May 24, 2011

Low Health Literacy Rate in Seniors

Health literacy refers to a patient’s ability to understand the usage, information, and instructions they are to follow about their health and medications. Recent studies show that seniors are not taking prescription medications properly because of the present low health literacy rate. The low health literacy rate has led to a poor health status and a high risk of death. Studies show that patients have been taking medications up to 14 times a day because they did not want to combine their dosages although medications were prescribed in the same manner (i.e. one pill every 12 hours).

Doctors usually prescribe medications that can be taken together and are safe for the patient. However, one third of senior patients were found to be taking their meds at different times. Drugs are typically prescribed alike so they can be taken together. It is difficult for a patient to take prescriptions when they do not have enough information. Doctors should be up to date about what a patient is taking, such as herbal supplements and vitamins, and administrate clear instructions about taking drugs.

If you are unclear about instructions on taking medications then consult your doctor or a pharmacy right away. QualityPrescriptionDrugs is an online pharmacy where patients can ask any questions or address concerns with knowledgeable staff or directly to a qualified doctor. Additionally, QualityPrescriptionDrugs offers high quality medications such as Lipitor and Aciphex, and allows patients to talk to a pharmacist about instructions regarding intake of these prescription medications. A fear of accidental overdose and negative effects of medications prevent patients from taking medications, which can worsen the health problem. So when you’re in doubt, do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist or doctor any questions.

April 15, 2010

“An Apple a Day…”

Ever heard the old phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it’s not as far fetched as you may think. Apples have numerous health benefits that people overlook all the time. Benefits of eating apples include:

Strengthening Bones
An element called boron is a component of apples. Boron aids tremendously in strengthening bones. Apples can also help prevent osteoporosis for occurring in women.

Avoiding Alzheimer’s
A study on mice was done at Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York. It was found that mice with diets focused on apples did better than mice who had a regular diet. This is because of quercetin which is a plant pigment in apples.

Lower Cholesterol
Apples have a large impact on lowering cholesterol. For example, a single apple can reduce cholesterol up to 8%. A component of apples called pectin has the ability to lower Low- density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is basically “bad cholesterol”.

Fewer Chances of Getting Diabetes
Statistics say that “Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.” This is because of the soluble fibers in apples. Not only that, but for people that currently have diabetes, apples can reduce the need of

Losing Weight
Apples have a large quantity of fiber in them. This fiber keeps you full for a long period of time without consuming many calories. Perfect for losing weight. Apples also help maintain a healthy lifestyle because of the numerous nutrients in them.

There are many ways to enjoy apples and incorporate them into dishes. For example, you could make apple pie, apple crisp, fruit salad, or just eat it raw. Try it! “An apple a day [really does keep] the doctor away!”

March 19, 2010

How to Quit Without Nicotine Products

If you are a longtime smoker, then you know how difficult it is to quit smoking. And you’re not alone. Around the globe, about one third of the male adult population consistently smokes cigarettes. We’ve all heard the statistical reasons for quitting, that every eight seconds someone dies from tobacco use or that in 2030, if smoking rates continue, one in every six people will die from smoking. And then there are the emotional appeals, begging you to think about your children or loved ones and how your smoking habit affects them now and then also in the future. All of these are great reasons to quit, and you would’ve quit, or you tried to with the help of a nicotine product, and it really just didn’t work.

There is an argument that nicotine products don’t really help in fixing your nicotine addiction, as the nicotine is still being administered into your body, often straight into your blood stream, which meets the needs of your nicotine addiction and doesn’t help you to stop. But if you don’t use any nicotine products to help you quit; the other option is to go cold turkey. Though this may seem daunting, or impossible, there are several ways to help you through the process, and combat any feelings of nicotine withdrawal.

How to Quit Without Nicotine Products:

It’s All In Your Mind – Before you start abstaining from cigarettes, make sure that you are prepared mentally for the quitting process. This may include writing down reasons for quitting and placing them in a place where you keep your cigarettes, or charting out a financial plan for the money you will save when you stop buying your cigarette packages. It is often beneficial to target the reason for your continuation of smoking, if you smoke because you are stressed, figure out an alternative way to relieve your stress such as exercise, or if you smoke because you are bored, find alternative activities to distract yourself from the idea of smoking such as talking to a friend on the phone, or taking longer showers.

Don’t Stop Suddenly – To prevent severe withdrawal symptoms, work to have fewer cigarettes per day before taking the plunge. While decreasing your intake of nicotine, you can additionally utilize any of the techniques mentioned above or below.

Find a Support Group – Your family and friends will obviously support you in your decision to quit smoking, but it’s sometimes easier to deal with quitting if you can talk to someone who is going through the same experience. Support groups are a great way to learn more ways to help you quit smoking and reassure you that you are not alone.

Drink Water and Exercise – Exercising and staying hydrated will help your body to adjust to the absence of nicotine faster, especially after you stop using nicotine products. By sweating and introducing more liquid into your body, you will be able to expel the nicotine from your body more quickly.

Quitting smoking is possibly one of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your life. There are several different techniques, and it’s important to find a way that works for you, which may or may not include a prescription medication that doesn’t contain nicotine, use of a nicotine product or a change in lifestyle habits.

