Tuesday, April 25, 2017

When Is It Time to See a Doctor About Foot Pain?

Foot pain is an increasingly common complaint that doctors surprisingly hear little about. 87% of older adults report experiencing foot pain according to an International Council on Active Aging study, but alerting this change to caregivers or healthcare providers is rare.

Why? As we age, many of us assume foot pain is simply par for the course and we shouldn’t think much of it. Any type of pain that negatively affects day to day living, however, is detrimental to your health. Foot pain is especially jeopardizing - it can impair mobility and prevent adults from staying active and exercising. Those unhealthy behaviors then quickly translate into weight gain, diminished heart health, weakness, and even cognitive decline. So when exactly is it time to see a doctor about foot pain?

When Other Treatments Aren’t Working

A simple search online reveals loads of non-medicinal paths you can take towards alleviating foot pain. Orthotic inserts that provide arch support and cushioning, bunion night splints that help prevent bunions from progressing, Epsom salt soaks, electrolyte supplements, even getting your foot measured and buying a new pair of well-fitting shoes - if none of these tactics seem to relieve your chronic foot pain, it is time to visit your doctor and see if you need a referral to a podiatrist.

When You Are Experiencing Multiple Falls

Experiencing a fall can be life-threatening for older adults - bruises, hip fractures, lacerations, and sprains can result in hospitalization and long recovery times. Say your fall doesn’t warrant a trip to the doctor? Don’t get ahead of yourself. If foot, ankle or leg pain have you falling multiple times within a month, visiting a doctor as soon as possible is a must. In order to maintain your mobility, addressing your foot pain and any other potential causes of your falls (environmental barriers, loss in vision, reduced balance, etc.) needs to happen right away.

When Pain is Moving Up Your Leg

If your chronic foot pain is beginning to radiate up your leg, get to an MD right away. Serious conditions like Achilles tendinitis (where the tissue connecting your calf and heel becomes inflamed) can cause throbbing pain in your leg, while foot pain from heel spurs and stone bruises which obstruct your normal way of walking can result in strain and inflammation in your ankle and surrounding tissue.

When You Notice Visible Deformities

Feet so often go under the radar that visible inspections of them might not be on your daily schedule. Visible deformities like hammer toe (where one of your toes becomes permanently bent downwards), bunions (a bony swollen bump next to your big toe) and even swollen infections from ingrown toenails should be addressed by your doctor so a treatment plan can be developed quickly.

Being proactive is a key ingredient in the recipe of aging. Just as you get preventative screenings and wellness checkups for your lungs, colon, prostate, breasts, heart, eyes, ears, and muscles, so should you pay attentive care to your feet. Don’t let foot pain get the better of you - early conversations and proactive action can relieve pain, extend your mobility, and help you live a longer, fuller life.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, April 24, 2017

4 Tips for Reducing Serious Medical Conditions

The challenges of staying as well as possible as the years keep rolling on can be numerous.  When it comes to battling age and the many health issues that can occur, you may be a bit overwhelmed. However, the key to getting through the years with as few health problems as possible will rest in what you do each day.

Taking care of your body should be high on your list of priorities and is sure to allow you to suffer less with high cholesterol, diabetes or even coronary heart disease. These are devastating illnesses that may require you to seek one of the Top 50 prescription drugs filled in the U.S. Being aware of ways you can work to have the best health possible and avoid these serious medical conditions is sure to be in your best long-term interest.

Tip #1:  Stay active

The key to keeping your heart and body strong may rest in the amount of exercise you do on a routine basis for increased fitness.  You can work to do this by doing various types of activities that you truly enjoy.

In fact, studies show that 42 million women are currently suffering from some cardiovascular disease. This is an astounding number, and many of these females may not even be aware of this issue.

Of course, the first thing you will want to do is to check with your doctor to ensure you’re well enough to exercise. Then, simply get started moving each day for a healthier you and a stronger heart.

Tip #2: Eat well

Being able to enjoy a diet that is full of nutritious foods and loaded with the right essential ingredients for good health is ideal. This will allow you to enjoy the potential of having better health and a reduced possibility of suffering from any of the medical conditions listed above during your lifetime.

You will want to be sure to avoid eating foods that are loaded with sugar or sodium if you want to feel your best on a daily basis. These can cause a multitude of issues over time and are sure to sneak up on you as you get older.

However, eating a diet that is loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other key nutritional ingredients is sure to be the ideal way to be your healthiest. Taking the time to add these to your day, week and month are sure to be the best method for feeling your best and stressing less in the process.

