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Dangers of unattended children in cars

HEA-child-in-car

As warmer weather arrives, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan State Police (MSP) and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson are reminding parents and caregivers to be diligent and never leave children alone in vehicles. Last year, at least 30 children died from heatstroke in vehicles in states all across the country. One of these deaths happened in Michigan.

“Every year there are heartbreaking child fatalities related to heatstroke in vehicles, even in moderate temperatures,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day is an opportunity to remind everyone to help protect kids by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.”

Children can get overheated in cars even with seemingly mild temperatures outside, as the temperatures inside a car can rise as quickly as 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. Temperatures inside a car can easily be double the temperature outside. Additionally, a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than adult’s, making them more susceptible to heatstroke.

“It takes just a short time for a car to become dangerously hot for a child,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. “Never leave your child alone in a car, and alert authorities if you see children by themselves in a hot car.”

Too many children have lost their lives to this preventable tragedy. Together, we can cut down the number of deaths and near misses by remembering to ACT.

• A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

• C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

• T: Take action. If you see or hear a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

“Heatstroke is a preventable tragedy,” said MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. “To save lives we must raise awareness of the need to ACT and make sure that parents and caregivers understand that leaving a child alone in a vehicle for any period of time is extremely dangerous.”

Safe Kids Coalitions across the state are working hard in their communities to increase awareness.  For more information and safety tips about preventing child heatstroke deaths, visit www.safekids.org/heatstroke.

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Fight the bite

HEA-mosquitos-ticks

As people spend more time outdoors and the weather continues to warm, it is important to take precautions against mosquito and tick bites. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) would like to urge all residents, especially those recreating outdoors and children at camps, to protect themselves from mosquito and tick-borne diseases.

Seasonal activity varies from year to year, but mosquitoes in Michigan can carry illnesses such as West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and ticks can carry illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Mosquito and tick-borne diseases can cause mild symptoms, severe infections requiring hospitalization, and even death.

“One bite from an infected mosquito can lead to a severe and possibly life-altering illness,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.  “Preventing bites from mosquitoes is the key to protection.”

Nationally in 2014, there were 2,122 WNV cases and 85 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). WNV cases have been seen every summer in Michigan since 2002.  Those with the highest risk of illness caused by WNV are adults 50 and older.

In addition to presenting a greater risk for older people, EEE is more likely to cause illness in children 15 years of age or younger. People in outdoor occupations like construction and landscaping are at increased risk of getting bitten by an infected mosquito, but the mosquito that carries WNV also likes to get indoors.

Protection against mosquito-borne disease is as easy as remembering to take these key steps:

• Avoid mosquito bites: Use insect repellent when outdoors especially from dusk to dawn. Look for EPA-labeled products containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin (KBR3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol). Reapply as needed according to label directions. Use nets or fans around outdoor eating areas to keep mosquitoes away.

• Mosquito-proof homes: Fix or install window and door screens and cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

• Help your community: Report dead birds to Michigan’s Emerging Diseases website (www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases) to help track WNV and support community-based mosquito control programs.

• Vaccinate horses against WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.

Michigan is also home to a number of tick species that will bite people. Ticks are typically found in wooded or brushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter. The ticks mostly commonly encountered by people in Michigan include the American dog tick, which can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and the blacklegged tick, which can spread a number of human illnesses, including Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is considered to be an emerging disease due to the expansion of tick populations in Michigan’s western Upper and Lower Peninsulas and is the most common tick-borne disease reported in the state, with 128 human cases reported in 2014, the second highest number ever seen in Michigan. The period from June to September is of concern because of the poppy-seed sized nymphal-stage tick, which is responsible for much of the Lyme disease in the U.S. While rare, human cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever have also been documented in Michigan.

Many tick-borne diseases have similar symptoms. See your healthcare provider if you develop signs of illness such as a fever, body aches and/or rash in the days after receiving a tick bite or recreating in tick habitat. Early recognition and treatment can decrease the chance of serious complications. You can prevent tick bites by:

• Avoiding tick-infested areas. This is especially important in May, June, and July. If you are in tick infested areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges.