March 12, 2010

6 Ways to Recognize Depression

Learning to recognize signs of depression in yourself and others you are close to is the first step to overcoming depression.

1. Avoiding socialization – When people begin to draw away from their families and friends and spend more time alone this may be a sign of depression.

2. Lack of sleep (Insomnia) – Do you toss and turn every night, and find it difficult to fall asleep? Does someone you know get increasingly darker bags under their eyes? Do you have trouble getting out of bed each morning? Are you lacking motivation? This could mean you, or they are suffering from depression.

3. Consuming more alcohol – When the 5 o’clock happy hour becomes more frequent or turns into 3 o’clock or 2 o’clock this can be a sign that someone has a problem with depression.

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4. Eating habits change – If you notice a lack of appetite or unhealthy food choices in you or someone you are close to this should concern you as it may be a sign of depression. Either a major increase or a significant decrease in one’s weight can also be an indication that a person if affected by depression.

5. Worthless feeling or thoughts of harming yourself or suicide – This is the strongest sign of depression. An extreme change in ones emotion and behavior is most commonly a sign of a change in mental state and commonly this is depression.

6. Increased irritability – Being easily annoyed or irritated may just be a common thing in your personality, or can be caused by raging hormones in teenagers, but may also be a sign of depression, especially when accompanied by other symptoms or signals of depression.

Millions of people are diagnosed with depression each year. Small changes to your lifestyle can change, improve, and lesson the symptoms that you or someone you are close to could be dealing with. Contact a doctor as they can help lead you on a path to triumphant treatment.

March 4, 2010

Why Am I Losing My Hair?

Although many of us would like to avoid it, losing our hair is part of the natural cycle of hair growth. Each hair on your head grows for about two to three years, before it reaches it growth capacity and falls out in order for a new hair to grow in its place. This natural process accounts for the stray hairs that are found at the bottom of your shower. In some cases, however, hair loss can become excessive, to the point where you may be losing more than the normal amount of hairs per day. How much hair you are expected to lose per day is based on the length, healthiness and amount of hair that you have in your current hairstyle.

Excessive hair loss can be attributed to several different factors, dependent on the type of hair loss you experience.

If you experience:

  • Patchy Hair Loss, which affects both men and women, could be caused by a condition called alopecia areata, where a small bald spot appears on the head that will grow back within three to six months. Patchy hair loss can also be inflicted through certain hairstyles and habits; wearing a ponytail, or simply twisting your hair around your finger may be enough to pull hairs from their follicles. Fungal infections are an additional cause of patchy hair loss, when treated with antibiotics will allow hair to grow back.
  • General Hair Loss, which is categorized by simply losing more hair than you ought to be, is generally caused by the development of androgenetic hair loss, or baldness patterns in both men and women. Baldness occurs in all adults, how fast and how much your hair will thin out depends on your genetics and hormones.

Losing your hair is natural parts of life; however, if you think that you may be losing too much hair, talk to your healthcare provider about options for treating your hair loss, which may include taking medications like Finasteride for men and Minoxidil for both men and women.

February 27, 2010

5 Fastest Ways To Lose Weight

1. Drink Water – Have eight to ten glasses of water a day. Most people only have between 3 or 4 glasses of water two day. That is less than half of the required amount. Water is used for nearly every process in your body. If you drink a glass of water 15 minutes before a meal you are more likely to eat less and feel full faster.
2. Eat 3 Meals per Day (and 2 snacks) – Having a balanced eating pattern will help you to realize when you are more likely to binge. Avoid frequent indulgences and instead replace them with small portions of healthy food.

3. Exercise – I am not just referring to running. Exercise includes lifting weights and turning that fat into muscle. Weight-lifting will also increase your muscle and thus your metabolism. Be warned that in doing this you may not see the numbers decreasing very rapidly on the scale (because muscle weighs quite a lot), but you will see your stomach depleting quickly!

4. Use Dark Colored Plates – Smaller, dark colored plates are the best to use! Dark blue is an ideal color as it has been proven to fight off appetites. Red, orange, and yellow are the colors that increase your appetite significantly. (Remember the McDonalds logo?)

5. Eat Good Fat – There are good fats and bad fats. Trans fat and saturated fats are the worst for you when trying to lose weight. Try to consume essential fatty acids! They can even help your body to burn fat. Eating lots of fish would be very helpful as fish are full of essential fatty acids.

Eating the right things, drinking the right things, eating the right amounts, and exercising may seem like a lot to do, but if you can accomplish all these and stick with it for a while you will be amazed at how fast you can lose weight!

February 18, 2010

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid, meaning it is a fat. Everyone tells you when trying to lose weight avoid items high in cholesterol, saturated fats, or Trans fats. This is somewhat true. You need cholesterol! Cholesterol is what makes hormones, vitamin D, and bile (this helps your body use and digest fat that comes with the food you eat). Imagine life without cholesterol, we would all have weak bones, and any fat we consumed would go straight to our thighs. Cholesterol is beautiful!

