Friday, December 12, 2014

Rise in Colon Cancer in Young Adults

Colon cancer is something we think of as prevalent in older individuals but in fact it is reported that colon cancer has a new face. The numbers have be on the decline in 50+ population and on an increase in the 20-49 age group. There are several suspected reason for seeing this increase in numbers, an inactive lifestyle, dietary factors and obesity which all are something which can all be modified.
There have been no new protocols for colonoscopy screening of younger individuals to date. However, it is important to note, if you are in the that age group and experiencing symptoms it is worth discussing this with your medical practitioner. Things that should be worth contacting your practitioner about are
  • A persistent change in your bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Visible blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort (cramps, gas or pain)
  • Lower abdominal fullness giving the feeling that bowel isn't emptying completely
  • Unintentional weight loss
The important thing is to know your body, become comfortable with talking to your practitioner about this sensitive topic and making those lifestyle changes which can reduce your risk of not only colon cancer (eating to prevent colorectal cancer) but many other chronic health conditions. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Not All Juicers Are the Same

It seems like almost everybody is talking about JUICING these days. I am certain as the New Year approaches and folks are about to embark on that New Year's resolution of weight loss the juicing machine will be a top item on the Christmas wish list. But before you make that final plunge to buy, you may want to do some research. Check out "What To Know Before You Buy A Juicer" to help make sure the machine will do what you desire for your new healthier living lifestyle plan.

Keep the Stress Levels Down During The Holiday

Stress is the body’s reaction to life events or physical threats which cause the arousal of the adrenal system which triggers changes in the body. In small doses, stress can be positive, motivating us to  give our best and stay focused. When demands exceed our ability to cope, stress creates a state that can become a threat to both our physical and emotional well-being. Stress not properly managed can lead to distress, where you begin to see some physical manifestations (body aches and pain, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks) .
Stress is like a crack in the foundation, what begins as something small, if ignored, can cause the whole building to collapse. The key to getting a handle on this is to be aware of process, the sources and effectively control.
One huge stressor for many is the holiday season. There always seem so much to do with very little time. Shopping, mailing of cards and gifts, a visit of family and friends are just a few that comes to mind. For some interesting suggestions to cut down on holiday stress, take time to read Margy Squires article "Holiday Nothing to Stress About" which I hope will help you all have a happy and healthier holiday season.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Better to Hear You

With the blessing of longevity, for some individuals, comes the slow decline of ones' hearing acuity. There are several causes for this condition, which is called presbycusis. For some it is hereditary, while for others it is due to years of exposure to loud noises. Hearing loss can also be brought on by certain chronic health problems, a head injury, tumors or medications. Whatever the cause, if you notice you seem to have difficulty in hearing things as sharply as you once did, it is important to have it evaluated, sooner better than later, by a qualified otolaryngologist (doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing problems). Recent findings are linking the loss of hearing to the loss of brain tissue. This loss of brain tissue can be associated with memory and sensory issues. Read more about this finding Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Breath of Fresh Air...Life Without Smokes

Each year...the third Thursday of November the Great American Smokeout is the time to begin your strategy to at least give up smoking for that day and seriously considering incorporating a life without cigarettes into your healthier lifestyle more on tools to quit Guide to Quitting Smoking

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Check Your Halloween Flashlights

Just recently, I did a post on ways to keep kids safe this Halloween. Perhaps one of the more important things was making sure kids could be seen by using reflectors as well as making sure they could see where they are going. But hold on, you want to check the flashlight you may have purchased because there has been a recall by Meijer on the Projector with 3 Lenses model. There have been consumer reports of the flashlight overheating and the plastic handle melting. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to learn more on the Projector with 3 Lenses flashlight recall.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Highly Accurate At-Home Colon Cancer Test

I can't say I don't understand why individuals age 50 and above try to avoid their doctors question "when was your last colonoscopy". No, the preparation required to have this procedure is not the most pleasant one but it is a very important one and the way that colon cancer can be detected in its' early stage. I often found myself saying "if they can open up a person chest, stop their heart, and start it back, there had to be another way to detect colon cancer. Thanks to advances in technology there is finally another more about it FDA Approves Highly Accurate At-Home Colon Cancer Test

