Tuesday, July 03, 2018

How Home Health Care can Help Your Elderly Parent and You

Are you the main caregiver for your parent? If so, do you have a lot of concerns about their home life and ability to care for themselves when you’re not there? In most cases, you can’t be with your loved one around the clock. In order for them to retain their independence, they’re going to need some assistance. A home health care agency can help with that as well as put your mind at ease while you’re away. Here are a few ways a home health care agency may be able to help you and your parent.

Obtaining the Right Equipment

Starting with your doctor, talk about which specific needs your parent has that are not being met.
From there, ask if a referral to a home health agency would be beneficial. If you all agree, you can set up an appointment for a consultation. When the agency's representative comes out, they will do a complete evaluation of the home and learn what your loved one’s needs are. One thing they will look at specifically is whether or not there is a need for any specific DME or durable medical equipment.

This may include the need for:
  • Bedside commodes or shower chairs
  • Canes or walkers
  • Hospital beds
Other items, such as medical supplies, can either be ordered through your home health care agency or a company like USAMedicalSurgical.com. These orders may include diapers, wipes, ostomy supplies, catheter care supplies and blood glucose monitors. Depending on what the patient’s personal and medical needs are, equipment that is designed to make life at home a little easier will also be considered. Instead of having to deal with a home medical supply company on your own and getting frustrated figuring out what to order and whether or not what you need to order is covered by insurance, ask your nurse to handle your initial and ongoing orders.

Getting the Proper Plan of Care in Place

Another advantage of hiring a home health care agency is that they often work in unison with your medical team to make sure your loved one gets the best continuous medical care while they are at home. Most agencies get together on a weekly basis or more frequently to talk about your loved one's care and to address any medical or interpersonal needs. From there they can adjust the home care visit schedule or incorporate visits from other pros like social workers, spiritual care advisors, and specialty nurses. The convenience here is that these professionals go directly to the patient’s home. This eliminates the need for the patient having to leave their home and travel to multiple doctors.

Fast Medical Care

Having a home care agency at your fingertips means you get fast medical care. Most agencies offer an on-call service so you don’t have to wait until morning to set up an appointment with your loved one's healthcare provider. If you have a medical concern, they will come out to your house and do a complete evaluation. This includes taking vital signs and looking directly at the health problem or concern. The other advantage is that the patient will not have to leave the home while feeling ill. Home health nurses also consult directly with a medical director who can make changes to the plan of care or prescribe a new medication without anybody having to go in and do a clinical office visit.

Peace of Mind

As the child or caregiver, knowing that your loved one can stay in the comfort of their own home is important. It brings you the peace of mind you need. You won't have to worry about your parent falling while out in public or when traveling to a doctor appointment. Some agencies also offer home services that help with ADLs or activities of daily living. They can assist with light housekeeping, bathing, dressing, and medication management. This gives your loved one a sense of independence without having to rely on family and friends for help with their personal care. Some agencies will also help with meal prep and make sure that your loved one eats and takes their meds on time.

If you have a concern for your loved one's overall care, talk to your doctor about home health care. You can also inquire directly through the home agency. From there, they will make the proper phone calls and contact your doctor about setting up a referral.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Most Common Health Issues that Business Owners Have to Deal With

When you’re running a business, there’s a lot you have to get done. Not only do you have to make decisions and solve problems at work, but the work demand can bleed into your personal time, making it difficult to find a moment to spend with friends and family or even a moment to take care of yourself. While it may not seem like a big deal to skip a meal here and there or to stay on the clock instead of heading out to your kid’s game now and again, losing that work-life balance can have a serious impact that manifests itself in multiple negative ways. Here are three of the most common health issues that business owners have to deal with and some tips for avoiding or resolving them:


Stress is an everyday part of life that is difficult to avoid; however, long-term exposure to stress—especially high amounts of stress—can have some gravely serious effects on the body and mind. Stress can cause physical symptoms that range from headaches to sleep problems and, in extreme cases, severe pressure and pain in the chest. It can also cause mood and behavior symptoms ranging from irritability and angry outburst to sadness and depression. While stress is a natural part of everyday life, the pressures that come with running a business will often add to that, making business owners more prone to serious symptoms of stress. 