• Using insect repellent. Spray repellent containing a 20 percent concentration of DEET or Picaridin on clothes and on exposed skin. You can also treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some camping gear. Do not use permethrin directly on skin. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying any repellents.

• Bathing or showering. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within 2 hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Ticks can get a ride indoors on your clothes. After being outdoors, wash and dry clothing at a high temperature to kill any ticks that may remain on clothing.

• Performing daily tick checks. Always check for ticks after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Because ticks must usually be attached for at least a day before they can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, early removal can reduce the risk of infection. Inspect all body surfaces carefully, and remove attached ticks with tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.

For more information about the diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks, visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases, or the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov. 

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New health service for students

 

N-CherryHealth-logoBy Judy Reed

Parents of middle and high school students at Cedar Springs Public Schools now have a new option to address their kids’ medical needs. Cherry Health received a grant to open a new office at Red Hawk Elementary and now offers services to students ages 10-21 and their siblings. The Cedar Springs School Health Center opened April 13.

According to site manager and nurse Kristina Paliwoda, they offer a pediatrician, registered nurse, counselor/social worker, and support staff. They do well-child checks, sports physicals, treat minor illnesses, rashes, vaccinations, and provide assistance with chronic health issues such as asthma, diabetes, etc. They can also do blood draws, urine testing, write prescriptions and phone them in, and make referrals for urgent care if needed.

Their onsite social worker offers individual counseling or family counseling, if that’s appropriate.

Also offered is onsite Medicaid enrollment for the child and family.

“We provide services regardless of the ability to pay,” explained Paliwoda. “If they have insurance, we will bill it. If not, we will charge it to the grant.”

Students could be referred for things that happen during the school day, or parents can call for appointments. “We are open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we will be open year-round, even during the summer months,” said Paliwoda.

Grant funding is primarily for the adolescent population. But Paliwoda said that once an adolescent is a patient, their younger siblings could be seen there also. “It’s just part of the grant,” she said.

Paliwoda said that Cedar Springs is the first school outside of Grand Rapids Public Schools to have this service by Cherry Health.

To make an appointment or get more information, call 616-696-3470.

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Do your supplements stack up? 

 

HEA-Supplements4 tips to ensure they make the grade

(BPT) – Maintaining a healthy diet that includes all the recommended vitamins and nutrients can be a challenge, particularly when the current food landscape is full of overly processed foods that rarely contain essential nutrients. Supplements can provide a great way to enhance a healthy diet with those elements you might be missing, but how do you go about figuring out what you need?

“Everyone stands to benefit from adding high quality supplements to their diets,” says Registered Dietitian Paul Kriegler, Life Time weight loss and training supplementation expert. “The supplement industry, which is regulated by the FDA, though loosely, has a tarnished reputation with many consumers. There are irresponsible manufacturers who routinely make low quality products with inflated claims. However, there are also highly-reputable supplement producers who routinely earn the support and praise of medical professionals and fitness enthusiasts alike; the trick is finding out which companies are out for profits and which are focused on your health.”

When looking for supplements, keep these tips from Kriegler in mind, so you know you’re getting exactly what you need:

1. Read the label – Nutrient forms can vary dramatically from one like product to another. The nutrient form not only determines the price of a product, but also influences whether that nutrient will be absorbed or not. After all, if you don’t absorb what you’re taking, you throw away a lot more money than when you spend more for something that actually works. Look for methylcobalamin over cyancobalamin, natural folate (5-methyl-tetra-hydro-folate) over folic acid, and mineral bisglycinates over cheaper carbonate and oxide forms.

2. Know your needs – Each body functions differently and has different supplemental needs. Life Time Fitness offers a variety of lab tests and assessments that give valuable insight into how your body operates. On-site registered dietitians can evaluate results to determine which supplements would best suit your body composition, diet, hormone, stress and sleep needs to ensure you’re supplementing accurately. Cliff Edberg, registered dietitian at Life Time, notes that you are not what you eat, but what you eat, digest and absorb.