Friday, October 17, 2014

More Movement for Better Health

According to the article Standing Up for Your Health, if you have a job where sit most of your day, research is indicating that you could be putting your health in jeopardy just as much as or even more than someone who smokes. In fact you are 10 times more likely to develop chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes or bowel cancer or obesity. With statistics like that it seems more important that we begin to change from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Even if your job is one where you traditionally sit most of the day, there are modifications you can make to incorporate movement into your day. Learn more about the negative impact of an inactive day and how small things can make a big difference by reading the article Standing Up for Your Health which gives you some great tips and tools on how to turn your every day into one of movement.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Falling Leaves, Mums and Apples..Fall is in the Air

As the leaves begin to change color and fall and there's an abundance of squirrels with fat checks full of  nuts, my thoughts begin to think of the cooler days ahead and the annual trip my mother and I take to Graves Mountain Lodge. One of the highlights of this day trip is their great food. For the day I forget the healthier route and enjoy some finger licking good country fried chicken and a variety of other mouth watering delights. The other part of the day I look forward during the trip is our stop where we collect bags of apples to bring home for cooking. I never really gave much thought to which are the best for cooking but according to bon appetit the three best are the Honeycrisp, the Mutsu (aka Crispin) and the Pink Lady (Cripps Pink).
Being nutritious and low calorie, eating apples are a great addition to any healthier living lifestyle plan. Since the skin is packed with nutrients, apples are best eaten with the skin. However, due to the use of pesticides by some growers, always thoroughly clean before enjoying. After you read up on the facts of apple nutrition, I hope you'll be like me, seeking out local spots that carry a variety.
My recent find is Nalls Produce, Inc. which the vibrant colors of their plants in the front caught my eyes as I drove by. I was so pleasantly surprised on my first visit to find it was much more than a nursery, as I got out of the car, I was greeted by a rooster and a couple chickens. Along with a beautiful array of mums, asters and other plants, a rooster, chickens and a pig, they also carry locally grown fresh produce. This will definitely become one of my pit stops when I am out in the Alexandria, Virginia area. Please share your special spots so others in your area can enjoy.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Keeping Happy Feet

According to DaVinci the human foot “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. They are the most used and abused part of our body. Sadly most of us in a normal day put on our socks and shoes after which the feet are totally forgotten about.
So, exactly what do you know about your feet. Here are some facts that explain why the feet are so important.

  • A quarter of all the body’s bones are in the feet -52 bones
  • As you walk, each time your heel lifts off the ground your toe carry one half of your body weight.
  • Rarely are two feet are exactly the same
  • Foot disorders are common in the senior population and are a cause of pain, disability, mobility challenges and loss of independence
  • In a lifetime, the average person will walk around 115,000 (imagine walking around the earth four times
  • 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives.
  • 3 out of 4 Americans experience serious foot problems in their lifetime.
  • When the bones of the feet are out of alignment, so is the rest of the body.

Facts like these make it important to be aware how to care for your feet, especially proper fitting of shoes and orthotic devices. Recently I discovered there are professionals whose expertise is to evaluate individuals for proper footwear and foot orthoses to help prevent and/or improve conditions of the foot and ankle. Learn more about Pedorthics and what Pedorthist do to help you keep happy feet. Anyone who has ever had aching feet know when your feet hurt your whole body hurts.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Every Dollar Counts Even When It Comes to Healthcare Services

In an economy where every dollar counts, getting the most for your dollar should be a primary concern in every aspect of life. Many of us clip coupons or use an application for saving/comparing, browse through pages of Ebay or some other auction site, refer to Angie's List or do whatever possible to get the best price before we purchase a product or service. But when it comes to healthcare, many people just accept without question the cost they pay, either totally out of pocket or as a co-pay, for medical care or associated diagnostic testings. By not exercising the same diligence when it comes to healthcare cost, many are losing precious dollars by the thousands. According to CBS Detroit the price for a common knee procedure can range from $1,400 to $13,000, and the price for the price for treatment of a kidney stone can range from $2,000 to $14,000. Sometimes the just driving a few extra miles can mean big bucks saved.
There are several good online tools that enable you to compare healthcare cost and if you need assistance to help you navigate through some of the jargon, a healthcare advocate/navigator can assist with a variety of things. In addition to comparing, always thoroughly check your bills for accuracy.
One thing I would mention is that comparison should not take the place of using good judgment and taking into consideration the quality of service one receives. I would not advocate receiving care/treatment from someone who is not skilled or licensed to provide the service you are seeking nor someone who has a reputation of substandard practices. Do your homework and also compare providing providers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Walking the Correct Way