Luckily, there are many ways that you can reduce everyday stresses and keep things better balanced. One way to reduce stress is to automize as much as possible. Instead of spending hours and hours trying to think up a slogan on your own, you can use a slogan generator; instead of manually invoicing each client, you can use a software or program that will send out an invoice each month. Even simple things like that can help reduce your stress and get you feeling better.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can be caused by several different factors—stress being one of them. Things as simple as poor time management that causes you to stay up later than necessary, to things as serious as insomnia and depression can cause sleep deprivation which can, in turn, lead to other serious symptoms. Symptoms of sleep deprivation include mood swings, poor concentration, memory problems, and in extreme cases, hallucination. As serious as sleep deprivation can be, many don’t prioritize sleep as they should.

According to a survey by MetLife and the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, respondents only received an average of 6.7 hours of sleep per night when the recommended amount is between seven and nine hours—but those few missing hours can make more of a difference than you might think. Although your business likely has you working what seems like 24/7, make a goal to step away from your work at least one hour before bed and turn off all electronics. This will help you wind down and get more and better sleep to keep you functioning like you need to.


Colds are common, so it’s not unheard of for a business owner to contract one—especially if they’re around family members and employees who are getting over one themselves; however, many business owners try not to let a cold slow them down which can cause it to linger longer and make the symptoms more severe. When you’re stuffed up, tired, and achy, all you want to do is lie down and sleep, and that’s what you need to do in addition to getting enough fluids. According to the CDC, adults will get an average of two to three colds every year and children will contract more, meaning that if you catch one, you’ll be sick for approximately seven to 10 days. Although missing a few days of work to get over a cold may put you behind, it’s much better than trying to work through a fog for a few weeks.

In addition to getting the proper rest and care when you have a cold, it’s important to do what you can to protect yourself against a cold as well. From washing your hands often to avoiding touching your face, you can help prevent getting and spreading a cold to others.

Final Thoughts

As a business owner, you have a lot that has to be done, and you don’t have time to slow down for a health issue. Unfortunately, though, your busy schedule can sometimes be the cause of the health issues you have to deal with. From too much stress to not enough sleep, neglecting to take care of yourself like you need to can lead to serious health issues that can hinder your work. It’s always important to put yourself first since you do your best when you feel your best.

What do you do to maintain your health?

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

What You Need To Know About Soreness After Working Out

One of the most uncomfortable aspects of starting a new fitness regimen is the soreness that comes with a new routine. This soreness is usually the worst the day after a workout. The reason you feel sore is that working out can cause very small tears in your muscles. That might sound scary, but it's actually perfectly normal and all part of a healthy muscle-building routine.

However, just because soreness is a normal and healthy part of developing muscle doesn't mean that it's not uncomfortable when you're experiencing it. While it's not possible to begin a new fitness regimen without experiencing some degree of muscle soreness, there are things you can do to feel better and to minimize your discomfort as much as possible. Here's what you need to know about soreness after exercise.

Breaks Are Important

There are many fitness programs that emphasize following daily routines. This is common in many of the commercially available fitness DVDs that promise you the same results you'd experience in a gym in the comfort of your own home. However, many of these programs say that you'll only get those results if you stick to their program's calendar.

It's true that you have to stick to a routine if you want to see results from your fitness program. However, if you're experiencing soreness in a certain muscle group, it's important that you allow that muscle group to heal, which means taking a rest day. Muscles actually grow larger while they're healing from those aforementioned tears, not during the actual workout itself.

However, just because you're resting a specific muscle group doesn't mean that you have to give up your daily workout entirely. If you're experiencing soreness in your arms from lifting, devote the next day to a cardio workout that will strengthen and tone the lower body. Alternating which specific muscle groups you target is the best way to avoid overexerting any specific muscle group.