3. Look for certification – There are several certifications you can look for to ensure the supplements you buy follow a good manufacturing process and contain high quality ingredients. Certifications to look for include: Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CMPG), Therapeutic Goods of Australia (TGA), National Science Foundation (NSF) and United States Pharmacopeia (USP). For fish oil, look for International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). In its clubs across the country and online, Life Time offers a line of branded products that carry only the highest quality, most efficacious and purest nutritional ingredients available.

4. Be wary of over-promising in the messaging – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is when it comes to supplements promoting weight-loss miracles. Supplements are designed to enhance missing nutrients from a daily diet that the body needs. So if the label – or the commercial – is promising a huge change in your life from a simple pill, be suspicious and don’t waste your money.

In the end, Kriegler encourages men and women to eat high quality, whole foods to get the nutrients they need, adding a high-quality multivitamin to fill in where your natural diet may be lacking in addition to other supplements recommended by a registered dietitian to enhance a healthy way of life.

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More than just annoying: The link between snoring and heart disease

HEA-Snoring

(BPT) – Snoring isn’t pleasant for anyone – not the partner who has to sleep beside the snorer, nor the snorer whose breathing may pause repeatedly throughout the night. But did you know that loud, excessive snoring is often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that – if left untreated – can cause you to be five times more likely to die from heart disease?

Along with good nutrition and regular exercise, healthy sleep is essential for a healthy heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S, so treating sleep apnea is good for your sleep and your heart.

According to the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic disease that afflicts at least 25 million U.S. adults.

“Obstructive sleep apnea is destroying the health of millions of Americans, and the problem has only gotten worse over the last two decades,” says Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a national spokesperson for the Healthy Sleep Project. The project is a collaboration between the AASM, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sleep Research Society and other partners.

Sleep apnea involves repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, which can put an enormous strain on the heart. Severe sleep apnea can reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood and cause dangerous surges in your blood pressure. This stress triggers your body to respond in ways that may promote heart disease.

Sleep apnea may be far more common than you think. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of adults with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea. The rate of sleep apnea soars to 80 percent among people with high blood pressure that do not respond to treatment with medications. Research even shows that sleep apnea can affect the shape, size and performance of your heart.

“The good news is that detecting and treating sleep apnea can improve your heart health and other clinical outcomes,” Morgenthaler says.

The primary treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure therapy. CPAP therapy keeps your airway open by providing a stream of air through a mask that you wear during sleep. Treating sleep apnea with CPAP therapy improves blood pressure control and reduces the risk of heart disease. It can even reverse the changes to the shape and size of the heart that can be caused by sleep apnea.

Excess body weight is the leading risk factor for sleep apnea, and loud snoring is a common symptom. Other warning signs for sleep apnea include choking or gasping during sleep, and daytime fatigue or sleepiness. Visit stopsnoringpledge.org to pledge to “Stop the Snore” by talking to a doctor about your risk for sleep apnea.

“Treatment of sleep apnea can be life-changing and potentially life-saving,” Morgenthaler says. “For the best possible clinical outcomes, people with heart disease should discuss their risk for sleep apnea with their doctor.”

For more information, visit projecthealthysleep.org.

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Look 10 years younger with expert anti-aging tips

HEA-Look-10-years-younger

(BPT) – Do you have friends or family members who seem to never age? No matter how old they get, their appearance is youthful and glowing. While genes play a role in how the body ages, they are not the only factor in aging gracefully. In fact, erasing years from your appearance is actually simpler than most people think.

“When a person is young, it’s easy to have clear, translucent skin. Keeping it that way is a lifelong commitment,” says Veronica Barton-Schwartz, a leading expert in skin care with more than 30 years of experience and owner of Veronica Malibu Skin and Body Care Center in Malibu, California. “Age is just a number when it comes to good skin care. My skin at 66 is better than it was at 30. I believe that all of us can age with grace and help delay the onset of age-related disease with a healthy lifestyle.”