Now before you get too excited and reach for that greasy (and probably cholesterol filled) hamburger, you do need to limit your cholesterol intake. One egg a day provides just the right extra amount of cholesterol (300 mg daily) to maintain the perfect health and not gain any weight. Each day your liver alone produces 1,000 mg of cholesterol, so you just need a tad more. If you consume too much cholesterol you may experience things like heart disease. If you have any risk factors for heart disease it is recommended you decrease your cholesterol intake per day to 200 mg per day.

To decrease your cholesterol intake, avoid these foods: beef, pork, lamb, egg yolk, turkey, duck, goose, and fish oil. Generally the foods highest in cholesterol are those the highest in protein (meats). Vegetables and fruits have no cholesterol. An ideal meal would be a vegetable stir-fry with a small amount of meat in it. Find the perfect balance of cholesterol for you and you will have a healthy heart.

February 9, 2010

Pandemics of the Past and What We Would Do Now

If you were to really think of how far the human race has come, you’d probably be pretty amazed. I’m in no way saying we’re perfect, but there have definitely been some major advances throughout our history. Technological breakthroughs have made most lives easier. However, medical breakthroughs have saved a significant amount of lives. We’ve experienced horrible pandemics; many have been noted in history, as early as 400-500 BC. Yet, looking back now, most of the diseases are no longer a threat. Even some of the most devastating and horrific diseases have been beaten by a little help from science.

The Black Death –
Possibly the most well known outbreak of disease, the Black Death has been said to have killed hundreds of millions of people (many of the death counts vary). The disease was spread by the fleas that were found on rats. The plague was horrible, causing the body count to sky-rocket in Europe. Four in Five victims died from the plague. However, now the Black Death is almost non-existent in developed parts of the world. Thanks to proper hygiene and modern antibiotics, there are very few cases that occur in the developed world. Yet, in underdeveloped countries with poor hygiene and water sanitation, the Black Death is still a very real threat.

Smallpox Epidemic Amongst Native Americans –
During the time European settlers started moving to North America they brought more than just European culture, they brought European diseases. The most deadly of these diseases was smallpox. The disease was extremely effective at killing all the native inhabitants, as they had never been exposed to any of these illnesses. Smallpox wreaked havoc and resulted in the mass depopulation of Native Americans. Thankfully, due to the smallpox vaccine and antiviral drugs, there hasn’t been a human case of smallpox in over 30 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease to be eradicated.

Spanish Influenza –
During the last year of World War One a very deadly virus began to spread across the world. Modern transportation combined with mass troop movements made it very easy for the virus to move from country to country and eventually continent to continent. The virus, unlike most other epidemics was targeting the young and healthy (similar to Swine Flu) as opposed to the elderly, weak, and children. The spread of a deadly virus and a war like no other in history had resulted in some of the greatest devastation ever witnessed in the history of the world. The Spanish Flu alone killed somewhere between 50-100 million people; more than all of the wars during the 20th Century combined. However, modern medications, such as Tamiflu, have been effective in reducing symptoms of the flu and preventing the transmission. Although the Spanish Flu is still present, it is nowhere near as deadly as it had been before. Many scientists believe that the virus eventually mutated into a less deadly strain.

Concussions are Minor Traumatic Brain Injuries

Filed under: concussions,Uncategorized — @ 4:07 pm

Concussions are seen as a common thing for kids. Just a bump on the head. It is actually much more serious. Concussions are in fact “mild traumatic brain injuries”. Research was conducted on the medical records of 434 children. Here is what was found:

• 341 of these had a traumatic brain injury

• 32 percent of the 341 had been diagnosed with a concussion

• Many kids were sent back to school and into regular activities prior to when they should have been

• When children are permitted back to school before they should it results in a higher risk (twice as likely) for a second injury

Due to these results it has been questioned if a concussion has a reputation of less severity than reality. It is proposed that concussions should be renamed as “brain injuries” to help people see that concussions are more severe than thought. It was also found in the study that when children were diagnosed with a concussion they were released earlier than if the child was diagnosed with a “brain injury”, though they are completely the same thing. Concussions do leave lasting symptoms which may be very subtle, such as balance.

February 1, 2010

Counterfeit Weight Loss Drug

The FDA approved an over-the-counter weight-loss pill (Alli) which is now found to be counterfeit. The active ingredient said to be in this product was orlistat, which was not found in the pills. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent out a warning and now doctors in the Capital have issued a further warning.

The imitation product contained sibutramine which should not be in any over-the-counter drugs. The drug is said to be available for purchase over the Internet which makes the potentially dangerous drug widely available.

The counterfeit and the original and legitimate product look similar with just a few differences on the packaging. The authentic Alli product has packaging with the expiration date including only the month and the year, while the counterfeit includes the day as well as the month and year of expiry. The second prominent difference is the size of the bottle the counterfeit Alli is in compared to the genuine Alli product. The phony Alli bottle has a taller and wider cap than the valid product. The last notable difference in the 2 products is the safety seal. The counterfeits inner safety seal has no words on it while the real product says “Sealed for your protection”.

Please be aware and look for these differences if you are considering purchasing this product. Check with your doctor to be sure that this product is for you.

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