Fresh Fruit Found to Battle Diabetes

Fresh Fruit Found to Battle Diabetes

Fresh Fruit Found to Battle Diabetes

How much fruit do you eat per week? Maybe it’s time to start eating at least 2 servings a week. A new study suggests that eating whole fruits twice a week may help to decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes more so than you would think!

During a quarter of a century long study, British, US and Singaporean researchers came together and pored over data from three big investigations. More than 187,000 nurses, doctors and other professionals in the healthcare industry were enrolled in the study, answering questionnaires on their eating habits, weight, smoking habits, physical activity and other areas of their lifestyle.

During this time, around 6.5% of those volunteers developed diabetes during the studies while participants who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fresh fruits – especially blueberries, grapes and apples – reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 percent compared to those who ate less than one serving per month!

On the other end of the spectrum, those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day seemed to have an increased risk of developing the disease by as much as 21 percent. A new paper suggests that even if the nutritional values of whole fruit and fruit juice were similar, the difference lies in the fact that fruit is a semi-solid and fruit juice is a liquid. Fluids tend to pass through the stomach and intestine more rapidly than solids regardless of their nutritional content. Fruit juices also lead to more rapid and more significant changes in the blood glucose and insulin levels than whole fruits.

So, the next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up your favorite fresh fruit to snack on throughout the day instead of those chips or crackers….you’re doing your body more good than you may know!

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Otoscope

Pocket Otoscope

Pocket Otoscope

The otoscope is a tool that doctors use to look inside patients’ ears and it can be used in several applications, such as looking at a patient’s throat or their eyes. At one end of the long handle is a bright light and a magnifying glass. The doctors use a disposable speculum on the end of the otoscope, disposing after use on each individual patient.  The exam beings with the doctor straightening the patient’s ear canal by pulling down on the ear, then inserting the otoscope to look inside. Using an otoscope correctly requires training and it is possible to damage the patient’s ear during an ear exam.

The disposable otoscope ear specula are the little pieces that are used on the end of the otoscope when examining patients. They are made to fit a variety of different otoscopes and come in different sizes. Ear specula are latex free and come packaged as 20 sleeves of 50 specula and are sold by the bag, 1,000 pieces total.

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What are Loratadine Tablets?

Loratadine tablets

Loratadine tablets

Loratadine tablets are an orally taken medication used to combat and relieve the symptoms of hay fever, which include a runny nose, skin irritation and watery eyes. The compound loratadine (brand name Claritin) is actually an antihistamine which can be used to alleviate hay fever allergies with minimal side effects. It is a very popular product globally for combating dust, mold, and pollen based allergies, and is usually offered over as an over the counter drug. However like all other medications, it is best to first consult a doctor before taking this particular kind of medication, in order to make sure that this drug does not conflict with any existing medications you are already taking or complicate a medical condition you currently have.

Developed by Schering-Plough as part of a quest to make a potential blockbuster drug (a drug that makes over $1 billion in revenue a year) as a non-sedating antihistamine, by the time it was approved by the FDA to go to market, another non-sedating antihistamine, terfenadine (Seldane), developed by a competing pharmaceutical firm had already been approved to market. This put loratadine at a lower priority. Until 2002 loratadine tablets had been available only by prescription in the US; but after this time it went off patent and was approved for over the counter sales, causing prices to drop significantly.

Loratadine tablets generally have mild side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. Some people may also develop blurred vision, gastrointestinal problems, confusion, depression, arrhythmias, and convulsions, although these symptoms are much more rare. This drug may not be advised to patients experiencing with liver or kidney conditions. Individuals with epilepsy have also suffered adverse effects with loratadine tablets, so it is important to consult a physician first before using this medicine.

For more information on loratadine tablets for allergy symptoms and whether or not this drug is right for you, consult your healthcare provider for more information.

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SPF 30 Sunscreen

Safetec SPF-30 Sunscreen

Safetec SPF-30 Sunscreen

SPF 30 sunscreen is used to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful effects, such as sunburn, and signs of premature aging (eg. leathery-looking skin, wrinkles). Sunscreen has also been proven to help reduce the risk of skin cancer. So what exactly is SPF 30 and how does it protect the skin?

There are two different types of ultraviolet light – UVA and UVB – that are considered in terms of sunscreen. UVA rays have more long-term effects on the skin like earlier signs of aging, while UVB rays cause sunburn.

The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of a sunscreen is determined through the following formula:

Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time.

First, sunscreen testers use sun-sensitive participants to measure the amount of UV rays it takes to burn without sunscreen, then the test is repeated with sunscreen. The “with sunscreen” number is then divided by the “without sunscreen” number, rounded down to the nearest five and the resulting figure is the SPF of the sunscreen.

SPF 30 sunscreen comes in many different variations like lotion, spray, cream and is even featured in lip balm and some forms of make up. Always apply to the skin 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Even if you are not sun sensitive, SPF 30 can still help avoid sunburn and is always a good accessory on beach day trips.

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Tips for Gait Belt Training

Tips for Gait Belt Training

Tips for Gait Belt Training

Gait belts are supportive belts used to help move people from position A to position B who on their own would be unable to do so. These belts are usually made from cotton and a mixture of other synthetic fibers, making them much stronger and supportive of heavier weights, while at the same time they are easy to clean for repeated use.

Gait belts make patient transfers easier and safer on both the caregiver and the patient. The caregiver is able to position the patient without injury to either themselves or the patient with some level of ease.

There are several factors that you should consider during your gait belt training session.

  • Does this belt support the patient’s weight completely?
  • Does the patient need back or torso support?
  • What is the mental status of your patient?
  • Is the transfer realistically achievable or should other transfer options be considered?

 

Knowing the answer to these questions will make it much easier to use a gait belt and transfer your patient as needed.

Here are few additional suggestions regarding the use of gait belts:

  • When transferring a patient it is best if you use the two person support system. While true that using a gait belt greatly reduces the amount of weight one care giver has to deal with, there is still a risk the person accidentally hurting themselves if they are alone.
  • Before using the gait belt make sure that you have been kept up to date on the appropriate sanitary and infection control policies. For example, transfer belts should be washed if they come into extensive contact with an individual’s bare skin. This will greatly reduce the likelihood that the patient will develop an uncomfortable rash or other kind of skin irritation. Instead, remember to always keep the gait belt on the outside of the person’s clothes.
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The Importance of Shoes for Foot Pain Relief

Dr. Comfort Men's Flex-OA Shoes

Dr. Comfort Men’s Flex-OA Shoes

Every day our feet absorb roughly 1000 pounds of force and many people have the unfortunate tendency to take the health of their feet for granted until it is too late. This often leads to us wearing down our feet as we continue to work them into the ground day in and day out.  Because our feet take such abuse everyday, it is no surprise that over time, and with increasing frequency, we suffer from more and more different kinds of foot pain.

Much of the fatigue and foot pain we suffer from comes from our lower limbs.  The majority of foot movement is controlled by four groups of muscles in the leg. Because these muscles also help to keep us balanced and upright, these muscles get a workout when we are moving our feet, as well as when we stand still. However, like all muscles, these too can become fatigued and put at risk for injury.

Some of the common problems that cause foot pain are:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel Spurs
  • Neuroma
  • Tendonitis
  • Stress fracture
  • Ankle sprains
  • Black Toenail
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoe
  • Ingrown Toenail

Many times the most common cause of foot pain is simply bad shoes. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, the use of improper footwear is responsible for almost 90% of all foot problems. So, in most cases foot pain relief can be found in wearing the proper shoes for the task at hand. No matter what kind of shoe you are wearing, a bad shoe can be recognized as one that fits improperly, has lost its shape, causes pain or rubbing, or is worn inappropriately or unevenly.

Tips on buying the right shoe:

  • Buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet are the largest, if you buy them earlier in the day, they may be too tight when you wear them.
  • Because most people’s feet are not the same size, it is a good idea to measure both of your feet and then fit your shoe for the largest one.
  • If you can not wiggle your toes inside the shoes, then they are too tight for you.
  • If your heel slides in the shoe, your shoes are too loose for you.
  • Remember: good shoes are meant to fit you right from the start. You shouldn’t wait until they “stretch to fit,” or are “broken in.”

Becoming a smarter shopper when it comes to finding better fitting shoes is very important to foot pain relief. Some foot pain is caused by things other than bad shoes, if that is the case for you, you should definitely talk to a licensed podiatrist or physician. Do not let chronic foot pain get the best of you take action today to get foot pain out of your life!

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Psychological Pain Management Techniques

Pain Management

Pain Management

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT for short helps patients with pain understand the relationship between their bodies, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.  One of the main goals of this kind of treatment is to restructure the patients thought patterns into a more constructive arrangement, targeting behavioral activation of healthy activities, such as regular exercise and pacing.  In addition to this, the patients are also trained in pursuing lifestyle changes like helping to improve sleep patterns, and cultivate other coping skills that can help reduce various stressors that cause pain.  Other examples of this positive lifestyle changes to manage stress induced pain would include relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing, and biofeedback.

Many studies have demonstrated that CBT when used for the management of low back pain has been able to produce significant decreases in physical and psychosocial disabilities.  A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine in January 2012 found that CBT is significantly better than standard care in treatment of people who have body pain, like fibromyalgia.  While there has been positive evidence in certain fields on the effectiveness of CBT for adults with chronic pain has not been researched well enough to provide a definitive conclusion.

There has also been some study on the effect of hypnosis in managing pain, while the findings did show that hypnosis did positively reduce some chronic pain conditions, the number of people studied was quite small and there was no control group.  This lead the authors to conclude that while promising there was not enough evidence to suggest whether or not hypnosis can effectively reduce chronic pain or not.  However other research has shown that hypnosis does have some positive results reducing pain during some of the more painful medical procedures in children and adolescents.

Do not wait take the steps you need to control your pain management.  To find out more about psychological pain management therapy please consult a licensed psychologist.

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Blood Pressure Machine Accuracy

Mabis Health Smart Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Mabis Health Smart Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

When speaking of blood pressure machine accuracy, location seems to be the most important aspect. How accurate is your doctor’s blood pressure machine? How accurate are at home machines? How accurate are blood pressure machines in grocery stores and drugstores?

In order to keep blood pressure machines accurate, they must be maintained. For the most accurate reading visit your doctor’s office. Doctor’s offices must keep all of their equipment well maintained and calibrated for their patients.

When it comes to at home blood pressure machines, always be sure to keep your machine well maintained. Before purchasing the machine, be sure that the model comes with a warranty- this can help take the extra maintaining costs from coming out of your own pocket.

As for the blood pressure machines you can use free of charge in many grocery stores or drugstores are not accurate enough to make health decisions regarding your blood pressure. When the machine was first installed it may have been the most accurate. But in order to stay accurate, they must be maintained like doctors and at home machines. In most cases, the information is not readily available to the user regarding the care of these devices. In some cases, the blood pressure cuffs on these do-it-yourself-in-the-grocery-store machines are often too small to get an accurate reading on a number of people with high blood pressure.

For the best and most reliable reading, visit your doctor or make a well educated purchase on an at home blood pressure machine. If you are unsure you got an inaccurate reading, it is important to not make any health decisions before you know you got the most accurate reading.

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How to feel 10 years younger

How to feel 10 years younger

How to feel 10 years younger

No matter how old you are, here are some tips and tricks to help you feel 10 years younger.

1.       Act like a kid

Getting back into an activity that you used to love as a child will give you that feeling of being a kid again. Even just jumping on your bike for an afternoon ride with friends or even with your headphones will make you feel more carefree.

2.       Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for your body to make collagen- which is the protein that keeps skin firm and elastic. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C, such as strawberries promote collagen production in addition to applying a C serum to your skin.

3.       Fading age spots

Fading age spots (most likely called by sun damage) is actually easier than one would think. Topical lotions such as hydroquinone, kojic acid or alpha hydroxyl acids work well on those stubborn age spots.

4.       Get Steamy!

Instead of cooking veggies at high heat without water (roasting, grilling or frying), try steaming your veggies! Cooking your veggies without water can cause inflammation which increases the rate of aging in the body.

5.       Firm the underarm flab

Flabby upper underarms can creep up on you as you age. Firm them up with resistance training reverses muscle aging.

6.       Control stressors

Anxiety, worrying and stress can all make you feel older and lower your energy substantially. Instead of worrying, try telling yourself: “I accept that there are things in life I can’t control and I release my worries”.

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Alzheimer’s and Incontinence

Alzheimer’s and Incontinence

Alzheimer’s and Incontinence

As we get older, incontinence can be caused by many different factors. From the inability to recognize the need to use the bathroom, forgetting where the bathroom is, stress, medications and the list goes on. But if someone is suffering with Alzheimers or other dementia and has only recently started to lose control of their bladder or bowels, the first and foremost step is to determine the cause or causes.

What can cause Incontinence in patients with Alzheimer’s?

To uncover the underlying issue of the incontinence, these questions are a good place to start:

  • Does the patient have a urinary tract infection, are they constipated or have a prostate problem?
  • Has the patient ever been diagnosed with diabetes, stroke or a muscular disorder?
  • Does the patient display any type of physical disability that could prevent him or her from reaching the bathroom in time?

Sometimes, incontinence could be caused by medications or diuretics:

  • Sleeping pills and anti- anxiety medication may relax bladder muscles
  • Coffee, tea and cola can act as a diuretic and increase urination

Take a look at the patient’s environment and clothing. These could cause obstacles:

  • Is the patient capable of finding the bathroom?
  • There could be obstacles on the way to the bathroom, making it difficult for the patient to get by in time
  • The clothing could be too difficult to remove.

More times than not, caring for an elderly Alzheimer’s patient usually means that you will be dealing with an incontinence problem. Incontinence can be stressful for the caregiver but also to the patient. They are dealing with the loss of their bladder function which can be a sensitive issue. Here are some quick tips for effectively dealing with possible accidents:

  1. Look for and respond quickly to verbal and non-verbal signs that the person has to use the restroom. The quicker you respond, the less there is a chance of an accident.
  2. Schedule bathroom breaks. If you take them every two hours to use the restroom, this could help to “train” the bladder.
  3. Try to keep the patient away from fluids a couple hours before bedtime- especially the diuretics like coffee, tea or soda. This will help and prevent overnight accidents.
  4. Put up signs or illustrations showing the person where the bathroom is. They can easily find their way themselves when they have to visit the bathroom
  5. Use incontinence products such as adult diapers or underpadding to protect clothing and furniture. This will make the situation easier for both you and the patient. These products are available in both disposable and reusable forms and are easy to apply and remove.
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