Barton-Schwartz’s clientele includes everyone from surfers who have sun-damaged skin to aging Hollywood actresses who are trying to maintain an edge in their career. She notes that repairing skin must happen from the inside out. Here are her top recommendations for maintaining that coveted youthful glow:

Steer clear of skin saboteurs

“Smoking and sun damage accelerate aging and put you at risk for certain cancers,” says Barton-Schwartz. “Apply sunscreen faithfully. Opt for broad-spectrum formulas with antioxidants, such as vitamin C, to offset ultraviolet light. Be sure to wear a 4-inch brim hat, UV sunglasses and UV clothing when in the mid-day sun.”

Stay hydrated

“I can always tell when someone isn’t drinking enough water from the condition of their skin,” says Barton-Schwartz. “Water protects cardiovascular health, keeps the brain in top working condition, facilitates weight loss and promotes detoxification. Water also transports oxygen to our cells, removes waste and protects our joints and organs.”

Eat smart

“What benefits the skin the most is eliminating sugar and white flour from your diet. You should also increase your consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein, “ Barton-Schwartz says. “Then, add in an omega-3 supplement every day. Most associate omega-3s with cardiovascular health, but the benefits go far beyond the heart. Omega-3s benefit brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health and healthy skin and hair, too. My skin looks better and I feel better when I take my omega-3 supplements.”

Exfoliate regularly

“A weekly buffing of the skin gets rid of dead skin and stimulates cell turnover,” says Barton-Schwartz. “This helps your skin produce new collagen, leaving your face and body feeling smooth and refreshed. I recommend nonabrasive peels.”

Break a sweat

“Exercise improves circulation, increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells and tissues, and it also reduces wrinkle-causing inflammation,” Barton-Schwartz says.

Apply food-based nutrients

“Research has shown that many food-based nutrients provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity when applied topically,” says Barton-Schwartz. “Topical antioxidants work synergistically to enhance the natural health of the skin alongside a healthy diet and supplements. Our most popular antioxidant moisturizer contains ingredients like grape seed oil, orange flower, neroli, chamomile, sage, bergamot tea, avocado oil and soy.”

Sleep well

Barton-Schwartz notes the term “beauty sleep” actually has some science behind it. “Certain hormones are released during specific stages of sleep. A lack of consistent sleep disrupts the normal release of those hormones, impacting every single biological process,” she says. “This leads to an increase in inflammatory substances in your blood stream that damage your skin on a cellular lever, as well as accelerate aging.”

Prioritize oral health

“Poor oral health is linked to everything from heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis,” Barton-Schwartz says. “I work with a dentist in Malibu and when someone thinks they need a facelift, what they really need is to get their teeth fixed. Nothing is more youthful than a healthy, beautiful smile.”

 

 

 

 

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Snoring solutions to improve relationships, health

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) For many people, snoring makes a night of restful sleep a far-off dream. The noisy interruptions may even have a detrimental effect on relationships and health.

More than a quarter of Americans say that a snoring bed partner makes them annoyed or angry, according to a recent survey from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). Forty percent of women also claim snoring in the opposite sex is a turnoff, and nearly one in 10 Americans went so far as to admit that snoring has hurt at least one of their romantic relationships. One in five says that a snoring partner could even drive them out of bed.

Beyond the bedroom

In addition to pushing couples to sleep apart, snoring can cause health worries. Snoring is a tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure to diabetes and depression.

“Because it can be embarrassing, snoring can often be the elephant in the room when it comes to addressing relationship frustrations and health concerns,” said Kathleen Bennett, D.D.S., president of the AADSM. “But it’s important that your significant other is made aware of their snoring and the effects it has on you, your relationship and their personal health, so they can begin taking steps to remedy it.”

Seeking treatment

There are several treatment options for sleep apnea, according to AADSM experts. It is important to speak with a physician to determine which option is best for you.

The first line of treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. But according to the AADSM, up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate this form of treatment.

“Sleep apnea is traditionally treated with a CPAP machine, which includes a constantly running motor, tubing and a face mask. It’s a great treatment, but it’s not the only option,” said Dr. Bennett. “Many people are surprised to learn that dentists can help treat sleep apnea with an oral appliance, a device similar to an orthodontic retainer, that’s effective, less cumbersome and more discreet.”