Tip #3: Manage stress

One of the biggest problems in your life that can hurt your health is stress. The body doesn’t act in a positive way to stress, and this means you will want to take the time to have better control over it.
Stress can contribute to heart issues and high cholesterol over time. The more upset and full of anxiety you may be the more likely you will suffer problems in these areas.

Take time out for yourself on a daily basis by meditating or simply finding easier ways to handle the challenges of your life. This may be the key to reducing some of the anxiety you have and could enable you to feel much better mentally and physically.

Tip #4: Become more spiritual

One of the things that truly helps some people not only feel better but to have more faith during challenging times is to become more spiritual. This means taking the time to invest in going to church or learning about a higher power that allows you to believe in it.

You can make your life much better when you simply believe it can happen and look for guidance from other sources along the way.

The key to having the life you want and working to avoid many of the problems that may start to happen with age is to take care of your body. By investing a small amount of time each day into doing the things listed above, you may be much more likely to reach your goals of doing so and avoiding medication and doctors in the process. You’re worth the effort it takes, and the key to your success will rest in what you do!

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Five Energy-Boosting Snacks to Get You through Studying for Finals

Whether you’re studying for your masters in health informatics online or on-campus, there’s no denying that finals are one of the most stressful periods for students. No matter which level of degree you are studying for, the results for your final exams often have a lot riding on them – including the overall grade that you get when graduating from your degree program.

So, it’s no surprise that when combined with the other commitments and stresses of life, finals can quickly tip a student over the edge and leave them neglecting to look after themselves. But, fueling yourself with energy drinks and junk food, or even worse – forgetting to eat altogether – can be disastrous not only for your health but also your grades. So, we’ve listed some healthy, convenient energy-boosting snacks to stock up on for finals.

1. Fresh Apples and Bananas

Most fresh fruit is easy to snack on since it comes prepared or is easy enough to prepare with little effort. Popular fruits such as apples and bananas can easily be thrown into your study bag and taken to the library to munch on whilst you get on with your revision. Since these fruits and many others are loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants, they’ll help to keep you alert and energetic for much longer.

2. Berries

Blueberries have long had a reputation for being a ‘brain-booster’. But, don’t just go for the blue variety – strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that go a long way for giving you an energy boost. For even better results, snack on berries with nuts for added protein and healthy fat.

3. Popcorn

Popcorn isn’t just for a trip to the cinema or a cozy movie night with your friends! In fact, snacking on your favorite mid-blockbuster treat can help to raise your energy levels and help you get the most out of your final revision sessions for your online MSHI degree at Adelphi University. But, be careful – some popcorn is laden with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients; this will have the opposite effect. Instead, air-pop some kernels yourself and top them with a small amount of olive or coconut oil for flavor.

4. Trail Mix

Nuts, seeds and dried fruits all make for awesome energy-boosting snacks, so, why not combine your favorites to make a tasty trail mix? For the best results, include dried fruits with minimal sugar and add complex carbs in the form of whole grains to help keep you fuller for longer and provide the ultimate stamina boost.

5. Peanut Butter

A peanut butter dip for your fruit is a tasty treat that will keep you feeling awake and energetic as you study. Organic nut butter is the best option; try to avoid anything that’s filled with additional sugars, flavorings, and additives. Or, you can save money with delicious home-made peanut butter.

What are your favorite healthy snacks to take to the library when you’re studying for exams at college? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Five Keys to Fitness Success

When you decide to get fit, you’re deciding to go on a journey and reach a specific goal. It takes more than you would think to achieve and maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. One of the first major keys to successfully living that fit lifestyle is learning how you can transform yourself through capabilities you didn’t even know you had. Every step you take could potentially push your fitness journey further than you can possibly imagine.

Here are the five keys to fitness success.


The first key to success is to decide your goal and the reasons you have for achieving it.

You need a motivation that is powerful enough to leave you feeling it when you don’t reach your goals. It could be something like losing 15 pounds to get back in your favorite jeans. It’s as simple as that. You have your motivation to lose just 15 pounds. Everything needs to be focused on the motivating factor. This should be a singular goal that carries no attachments. Just the desire to lose those 15 pounds. Now you’re ready for the next step; which is actually losing the weight.


In order to achieve your goal of losing 15 pounds, you need to have the belief that you can do it. This uncompromising faith and belief in yourself is going to be the key to success. Don’t tell yourself excuses or let reasons to not succeed settle. Tell yourself that you can – and will – lose the weight.


You’re getting there. You have an understanding of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and that you won’t let anything stop you. The next step is to fully commit to the journey. It’s not going to always be straightforward or easy – and you are going to have to some work – but you can be sure it will all be worth it. Understand that every productive thing you do will bring you one step closer, and keep reminding yourself of this.


The truth is that failing to plan means planning to fail. You should plan out every day you can:

•    When – and for how long – are you going to exercise?
•    What food are you going to eat, and when are you going to eat it?
•    When are you going to cook your food, and how often will you do it?
•    How much food will you have to buy to keep to your goal?
•    What exercises will you be doing?
•    What about taking time for yourself and your family?

These questions should be thought of milestones on the journey to success. You have to answer every question. You’ll find that it takes less time to do things consistently when you spend longer answering the questions honestly and creating a plan around them.

A Sense of Humor

Having a good sense of humor is the final key for fitness success. It’s important to have a sense of humor because laughter literally burns calories, and it gives you the freedom to be able to laugh at yourself. If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll be able to see the funny side when things aren’t going perfectly.

That’s the thing; no one said things would go perfectly. There will be some missed workouts, broken equipment, things that eat up your time, lack of support, and even those days where you just don’t feel like it on your journey. If you can keep your sense of humor along the way though, you’ll have some gems for the next person you see who needs to be cheered up and could do with a good laugh to push them along their own journey.

If you are able to put all these keys together, you’re guaranteed to succeed. Given how hard you work to reach your fitness goals, you shouldn’t have an issue maintaining the healthy lifestyle it took to reach them. This page is a great way to get started!

This is a guest blog post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The 5 C’s for Taking Care of Elderly Parents in Your Home

Expecting the extended company of your elderly parent? When taking care of elderly parents in your home, there are numerous considerations to take into account and prepare for - where will they sleep, who will handle transportation, what will they do, the list goes on. When bringing your elderly parent into your home to live, remember these 5 c’s:

Comfort: Comfort doesn’t just mean a warm bed and a TV to watch. Comfort for your elderly parent takes into consideration all those things which make them feel safe, healthy, and purposeful. Safety comes about through helping prevent falls by clearing away clutter, laying down reflective guide tape on stairs and ledges, and installing grab bars and rails where necessary by stairs and bathtubs.

The comfort of knowing their health is under control is also a huge stress-reliever for elderly parents. Organized medicine cabinets and pill boxes, regular check-ups with the doctor, help managing refills on prescriptions and supplies - all of these types of small assistance really add up to preventing stress and frustration with your elderly parent.

Communication: Learning to live with a new person is one thing, learning to live with your elderly parent when you’re an adult yourself is another. There can be an adjustment period as you work on communication in close proximity and feel each other’s expectations out. Remember, your parent might be frustrated or anxious about losing their own living independence, so recognizing this and communicating your own understanding can be incredibly helpful.

Schedules can also serve as vital communication tools. A set structure for the day can help elderly parents, especially those experiencing early stages of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, feel more confident and operate more successfully in their day. An agenda for waking up, taking medicine, eating meals, exercising, watching TV, and doing hobbies not only gives your elderly parent more control over their day and activities, but helps them plan ahead and commits certain actions to body memory.

Cooking: Nutrition and hydration play important roles in the mental and physical health of any human being, but in particular to an elderly parent who lives with you. Senior citizens can quickly become dehydrated because they often don’t get up for food or drink unless it is readily made available to them.

In addition to that, special diets and restrictions might make regular eating a bit more complex for your elderly parent - low-sodium diets to control blood pressure and heart disease, low-sugar and low-carb diets to control diabetes, foods high in calcium to fight bone loss, the list goes on. Avoiding processed and junk foods as well as sugary beverages like juice cocktails and soda, is a great first step in fostering a food environment that benefits your parent’s health. Planning out a menu together, understanding the dietary requirements handed down from their doctor or dietitian, and getting your parent in on the fun of cooking will also encourage healthy eating and drinking habits while they live with you.

Cleaning: Over half of all falls experienced by seniors happen in the home, and sadly, 1 in 3 seniors over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Having an elderly parent living with you means you need to be extra aware of clutter, trip hazards, and the health consequences of falling for older adults, including hip fractures, sprains and broken bones, head injuries, and hospitalization.

Removing large, unused furniture from your loved one’s room frees up space for them to move around with ease. Making sure small objects, cords, curled up corners of carpets, even pets aren’t in common walkways can also help keep your parent from tripping.

Connection: Helping your elderly parent rediscover passions and purpose in their life will combat the feelings of loss and anxiety that accompany no longer being able to live on their own. Social isolation quickly targets the elderly, especially those who need to arrange transportation to get out or who feel like a burden because their now-limited ability requires them to live with you.

Connecting your elderly parent with resources in the community - whether it’s a program at the local senior center or library, an exercise class at the YMCA, or a club or group they can join for social outings - demonstrates a willingness on your part to not just provide a home for them, but care about their well-being and happiness in old age.

Finally, don’t forget the the legal conditions that come with having an elderly parent live with you. Updating their address with Medicare, the Social Security Administration, and the postal service, in addition to handling durable and healthcare power of attorney documents are important administrative duties that will fall to you.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, April 10, 2017

6 Natural Foods That Aid in Digestion

Tired of daily digestive problems like constipation, nausea, and gas? Before you head to the digestive support aisle of your pharmacy, consider natural, food-based alternatives that can be just as effective and even healthier.


The ginger root has a unique way when consumed to stimulate saliva, bile and gastric juices that aid in digestion. When made into tea, ginger offers muscle relaxant properties that can help relieve built up pockets of gas in your intestines and alleviate bloating too. Instead of tea, you can also drink a ginger “shot” - buy in a whole or natural foods store, or make your own with grated ginger root, a little honey, orange juice and pinch of turmeric. Ginger shot benefits include reducing feelings of nausea and indigestion as well as a reduction in blood sugar, inflammation and muscle pain.


The water-rich, non-starchy zucchini is a member of the summer squash family and is technically a fruit, though many refer to it as a vegetable. Low in calories but offering appreciable amounts of potassium, Vitamin C and fiber, zucchinis are believed to help fight inflammation in the gastrointestinal system as well as clean the walls of the intestines helping eliminate potential toxins.


That’s right, simple clean water is a must for healthy digestion. In conjunction with eating fiber-rich meals and cutting back on fatty, processed foods, drinking water with meals can help break food down faster and aid in constipation. Experts recommend getting 8 to 9 cups of water a day with the most common reminder being to drink a cup of water with each meal.

Greek Yogurt

The healthy probiotics found in greek yogurt play a miraculous role in fighting off bad bacteria in your gut that can make you sick. Probiotics are simply “good bacteria” that can be found in full force in greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is technically the thicker, more protein-rich product after the whey is strained out from yogurt. With live active cultures of bacteria including S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus and L. Casei, greek yogurt helps balance your gut flora and replace the good bacteria that may be lost (like when you take antibiotics).


Sauerkraut, or shredded cabbage that is fermented, is what experts call a lacto-fermented or “cultured vegetable.” Sauerkraut offers health-promoting detoxifying powers, beneficial enzymes, vitamins and gut-pleasing probiotics. When consumed, naturally fermented sauerkraut assists in breaking down other foods and making them easier to digest. Other fermented foods like kimchi, pickles, and kefir play similar roles in activating healthy digestion.

Black Beans

Potent black beans pack a serious fiber punch (116% of your daily value per serving!), helping prevent constipation and encourage regular bowel movements. Fiber helps keep things moving in your digestive tract and removes toxins, waste and materials your body doesn’t need. In addition, it absorbs fluid and adds bulk to your fecal material making it easier for your body to eliminate.

If it sounds like your stomach is talking to you sometimes, you might want to consider holding off on taking another pill or powder and try natural digestive aids instead. Fiber, probiotics, and other naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients found in foods like ginger, cultured vegetables, and greek yogurt could be your ticket to digestive wellness.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

New Hope for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

New research offers hope for patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer. Most breast cancer is estrogen receptive, and although treatments are often successful at the beginning, patients become resistant over time. Researchers have now discovered a molecular cause for hormone therapy resistance, which could lead to better cancer treatment for millions of women (and men).

Metastatic breast cancer is a progression of cancer to other areas of the body. This aggressive form of cancer, which is also referred to as advanced cancer or stage 4, can spread if the initial cancer treatments were not successful.

There are several ways that breast cancer can spread throughout the body, and they all occur if cancer cells:

•    Produce new tumors
•    Travel in the bloodstream
•    Invade and replicate in normal cells
•    Move into tissue

The Symptoms

One of the main symptoms that Arizona State University online nursing degree professionals say is a sign of metastatic breast cancer is confirmation that cancer has spread to a nearby area of the body.

The symptoms of lung cancer are often non-existent, but if the patient does experience symptoms, they usually suffer from chest pain, the coughing up of blood or shortness of breath.

In a patient that notices an increase in headaches, nausea, vomiting or changes in their vision, cancer may have possibly spread to the brain.

A diagnosis of liver cancer usually occurs after an individual has complaints of a rash, itchy skin, yellowing of the skin and eyes and a loss of appetite.

If cancer spreads to an individual’s bones, the person may experience swelling, moderate to severe pain and compression of their spinal cord. A decline in mobility and an increase in bone fractures are also common symptoms.

Although these are these are the common symptoms of stage 4 breast cancer, online RN to BSN degree nurses stress the importance of patients not self-diagnosing nor ignoring these symptoms.

The Treatment

Different treatment regimens can be used for patients with metastatic breast cancer. However, the treatment that is used will be dependent on the type of cancer the patient has, or the hormone receptor status of the patient.

Almost two out of every three breast cancer cases have positive results for these hormone receptors. The patients are then diagnosed as Progesterone receptor positive breast cancer or Estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer.

Hormone therapy can help to lower progesterone and estrogen levels in the body, and this therapy can also be used to block these hormones’ effects on the patient’s body. This type of treatment is generally used when a patient has ER-positive breast cancer. Chemotherapy and surgery to remove the cancerous cells are also treatment options for patients.

What is the Outlook?

Again, the outlook for the disease is dependent on the type of cancer the patient has. It will also depend on where cancer has spread to and how much of the area is affected. The predicted survival rate is up to two years, but the time-frame varies. In fact, the ACS (American Cancer Society) has released several reports that have shown over 20 percent of patients with metastatic breast cancer have survived over five years after treatment.

This shows that people may live productive lives after a diagnosis and treatment regimen. However, it always best to speak with your physician regarding your specific circumstances.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, April 03, 2017

5 Rainy Day Indoor Exercises for Seniors

We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” right? If you’re stuck indoors on a rainy or overcast day this season, don’t let that keep you from staying active and even exercising. Check out these 5 fun, effective exercise ideas for seniors on a rainy day:

Chair Yoga: Worried that any type of yoga means twisting yourself up like a pretzel? Think again. Chair yoga and gentle yoga are go-to mindful exercises that focus more on relaxation, meditation, gentle stretching, and deep breathing. Perfect for rainy days, yoga can be done indoors without a chair, bracing yourself against a chair, or even sitting down in a chair (good for seniors with mobility issues). Yoga is proven to help relieve back pain, lower high blood pressure, and alleviate feelings of stress.

Livestream instructional yoga videos right to your TV or computer, and practice yoga in the comfort of your own home. Search online at Youtube.com or DoYogaWithMe.com for “senior yoga,” “chair yoga,” “beginners yoga,” or “restorative yoga,” to find helpful, motivational videos that both introduce you to yoga and take you through a beginners routine.

Pedal Exercising: Catching up on your favorite classic movies while it pours outside? What if you could be exercising while you sit and watch? Pedal exercisers are the latest trend in at-home exercise equipment that is especially beneficial for seniors.

Basically a small, portable piece of equipment that mimics a stationary bike, pedal exercisers can be used with the feet to strengthen leg and feet muscles, or with the hands to help build arm muscles and bone density. The best pedal exercisers offer adjustable resistance settings, non-slip rubber pedal grips, and lightweight portability. Shop online or ask at your local pharmacy to find one for yourself.

Hand Hobbies: How is knitting a scarf exercise you ask? Knitting, crocheting, origami, needlepoint and other hobbies that employ fine motor skills are amazing exercise for your dexterity and cognitive facilities, helping you practice hand eye coordination and critical thinking.

Brain Games: Exercising the mind is just as important as physical fitness for seniors. Games, puzzles, and activities that stimulate brain function and neural pathway connections are vital to lowering seniors’ risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

If rainy cloud cover is keeping you inside, trying playing brain games for an hour - Chess, Scrabble, and Sudoku are great examples. If you are without the physical games, look online or in an app store to download digital versions to your computer or mobile device.

Walking: Whether it’s the halls of your apartment or living facility, or joining a local mall-walking group, regular, brisk walking is one of the best exercises you can commit to as a senior. Simple, effective and practical for a rainy day, walking indoors helps boost heart and lung health as well as fight bone loss and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Safety Tips

Whether indoors or out, seniors always need to be careful about exercise - it is vitally important to staying healthy both physically and mentally, but these simple reminders make sure you’re getting the most out of your activity as possible:
  • Depending on your own health and mobility, talk to your doctor before pursuing a brand new exercise activity
  • Always wear proper fitting shoes for any type of exercise to prevent trips and falls
  • Warm up before physical exercises with gentle stretching, and drink lots of water
  • Don’t push yourself to pain - exercising might wear you out but you should never hurt yourself
  • Exercising is more fun with friends! Invite a buddy over to join you in staying active
There’s no excuse for being a couch potato on a rainy day - just because you are indoors doesn’t mean you can’t do your body (and brain) good! Whether it’s playing games, pedal exercising, or even crocheting, rainy day activities can surprisingly benefit your health in more ways than you know.

This is a guest blog entry.