First we crawled, then we stood up and soon we were talking steps and we learned to walk...correct...not so true. Most folks think it is a simple putting one foot in front of the other..but it is more to it.  Improper walking technique throws the body out of line and can lead to back pain and other body discomfort. Check out the video as a physical therapist show you the proper mechanics of walking.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Benefit Of An Ancient Art -Thai Chi

Thai Chi, an ancient art which originated in China as a martial art, is often referred to as "meditation in motion". Thai Chi has been proven to reduce pain and be beneficial to ones mental and physical well-being. The great thing about Thai Chi is individuals at various levels of fitness ability are able to participate.   
Thai Chi movements are not forced and the muscles remain relaxed, so it is adaptable for almost anyone, even those who need the aid of assisted devices, wheelchairs or recovering from surgery. The Arthritis Foundation program uses gentle Sun-style routines and offer classes around the community

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Patient Navigator Role Growing in Popularity | H&HN

Patient Navigator Role Growing in Popularity | H&HN

View How Community Acupuncture is Evolving And Impacting Communities

Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged from POCA TV on Vimeo.

The Magic of Acupuncture

Five weeks into seeking out an acupuncturist for relief of chronic back pain which has over the years lead to sleep disturbance, higher levels of stress and the general feeling of being trapped by a condition that was robbing me of improved quality of life, I am a living witness of the benefits of acupuncture.
My practitioner, Kim of Revive Community Acupuncture, begins treatment with a check in of how I have been since my last treatment and proceeds to place the needles on different points of my body based on our conversation. The thing I find most interesting about acupuncture, other than it has greatly improved my state of wellbeing, I almost immediately go into a sleep state but I do not realize I have drifted off, awakening about an hour later.
Sadly, acupuncture is not covered by all insurances making populations I believe could benefit most, seniors, the disabled and those with limited finances no access to this therapy that has been shown by research to be beneficial. On the positive side, some areas are fortunate to have Community Acupuncture Clinics which offer acupuncture in a group setting on a sliding scale fee based on your own determination of what you can afford ($15 -$35 per session), making it much more affordable.
The main thing is you must keep an open mind and do not have expectations of overnight results. You must , like with any treatment, adhere to the establish plan of care and be patient. For me acupuncture has become part of my lifetime wellness plan. My hope is that this alternative therapy will be recognized by all insurers, especially Medicare/Medicaid and that the Community Acupuncture Movement can expand all over the world. You can do your part to help the growth of clinics by joining People's Organization of Community Acupuncture. It is the visible increase of interest that helps generate clinics opening in areas where currently none are available.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Healthier Food Choices Can Help Relieve Back Pain

We all know that wise food choices can make a difference in the pounds we gain or lose, but did you know that nutrition can have an impact on back more about the "4 Ways Healthy Nutrition Can Relieve Back Pain"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

If You Are A Diabetic Opt Out of Nail Salons and Seek the Service of a Podiatrist

During the summer months many folks cannot wait for the chance to come out of their closed in shoes and switch up things to show off their pedicure masterpiece. For an individual who is diabetic pedicures done at a salon is an absolute no/no. The risk of developing an infection that can lead to severe complications is great.The American Podiatric Association states that loss of lower limbs accounts for more than 65,000 amputations resulting from complications associated with diabetes. This risk can be greatly reduced by including a podiatrist as part of your wellness diabetes care. Read more in the article "Common Foot Problems & Proper Care".