Oral appliance therapy uses a small mouth guard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway, making it a sleeker, more attractive treatment option for many sleep apnea sufferers. An oral appliance prevents the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. The devices, which are a proven and effective sleep apnea treatment, also come with the perks of being silent, portable and simple to care for. A patient must first be diagnosed with snoring or sleep apnea by a physician. Then a dentist can examine the diagnosed patient and provide a custom-made oral appliance, which is covered by many medical insurance plans.

Additionally, upper airway surgery is a potential treatment for some patients. A detailed examination of the entire upper airway is necessary before your doctor can decide if you are a candidate for surgery.

If you or your significant other suffers from sleep apnea or loud and frequent snoring, visit www.LocalSleepDentist.com to learn more and find a dentist in your area who can help.

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Beyond the Scale: What you need to know about diabetes risk factors

 

Whether you have diabetes or not, understanding this disease and how it can be controlled can significantly improve your overall health.  PHOTO SOURCE: (c) MichaelJung - Fotolia.com

Whether you have diabetes or not, understanding this disease and how it can be controlled can significantly improve your overall health.
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) MichaelJung – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) When it comes to Type II diabetes, many only consider weight when examining their risk. Diabetes is complicated however, and risk factors are numerous.

Some of the confusion is potentially reflected in statistics. From 1980 through 2011, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes more than tripled, from 5.6 million to 20.9 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have prediabetes or are undiagnosed.

On the bright side, cutting-edge research has uncovered strategies for avoiding, controlling and even reversing diabetes.

“It’s tempting to think that there’s not much you can do except take medication and hope for the best,” says George L. King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of the new book, “The Diabetes Reset.” “However, anyone can improve their body’s response to insulin and its ability to metabolize glucose in the blood.”

Each individual’s glucose control problems are unique, which is why King offers a range of evidence-based, diabetes-fighting strategies in his book. Here he shares a few:

Diet

A recent study by Dr. King and his Joslin colleagues has shown that insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk can all be significantly improved by switching to a low-fat, high-fiber diet consisting of 70 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent fat and 15 percent protein, including 15 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed.

This dietary approach, known as the Rural Asian Diet, is easy to maintain, as it doesn’t call for restricting calories or totally avoiding any particular food group. While many diabetes experts promote restricting carbohydrates, this diet distinguishes between refined carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates, which are high in fiber, and will be converted into blood glucose much more slowly.

Weight Loss

If your BMI is above 25 and you’re able to reduce your body weight by 5 to 7 percent, you can reduce your insulin resistance and improve your glucose metabolism. Be advised, many doctors feel that BMI is of limited value in determining a diabetes risk because it doesn’t distinguish between fat and lean tissue or between different types of body fat. Abdominal fat is the most dangerous type of fat in terms of diabetes risk, so many doctors use waist circumference as an additional measurement.

Exercise

Your muscles can lose insulin sensitivity due to inactivity. This can be largely reversed through a combination of 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week plus weekly strength training sessions. Together, these activities can increase your muscles’ ability to oxidize fats, glucose and other fuels, while also helping you lose weight.

Sleep

There is mounting evidence that lack of sleep can contribute to insulin resistance and possibly causes damage to the pancreas, putting you at heightened risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Attempt to get seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep every night to improve insulin sensitivity.

More diabetes-strategies can be found at www.workman.com.

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What you need to know to control this silent killer

HEA-Blood-pressure

(BPT) – Most people assume they only need to take their medication when they are sick, meaning when they experience symptoms. But in the case of hypertension, this type of thinking could kill you.

Patients who have hypertension are often completely asymptomatic – that’s the reason hypertension is often called the silent killer. The belief that symptoms such as headaches, nose bleeds, nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing are signals to take blood pressure medication is a myth.

Nonadherence to hypertension medication is a huge challenge. Research shows that one in three American adults suffer from high blood pressure, but only 47 percent effectively treat their disease to keep blood pressure levels under control.

Higher risk for heart attack, stroke

Express Scripts’ specialist pharmacist Ed Dannemiller recently spoke with a patient who was 40 days late to refill her blood pressure prescription.

“When I asked her about the delay, she said she only takes her medication when she feels stressed or has a headache. The problem with this is that patients with hypertension may feel perfectly fine before suffering a heart attack or stroke,” says Dannemiller.

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, but consistent levels above 140/90 require medical attention. Simply keeping a patient’s blood pressure under control decreases the risk of heart attack by 25 percent, stroke by 33 percent and heart failure by 50 percent.

But the only way to have a precise measurement is through a blood pressure reading.

Become an engaged patient

“I encourage patients to become engaged in their own health and keep track of their blood pressure readings, which can help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations or ER visits,” Dannemiller explains.

For patients with white-coat hypertension – those whose blood pressure rises from stress in the doctor’s office – a home blood pressure monitor is a good option.

Dannemiller offers these useful tips for patients monitoring their pressure at home:

* Take blood pressure readings in a seated position with arm at the heart level

* To regulate the monitor, discard the first reading

* Keep a record of your blood pressure levels to bring to your doctor’s appointment

This additional data will help your physician better understand your condition and make better medical decisions to ensure healthier outcomes.

Lifestyle changes can help

In addition to staying adherent to blood pressure medication, regardless of symptoms, the following lifestyle modifications also can improve cardiovascular health:

* Consume a heart-healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in salt, fat and cholesterol

* Engage in regular aerobic physical activity

* Manage your weight, limit alcohol consumption and do not smoke

Value of specialized understanding

“Even with lifestyle modifications, most patients need at least two medications to reach their blood pressure goal,” says Dannemiller.

Intervention and education from specialist pharmacists provide an important resource to improve medication adherence. When patients understand the value of their treatment and embrace good cardiovascular health, they bring a little more noise to this silent killer. For more information, visit lab.express-scripts.com.

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Go with own glow this prom season

 

Prom season is just around the corner, and as teens prepare for the most memorable night of high school, The Skin Cancer Foundation encourages them to forgo a dangerous indoor tan in favor of a natural glow. Teens considering heading to a tanning salon to achieve a pre-prom glow should beware: using a tanning bed before age 35 increases melanoma risk by 75 percent. In addition, just one indoor UV tanning session increases users’ risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent.

“Any tan, whether you get it on the beach or in a tanning bed, is dangerous and damages your skin,” said Perry Robins, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “A tan comes with consequences. In addition to increasing skin cancer risk, tanning leads to premature skin aging, including wrinkles, leathery skin and age spots.”

The Skin Cancer Foundation advocates embracing one’s natural skin tone. Those who can’t resist the bronzed look but won’t sacrifice their health to achieve it should consider sunless (UV-free) tanners. They are available in many different formulations, including creams, lotions, gels, pump sprays, aerosols and wipes.

Tips for properly applying sunless tanner:

Follow the package directions closely. For example, wait at least 12 hours after shaving to apply (to avoid dark spots in hair follicles) and don’t use on skin with active eczema.

Be patient. Self-tanners can take 30-60 minutes to produce visible color on the skin, and this color typically lasts about five days.

Follow the package directions closely. For example, wait at least 12 hours after shaving to apply (to avoid dark spots in hair follicles) and don’t use on skin with active eczema.

Be patient. Self-tanners can take 30-60 minutes to produce visible color on the skin, and this color typically lasts about five days.

Repeat as necessary. Generally, the product should be reapplied daily for two to three days, until the desired shade is achieved. Then, reapply about three times a week to maintain the shade.

Go to a pro. Professional spray tans are an option for those who want to safely achieve a bronzed look in a hurry. Many salons provide automated application of high concentration, no-rub, aerosolized non-UV tanning products, while others provide a customized airbrush tan. When receiving a professional spray tan, wear protective gear for the mouth, eyes and nose to prevent ingestion or inhalation.

Don’t rely on sunless tanners for sun protection. Even if your self-tanner contains sunscreen, reapply a separate broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every two hours when spending time outdoors. Note that sunscreen is not the only form of sun protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use.

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