancer treatment affect men, resulting in an informational brochure. Email us or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) to order it.

Organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute offer numerous resources, publications and support programs for men, women, teens and children.

Do you recommend any particular cosmetic or skin care brands to use during cancer treatment?

We do not recommend products by brand, but we do believe that mild products are best. Before adopting any skin care regimen, be sure to have your physician’s OK. (See special requirements for radiation and chemotherapy.)

How can an individual support Look Good…Feel Better?

There are several ways you can support Look Good…Feel Better. You can donate online by visiting the donation page; or you can send a monetary donation to: Personal Care Products Council Foundation, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. You can also purchase the Look Good…Feel Better scarf by Oscar de la Renta (please contact us to learn more); or you canvolunteer in your community.

Losing your hair during treatment for cancer can be one of the most difficult side effects – many women lose all or some of their hair, while others don’t lose any.

Ask your doctor what to anticipate and find out if there is anything you can do to help retain your hair. Then, speak with a hairstylist you trust to find out what to do if your hair thins, and what you can expect when it grows back.

Whether your hair thins or you lose all of it, please know that you can anticipate it growing back once your treatment is over. In the meantime, the Look Good…Feel Better community is here to offer courage, strength, support and peace of mind.

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Tibi Creates Silk Scarves to Benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Tibi Head Scarves to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care Research

Tibi created silk head wraps to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care and Research. 100% of the proceeds are donated and the scarves are a non-refundable charitable purchase. The scarves cost $75 each. They can be found here.

Photo: Tibi

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs 

Links

http://www.georgetown.edu/content/1242662797532.html