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Caregiving at a Distance
Today caring for an aging family member or one with a chronic health condition is a growing responsibility of many in the United States. According to the Family Caregivers Alliance, one in four households is actively involved in care-giving. This is an increase of over 300 percent since 1987. Nationwide most caregivers are between the ages of 30 to 64.
Complicating this challenge is the fact that people are more mobile, careers and other life events have created a different family picture that once existed. Family members who at one time were in close proximity to one another now have many miles creating distance between them.
With distance there comes the additional challenge to figure out how to best manage care which will be done between the miles. This will include making the best of the time when you are actually in the presence of your family member/s.  Learning how to make keen observations (how much food is in the refrigerator, what is the condition of the home, what seems odd or out of place, etc.) working towards viable solutions, figuring out what resources are available and developing a local network (dependable/trustworthy friends, neighbors, church affiliates, professional organizations, etc.) for them, is key to long distance care-giving.  
The initially invest of adequate time to develop a plan, you will find, can pay off big over time. Take time to accompany your family member to medical appointments so you can gain a clear understanding of their health status, medications and projected prognosis; and make a journal to write down everything. As more is required it is best not to rely on your memory, even if you have previously prided yourself in that area.
A final piece to long distance care-giving is having a good security/ health monitoring system installed. For my mom’s added piece of mind because she has to go to her garage and walk a distance to retrieve her paper, we choose a two way pendant which allows her to be able to speak directly to the monitoring station via the pendant. Should she be in her garage, which is some distance from the base unit, and needed to summon help, someone could talk to her while she waited for help to arrive.
I recently came across another device that I am going to add to our care-giving package, Lively activity sensor. This is just another layer to enable long distance caregivers to track of their loved ones daily routines without the intrusion of cameras which often are considered offensive.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Keep it moving!!!

Remaining active is one of the keys to aging with fewer health and mobility challenges. Check out this eBook "Everyday Fitness for Seniors" to begin your own personal program. As always you want to check with you medical practitioner to help determine what is the best approach for you. Exercise programs should be individualized and also important fun.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

When It's time to take a time out.

In the fast paced world we live, there is no doubt, stress is something everyone experiences. If we do not learn ways to overcome the negative power it can have in our lives, stress can and will impact your physical and emotional health. One of my associates Juneous A. Pettijohn just released a powerful tool to help you learn about "Stress Happens Staying Calm in a Stressed Out World"
Pick up a copy and then give me some feedback on how you are incorporating this into your wellness journey.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Converting Cemeteries Into Forests

Environmentally, our living space is suffering from pollution and waste. Having an environmentally Eco-friendly manner to respectfully dispose of remains is a great idea. Read more Biodegradable Urns That Will Turn You Into A Tree After You Die - Let's Start Converting Cemeteries Into Forests

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The need to protect oneself from mosquito bites

As the temperatures becomes important to try to protect yourself from mosquito bits...wear repellant...future post will give more info on repellents..and empty containers that may have standing water where they breed

Incurable mosquito-transmitted virus spreads to NC

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Seeing an OPTHAMOLOGIST is important to maintain eye health

Several months ago a friend of mine, aged 58, noticed she was not able to see as clearly as she had been before. She opted to have an eye exam at one of the local establishments that basically just check your vision but did not do an exam to check for eye disease. Within three months she is almost completely blind in one eye.
She is now seeing an ophthalmologist to try to determine the cause of her problem and if it is something that is correctable or will be progressive and involve the other eye as well. She, like most of us, thought that it was enough just to have your eyes checked for the need for glasses only. I pray that they will find the source of her sudden loss of vision and it is reversible. Your eyesight with certain eye diseases can change dramatically in a short period of time, so it is advisable to have your eye checked thoroughly, depending on ones age and family history. Take a few moments to view  some of the videos  on Eye Health Education Essentials

Individuals 65 and older may qualify for low or no cost eye exams

May is a month rich in heath awareness topics

The month of May is rich with a vast many health awareness topics...see the list below and visit each site to become more knowledgeable concerning some of them. For the remainder of the week I will touch on those which I have a special interest in.

Mental Health Month
For more information visit the National Mental Health Association and National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week 6-12
For more information visit the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

Arthritis Awareness Month
For more information visit the Arthritis Foundation

May - Lyme Disease Awareness Month
For more information visit the Lyme Disease Foundation

Hearing and Speech Month
For more information visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Healthy Vision Month
For more information visit the National Eye Institute

May - National Neurofibromatosis Month
For more information visit the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation

Lupus Awareness Month
For more information visit the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.

Hepatitis Awareness Month
For more information visit the Hepatitis Foundation International

National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
For more information visit the American Celiac Disease Alliance

May - National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
For more information visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 18
For more information visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division of AIDS

May - National Trauma Awareness Month
For more information visit the American Trauma Society

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
For more information visit the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

May - Skin Cancer Awareness Month
For more information visit the American Cancer Society
National Toxic Encephalopathy and Chemical Injury Awareness Month
For more information visit the National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation

May - Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
For more information visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Ultraviolet Awareness Month
For more information visit the Prevent Blindness America

May - National High Blood Pressure Education Month
For more information visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Health Information Center

May - Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month
For more information visit the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance