Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If You Qualify, Don’t Wait to Apply for Disability Benefits

Have you looked into Social Security Disability Insurance? The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers these benefits to any American suffering a severe, long-term medical condition that prevents them from working. Although the disability program has a few requirements you must meet, if you think you qualify, you shouldn’t wait to apply.

Many people mistakenly believe that you have to be disabled for at least one year before you’re eligible to apply. This is simply not true. You’re eligible for benefits starting the day your condition prevents you from going to work, and there are several reasons why you’ll want to apply today.

Long Wait Periods

Because a Social Security Disability claim can take up to two years to receive an approval, it’s important to apply for benefits as soon as you qualify. Even if your case progresses fairly quickly, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits do not begin until five months after the date you are approved.

You’ll need all the financial resources you have just to get through this waiting period. After all, since you’re not working or receiving benefits, your income will more than likely be limited.

Also don’t feel as if you’re “burdening the government,” either. Social Security Disability is not welfare; it’s an insurance program that you pay into through your Social Security taxes. You contributed to the fund in case you needed to use it, and now you do.

Work Credit Requirements

Social Security Disability Insurance does have a work credit requirement, meaning you need to have worked a certain number of years to be eligible for benefits. The general rule is at least five out of the past 10 years. If you wait too long to apply for benefits, you may wait yourself out of eligibility.

Back Pay

Finally, the SSA awards back pay for up to 12 months before your application date (until the day you became disabled). They do this to compensate for the long application process. If you wait too long to file, you could miss out on thousands of dollars of back pay.

Overall, waiting to file for benefits doesn’t make sense. Given the long wait times and work credit requirements, you don’t want to jeopardize your financial future over pride or procrastination. If you qualify, don’t put it off any longer—apply for disability benefits now.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

6 Ways to Enjoy the Beach With Diabetes

With summer upon us it’s important to remember that a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to stand between you and fun in the sun! With a little planning and preparation, your day at the beach can be relaxing, enjoyable, and stress-free.

1) Pack the necessary supplies

Once you’ve made it to the beach and found the perfect spot, the last thing you want to do is go back because you don’t have the supplies you need. Be sure to pack enough diabetic supplies such as insulin to last you your entire beach day, and pack more than you think you will use. It’s usually a good idea to plan for an outing that’s twice as long as you think it will be, in case of the unexpected. You should also ensure that the supplies you pack are kept cool and out of the direct sun, as sun and heat can damage sensitive supplies.

2) Bring snacks that won’t melt in the summer sun. Low glucose at the beach can be a bummer if the snacks you brought haven’t survived the heat. To avoid a wipe out, make sure you bring a quick-acting source of glucose that won’t melt or spoil, such as glucose tablets. Other good choices for beach snacks include dried or fresh fruit, trail mix, and popcorn.

3) Keep an eye on blood sugar levels while having fun

Walking on sand, swimming, and a friendly game of beach volleyball can all take a lot out of you, and that means energy expenditure will be high. Make sure you’re compensating properly for all the blood sugar you are burning with healthy snacks and proper insulin dosing. Remember to consult your doctor before engaging in activities that are particularly strenuous, especially if these types of activities are unusual for you.

Also beware of heat possibly compromising your insulin. If you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, consider investing in a Tandem insulin pump. They are the only pumps with a temperature alarm, which will let you know if the temperature of the pump got high enough to compromise the insulin inside.

4) Wear clothing that will be comfortable for you and keep you safe

Some people prefer more revealing swimwear, while others enjoy a more modest look. Ultimately your choice in swim and beachwear is up to you. Whatever clothing you choose, make sure that it breathes well and that it is UV-treated to protect you from the harsh rays of the sun. If you do plan on getting in the water make sure you keep your glucose monitor and other devices safe from water damage.

5) Protect your feet

The summer sun can heat surfaces such as sand and pavement to a burning temperature. Beaches are also be strewn with sharp ocean debris, seashells, and other objects that can damage or puncture the skin. Make sure to wear shoes or sandals and inspect and wash your feet carefully after enjoying time outdoors.

6) Monitor yourself carefully and stick to your routine

It’s easy to lose track of time while enjoying your day at the ocean’s side. Make sure you eat on a regular meal schedule, test your blood sugar levels frequently enough, and stay hydrated. Remember that sweating and increased thirst can be evidence of changes in blood sugar levels, not just summer heat. As always, don’t stay in the sun too long without reapplying sunscreen. Keep these in tips in mind and your beach day will be a breeze!

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Top Benefits Of Healthy Teeth

Ever since childhood, we have been told to brush and floss daily. It's an important lesson many of us don't take seriously enough. We all know good brushing habits will give you nice white teeth, healthy gums, a fresher mouth and better breath.

Good oral hygiene prevent cavities, tartar and plaque build-up and keep you away from those agonizing trips to the dentist, and that spine chilling sound of the dentist's drill. The benefits of good oral hygiene and healthy teeth go far beyond a beautiful smile and a pleasant trip to the dentist. Brushing and taking care of your teeth and mouth can prevent heart disease and infections, which may lead to diabetes and a host of other health issues. Having a healthy mouth is the start to a healthy life.

Here are the top benefits of keeping healthy teeth.

1. Prevent Respiratory Illness

The mouth and body are connected more than most people realize. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and pneumonia are serious respiratory illnesses which can be prevented by keeping healthy teeth. New studies are starting to find links between periodontal disease and respiratory disease.

Both COPD and pneumonia are bacterial infections. They occur when harmful bacteria enters the lower respiratory tract. Both of these infections can lead to serious medical complications, and a lifetime of medications and treatments, and in some cases death.

Unhealthy teeth can lead to a build-up of plaque, a combination of food and bacteria, which can lead to periodontal disease. When bacteria from plaque gets into and around the teeth it can cause an infection called periodontal disease. This bacterial infection can enter the body and blood stream through the gums and mouth. This infection can spread to the lungs and respiratory tract causing COPD and pneumonia.

Daily brushing and good oral health care will eliminate plaque, tartar and bacterial build-up. There will also be less bacteria in the mouth, less chance of periodontal disease, and less chance of respiratory infections.

2. Gingivitis

Most of us have heard about gingivitis and most of us have experienced some early stages of this bacterial infection. Early stages can include sensitive swollen gums which can bleed when we brush. Gingivitis is an infection in the gums caused by plaque. Brushing keeps food and bacteria from building up, in and around, the gums. Keeping your mouth free of plague will diminish the chance of gingivitis and bacterial infection.

Gingivitis is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. During pregnancy women can have a higher chance of developing what is called pregnancy gingivitis. Gum disease and gingivitis can cause premature birth rates and much lower birth weight averages. So healthy gums equals healthy babies.

If you have braces you have a greater risk of gingivitis, an article on orthodontic hygiene states, "Proper oral hygiene is as crucial to overall health as exercise and eating well." Children and adults with orthodontics need to pay special care to their teeth and gums, as braces and other orthodontics can trap more food and bacteria, increasing the chance of gingivitis.

3. Diabetes

Diabetes is a deadly disease in which your body improperly controls the body's blood glucose levels. It is a serious medical problem and one of the leading causes of death in America. So how does brushing your teeth help prevent or control diabetes?

Gum disease is an infection which affects not only the mouth but the whole body. In addition to spreading infection throughout the body, gum disease also has adverse effects on your body's ability to control your blood glucose levels. So those with serious gum disease are far more likely to develop diabetes and those already suffering from diabetes can have added complications when combined with serious gum disease. Daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash can eliminate plaque and bacteria, lowering your risk of diabetes.

4. Healthy Minds

Brushing your teeth can be good for your brain and preserve your memory. Gum disease and oral infection can diminish brain function and cognitive reasoning. Adults and seniors with gum disease show lower IQ test scores and have more difficulty with memory and simple math than those with healthy teeth and gums.

Those suffering from gingivitis can experience loss of brain power and often find negative effects like delayed verbal recall. Gingivitis and other periodontal disease can cause cognitive dysfunction similar to Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive dysfunction associated with gum disease affects all ages from the very young to the very old. So keeping a healthy mouth can lead to a healthy mind.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.