Taking Care Of Yourself Is Crucial

It's impossible to see positive changes from fitness if your overall health is poor and your lifestyle is unhealthy. Fitness doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's not something you do to make up for a bad diet and bad habits, but rather something you do to enhance the positive results from a good diet and a healthy lifestyle.

When you're trying to build muscle and get in shape, it's crucial that you eat a healthy diet, ideally one comprised mostly of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Ditch juice and soda and instead opt for water or unsweetened tea.

Sleep is extremely essential if you're trying to improve your overall physical fitness and reduce the soreness you experience. The time we spend sleeping helps muscle tears to heal and diminishes the overall muscle soreness that we experience. If you have trouble sleeping, try a sleep support supplement.

Stretch It Out

It's normal to feel muscle soreness after working out, but it's not normal to feel outright pain. Normal muscle soreness should feel like a mild aching that's uncomfortable, but not outright painful. However, if you feel actual pain, then you probably injured yourself.

One of the most common reasons that people experience muscle injuries is because they aren't stretching properly before and after their workouts. There's a reason why fitness instructors and trainers always make a warmup and a cool-down a part of the routines. Stretching is the best way to diminish soreness and to prevent injury. If you aren't sure how to stretch, there's an abundance of videos online that can instruct you how to do it properly.

Getting in shape can be a challenge and sore muscles are an inevitability. However, if you eat right and get enough sleep, you'll find that you recover from soreness a lot quicker. The more you take care of your body, the more your body will take care of you.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Top In-Home Health Trends of 2018

The world can be a stressful place, so our methods for staying calm and well need to be accessible, not reserved for irregular doctor (or in worst case scenarios, hospital) visits. Thanks to advances in technology and research, a growing number of people can take their health into their own hands. Medical products, wellness techniques, and even simple daily habits can have dramatic effects on our lives, so here are some of the best in-home health trends people are taking advantage of in 2018.


Products for managing health: Well-funded hospitals are usually the places to find high-tech equipment, but the number of personalized medical devices is expanding rapidly. These best-selling products are not meant for blood transfusions, but they can help people avoid trips to the emergency room and promote better overall physical and mental health.

Such devices include wearable technology. Modern consumers are more tech-savvy than their predecessors and engage with it more frequently, so manufacturers are learning to address customer demand for machines that patients can wear on their bodies and let them go to work. One popular device is the Under Armour Healthbox, which includes a three-piece tracker that compiles data regarding your steps, workout intensity, duration, and heart rate.

Some devices do not even need to go on your body—they can go under your mattress. An abundance of research emphasizes the importance of sleep, so the EmFit QS Sleep Monitor rests under your bed to track your heart rate, movements, and other information to give you insight into your sleeping habits.

There has also been a recent shift towards personalized care. BizVibe reports that 30 to 40 percent of current patients use therapies or medications with harmful side effects outweighing the benefits. Everyone has different body chemistry. Personalized care accounts for individuals’ unique needs. Not only does it help to remove the possibility of adverse reactions, but it also helps MedTech manufacturers discover and develop new treatments through data from personalized devices.

Products for protection:
Modern technology is incredible, but it is not without its shortcomings. Environmental impact is still an essential subject that requires due attention, but it also has an impact on our health. Well and Good notes that your skin battles an abundance of blue light from screens, harsh ingredients, and pollution on a daily basis, which is why a new wave of skin-care products is intended to protect people from their own devices.

Cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer says: “Especially now, there are lots of impacts from pollutants in the environment and ozone to UV rays, and all of these can have a negative impact on the [skin’s] lipid barrier. So, proper skin barrier function is really the key to maintaining healthy, hydrated skin.”

Companies like Biossance, Allies of Skin, Marie Veronique, and Mother Dirt are accounting for environmental stressors in their products, and others are likely to follow suit. These are not products you concoct at home, but they protect your skin no matter where you are.


Finding communities: The pursuit of happiness is a search no one has found an end-all answer to, but there is something happy people have in common: they interact with one another. The most recent World Happiness Report found that close social connections are what foster happiness, rather than money or even physical health. Out of 155 countries surveyed, poorer nations like Mexico and Costa Rica ranked higher than wealthier ones such as the US and China because they engage in community relationships more. Countries that find a balance, including Northern European nations, typically rank the highest.

Even if people do not learn of this data, they are still sensing its truth in their daily lives. An increasing number of people are deleting various social media accounts, or at least detoxing from them. Social media has not been around for long, but its pervasiveness is encouraging folks to examine their usage. Jillian Knox Finley from My Domaine quit using social media for 40 days, and she says:

“It was not until I got back online that I had a bird’s-eye view of my takeaway from this experiment. In the end, the biggest cleanse ended up not in sharing, but in the documenting of life. Gone was the compulsion to record. Sharing is human. It’s powerful. It’s true we are more connected than ever. The question is, what are you sharing? Art or illusion, or both? Are you generous? Are you listening? Are you present, or are you looking around?”

People who reduce their social media use find themselves engaging with people in-person more. Social media is an excellent platform for communication, but escaping from compulsive binging and posting enables people to foster real-life relationships and communities, which are essential to emotional health.

There are small-scale habits folks can adopt, too. 2017 saw several wellness trends that have not died in 2018—such as increased meditation, setting up plant walls (which filter toxins and boost moods), cooking healthier, and space cleansing (cleaning your bedroom reduces mind clutter)—and none of them require excessive doctor visits. People can take better care of themselves more than ever before with new tools and research, slowly bringing about a brighter, healthier world.

How do plan to stay healthy for the rest of the year?

This is a guest blog entry.

Summer Hiking Safety Guidelines Everyone Should Follow

For the last ten years, the number of Americans who head out hiking each spring and summer has been steadily increasing, with the most recent surveys showing 47.2 million people hitting the trails.

If you’re planning a big hike sometime this summer, there are some safety guidelines you should stick to. These ten guidelines will help you and your hiking partners feel confident and avoid injuries and illnesses that often afflict unprepared hikers. 

1. Bring the Right Provisions

Even during a short hike, you’re at risk of losing a significant amount of fluid if the weather is hot enough. Be sure to pack plenty of water to help you avoid dehydration.

Bring enough food to last your anticipated hike time, too. Lightweight snacks like protein bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and beef jerky are all good options.
2. Don’t Overestimate Your Skill Level

Before heading out on a hike, it’s important to have a good grasp on what you can and cannot handle.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew just to keep up with your friends -- this will just set you up for an injury later on. There’s no shame in starting small and working your way up to more difficult trails.

3. Know How to Treat Sprains and Strains

Ankle sprains and strains are common hiking injuries that can easily ruin a perfectly nice nature walk. You can avoid them, to an extent, by wearing supportive hiking boots and taking care to watch where you step. But, it’s also important to know how to wrap and treat them.

When wrapping an ankle, you should start by wrapping the ball of the foot. Then, work your way around the arch and up over the ankle in a figure-8 pattern. Continue with this pattern, then secure the bandage around the ankle when you reach the end. When you get to your destination, rest and alternate between heat and cold to minimize pain and swelling.

4. Check the Weather Before Packing

Check the forecast regularly as you prepare for your trip so you know what gear to bring and what to leave behind. You can check the weather online, or you can call your local Parks and Recreation Department for real-time updates.

5. Let Someone Know Where You’re Going

Never head out on a hike without first letting someone know where you’ll be. Whether you’re hiking alone or with a friend, it’s always good to have someone back home who’s expecting you.

6. Know How to Prevent Hypothermia

Even during the summer, hikers can end up with hypothermia if they’re hiking at high elevations. To avoid this, don’t spend extended periods of time in wet clothes and be sure to dress in layers to minimize sweating in cooler weather. Wind-resistant jackets and rain gear are also helpful to have on hand.

7. Pack a Well-Stocked First Aid Kit

The following are some basic items everyone should include:
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Assorted bandages (especially fabric bandages for sprains and strains)
  • Medical tape
  • Gauze pads
  • Blister treatment
  • Ibuprofen/other painkillers
  • Insect repellent
  • Tweezers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Allergy medication
  • First aid cards or a manual to provide basic instruction
8. Know How to Spot Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is one of the most common issues hikers face in the summer. Being able to spot the signs will help you get yourself or your hiking partners the help they need to avoid getting seriously sick. Some signs to be on the lookout for include:
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Goosebumps
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
9. Use Hiking Poles

If you struggle with knee pain or ankle instability, hiking poles can be a good investment. They’ll help stabilize you, especially when you’re walking on wet trails. They also minimize strain on your joints when you’re walking up and down hills.

10. Know How to Purify Your Water

Finally, make sure you know how to purify water -- and have the supplies to do so. In most cases, boiling water is sufficient for getting rid of parasites and bacteria. You can also use water purification tablets to get clean water faster.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Five Tips for Recovering from a Leg Fracture

Every year, nearly seven million people receive medical attention for fractured bones. Some of the most common fractures that people experience involve the bones in the leg, specifically the tibia and fibula.

When you’re suffering from a leg fracture, it can be incredibly frustrating to be bedridden for weeks while your bone heals. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make the recovery process go by a bit quicker. Read on to learn more about what you can do to speed things up.

Typical Leg Fracture Recovery Time

While there are things you can do to speed up the recovery process somewhat, there’s no getting around the fact that you have a broken bone. A certain amount of time is required for healing, no matter how diligent you are with your post-injury treatments.

Before getting into the different ways you can expedite your recovery, it’s important to understand the average amount of time it will take for your leg fracture to heal.

Generally speaking, following a leg fracture, you will be in a cast for 6-8 weeks. After that, you’ll likely have to undergo several weeks of physical therapy to strengthen your leg and improve your mobility.

Factors that Affect Recovery Time

As with any type of medical procedure, there are certain factors that affect your recovery time when dealing with a leg fracture. Some of the most well-known factors that influence recovery include:
  • Age (older patients tend to heal more slowly than younger patients)
  • Severity of the break (a break of the femur will take longer to heal than a break of the tibia or fibula)
  • Presence of infection
  • Disturbances to the blood supply
  • Being a smoker
  • Joint damage in addition to the fracture
Top Five Tips for Speeding Up Recovery

Listed below are some steps you can take to speed up the recovery process and help your leg fracture heal a bit faster.

1. Don’t Bear Weight Too Early

After putting your leg in a cast, your doctor will likely tell you to avoid putting weight on your leg for several weeks or even months. Listen to this advice. Bearing weight too early slows down the healing process and could make your injury worse.

During this time, utilize crutches, a walker, or even a post-surgery assistive device like a leg lifter strap to help you move without putting pressure on your fractured leg.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

You should be staying hydrated all the time anyway, but it’s especially important when you’re dealing with a leg fracture. Staying hydrated will help your body work as efficiently as possible to heal your fracture and get you back on your feet.

3. Get Plenty of Sleep

It’s also important to make sure you’re sleeping enough while you let your leg heal. Sleep is essential for recovery -- in fact, that’s when most of the body’s growth hormone is produced.

Depending on the cause of the injury that led to your leg fracture, you may also be dealing with some residual trauma and anxiety. Sleep can help you manage these feelings better.

4. Eat a Bone-Strengthening Diet

When you’re recovering from a leg fracture, it may be tempting to lounge on the couch and eat nothing but junk food all day. But, eating a healthy, balanced diet could actually help your bone to heal faster.

Make sure you’re consuming plenty of calcium and vitamin D-rich foods, such as full-fat dairy, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, fish, egg yolks, and almonds. You should also consume plenty of protein from meat, fish, and soy products.

5. Go to Physical Therapy

Finally, make sure you go to physical therapy regularly once your cast comes off to learn exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

Be sure to actually do the exercises your physical therapist gives you, too. Going to your appointments once a week and then refusing to do any work on your own isn’t going to yield good results.

Final Thoughts

If you’re currently dealing with a leg fracture, don’t give up. Keep these tips in mind to improve your recovery and help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.

This is a guest blog entry.

Halitosis is Clinically Bad Breath

When brushing your teeth doesn’t get rid of foul-smelling breath, you may have something more serious called halitosis. It’s a dental condition that remains for an extended amount of time and can’t be covered up with a quick fix like mouthwash.

Something else is happening in your body that needs to be addressed. Halitosis is usually a sign of something more serious that requires healthcare advice from your dentist. Your mouth is a very delicate system and can be thrown out of whack by common medications and bacteria.

Medications cause halitosis

There are hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter medications that list xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth, as a side effect. Some of the most common are stimulants, antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications. Even a common toothpaste ingredient, sodium lauryl sulfate, can irritate tender cheeks and gums and contribute to dry mouth.

You need enough saliva to wash small particles of food off of your teeth to neutralize acids and inhibit cavity formation. The limited production of saliva can leave you with an overly dry, acidic mouth environment which causes bad breath. Dehydration and breathing through your mouth can make it even worse.

Managing xerostomia isn’t just about drinking enough, it’s managing what you drink and when. You’ll need to drink small sips of water throughout the day rather than drinking a full glass of water at a time. Limit how much alcohol, caffeine, and dry food you have, and stay properly hydrated so your saliva can help your mouth stay clean and healthy. 

Chewing stimulates your salivary glands, so pop in some sugar-free gum or sugarless candy after eating and let the increased saliva wash away causes of bad breath. 

Bacteria cause halitosis

When your nose is running, mucus leaks into the back of your mouth and throat. Add in breathing through your mouth from the stuffy nose, and it’s an ideal environment for smelly bacteria. The bacterial growth in the discharge gives you bad breath.

Smoking constricts the blood vessels in your mouth. Without proper blood flow, bacteria starts to grow under the gums and can become infected. The overgrowth of bacteria and the accompanying decay can leave a foul taste in your mouth and result in bad breath.

All surfaces of your mouth — including your tongue and cheeks — can harbor bacteria. Biting your nails introduces more bacteria to the mouth, which can contribute to tooth decay and halitosis.

Dramatic cases of nail-biting can wear away the enamel on teeth and cause bacterial growth under the gums, contributing to bad breath and decay.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies or need help kicking your bad habits, seek advice from nearby dentists. Brush your tongue and cheeks with your standard toothbrush and water, or use a tongue scraper to minimize bacteria. Chew sugar-free gum or sugarless candy that contains xylitol as a sweetener. Research shows that xylitol, a chemical sweetener, stops bacteria from growing in your mouth and is an effective tool for combatting tooth decay.

See your dentist regularly

Your mouth provides clues to your overall health, and your dentist is an important partner in your healthcare. If your dentist doesn’t ask about new medications each time you visit, you won’t have any trouble finding new dentists nearby with a simple web search.

If you’ve battled bad breath for an extended amount of time without making any headway, you may have halitosis. Tell your dentist when you start new medications about any seasonal allergies you may have and discuss habits like smoking and nail-biting that contribute to foul breath.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Practical Health Tips To Practice Each Day

There is nothing more important in life than your health. When you are mindful of what you eat, how you exercise, and what you do with your body, you are much more likely to feel great and enjoy each passing year. While you do not always have total control over your health due to various genetic and environmental factors, you can definitely make active changes to the way you go about your life. By focusing on key areas of your lifestyle, it is totally possible to create a lasting and positive impact on your overall sense of wellness.

To get yourself in the right mindset, take a moment to explore some of these helpful suggestions. The more you learn about your options in advance, the easier it is going to be for you to transform your life and feel the difference in the way your body operates.

Remove the Filler

It is no small mystery that the food you consume plays a huge part in how your body operates. When you eat a lot of processed meals or snacks like chips, candy, and fast food, you are giving your body a lot of nothing. It might feel like junk food is rewarding to eat, but the truth is you are only giving yourself the impression of satisfaction. There are very little nutrients found in most processed foods and the sense of enjoyment that comes from shoveling away chips is merely your body’s reaction to the chemical fillers and flavors.

A snack like this now and again is not a big problem. Sadly, most people consume more of these products than they would like to admit. In order to keep your body in the best shape possible and ingest the right level of nutrients on a regular basis, visiting a primary care physician might be a good move. A professional like George Hatzigiannis can take a look at your current status, learn about your diet and lifestyle choices, and help you find a practical plan to improve your health. Simply reach out to a relevant doctor to get yourself started.

Sleep Yourself Healthy

Outside of diet, sleep is one of the more important aspects of your daily routine. Unfortunately, more and more people are dealing with sleep-related issues than ever before. Modern work schedules and the invention of the internet have led to a more complicated and demanding business world. Though commerce is moving at a faster pace than ever before, the human body still requires a consistent night’s sleep in order for it to function in the right capacity. When you are having trouble falling asleep after a long day, you need to take steps towards solving your insomnia.

There could be a number of issues preventing you from sleeping. Some professionals suggest that looking at your phone before you go to bed could actually send impulses to your brain to keep you awake. The light of the screen, though dim, is somewhat similar to UV light from the sun, which tricks your brain into thinking it is time to be up and active. Grab a book instead of your phone and you could help yourself snooze. More complicated sleep-related troubles should be assessed by a medical professional in order to learn the best solution.

Get Some Sun

While on the topic of sunlight, it is important to note your body also requires a healthy dose of shine now and again. Exposing your skin to sunlight on a daily basis is very useful in obtaining Vitamin D, which is crucial for health and wellness. Sunlight also helps to keep the mind active and increase hormone production, which can lower the odds of a person developing increases feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. Of course, getting sun is easier during some months than others.

When the winter has come to call and you are spending more time indoors than out, you need to get creative with how you get the correct level of vitamins and nutrients. These days, there are certain lamps designed to mimic the rays of the sun when you need a boost of light in the dead of the season. Supplements are also useful to explore, as multivitamins and similar pills can often provide your body with a number of essential nutrients in one sitting.

Lift and Repeat

Most people know exercise is important to stay healthy. This does not make it any easier to go to the gym each week. If you want to focus on the needs of your body, start by engaging with lifting exercises in your home. Start with light weights you can hold in each hand. The act of lifting is important for metabolic health and can help to keep the cardiovascular system strong throughout life.

Doing what is right for your health is all about learning different tips and tricks. Discover the perfect daily habits for your goals and get into the practice of being a more health-centric human.

This is a guest blog entry.

You’ve Just Been in a Car Accident - Now What?

So far, today has been just like any other day. You got up in the morning, had some breakfast, and now you’re on your way to work. Everything is going normally, when suddenly your car is hit from behind by another. Now your entire day is changed, and you have to figure out what to do next. Millions of people go through something like this every year, but it can still be a little hard to know what to do when it happens to you. If you ever find yourself in a car accident, here are the steps you should follow.

Take Care of Yourself

First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. You can do this in two ways. First, if you need medical attention, you should call for an ambulance right away. The sooner you make the call, the sooner help will arrive. Besides that, you should also get yourself to safety. Sometimes accidents happen in inconvenient spots, and before you start to handle the rest, you’ll want to be in a safe location. So pull over to the side of the road, or get out of the car entirely if you see any smoke.

Handle the Formalities

If you are in good enough shape, and you’re in a safe location, now you can start handling some of the other formalities. Whenever you’re in a car accident involving another person, there are a few things you need to do. First, you should call the police so that they can come and file an official report. Next, you should swap information with the other drivers. This includes name, address, phone number, license plate number and insurance information.

Finally, take out your cell phone and snap some pictures of the accident. Get pictures of your car, other cars involved, the surrounding area, and any injuries you received. The more pictures you take, the better off you’ll be if you encounter any problems down the line.

Decide What to do With Your Car

Next, you’ll need to think about your car. If you’re lucky, the damage was minor and you’ll be able to drive away. You’ll likely have to have an auto shop take a look at it in order to get out the dents and scrapes, but for the most part your car is fine.

In other cases you won’t be so lucky. The accident will be so bad that you’ll be unable to drive your car to the auto shop, and you’ll need to call for a tow. Many insurance providers have roadside assistance that you can call in case of an accident. Through them you can find a tow truck driver to take your car to your preferred mechanic. Once at the mechanic, they will hopefully be able to get your car running again, and everything will be covered by your insurance. If not, you’ll have to start looking for a new car, and see what you can get for your old, now totaled, car.

Get Help if You Need It

Going through a car accident isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes there are injuries you have to deal with, or maybe the other driver doesn’t have insurance. When going through this process, you may need to bring in some outside help. A lawyer will help to ensure that you are properly compensated for any injuries you receive, and that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your car repairs. According to FastHelp.com, a good lawyer can provide you with:
  • Guidance for how to handle the at-fault insurance company
  • Towing and transportation to and from the repair shop
  • Recommendations for an independent body shop for trusted, reliable work
  • Ensure you’ll never pay for medical treatment out of pocket
  • Handle all medical bills and documentation required for a successful case
Learn From Your Mistakes

Finally, sometimes the accident is your own fault. Maybe you were trying to eat while you drove, or you didn’t pay attention to that warning light on your dashboard. After an accident, it’s important to analyze your own role and determine if there was anything you could have done better. By learning from your mistakes you can make another accident less likely to happen, and therefore keep yourself safer.

Stay Calm During an Accident

Going through a car accident is a scary time, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been driving. If it ever happens to you, remember to remain calm and take things one step at a time. Hopefully the above steps will help you out should you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, and you’ll be able to handle the accident and go through recovery with no additional problems.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, June 15, 2018

5 Major Health Concerns for Seniors

New population projections from the Census Bureau reveal that older adults will outnumber children for the first time in history by the year 2030. Colloquially referred to as the “silver tsunami,” this explosive demographic shift has many middle-aged adults taking a harder look at how they want to be living in 10 to 15 years; primarily, how they can keep their health on track.

Don’t miss this essential guide to 5 major health concerns for seniors with tips and ideas for improving longevity:

Type II Diabetes
Roughly 25% of seniors develop Type II diabetes. A combination of risk factors including rising rates of obesity and hypertension increase a senior’s chances of developing this dangerous disease. Gone untreated, diabetes can result in vision loss, amputation, and even death.

Type II diabetes results when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin or when the body is no longer able to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. Doctors recommend that adults exercise regularly and modify their diets to limit added sugars and incorporate more fiber and nutrients with fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Keeping up with annual exams and fasting blood sugar tests helps to catch early warning signs too so you can take action before it’s too late.

Heart Disease
Alarming new life expectancy reports project that for the third year in a row, life expectancy for the average American adult is falling. This is due in large part to the fact that deaths from heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S., did not decline in the past year. Heart disease is primarily a lifestyle disease that results from a cardiovascular system which is compromised by inactivity, poor diet, chronic stress, and unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking.

Preventing heart disease is possible, even if you have put off routine exercise your whole life. Researchers have found that small steps like sitting less, moving more, and consuming more micronutrients and less sugar, salt, fat, and processed food can all play a significant role in lowering risk for developing heart disease.

The Centers for Disease Control are reporting new findings from a 10-year government study that revealed the number of falls adults over 65 experience has risen over 30% since 2007. Millions of seniors visit the emergency room every year due to a fall-related incident, and many end up with serious complications like life-threatening infections and bone fractures that limit their mobility.

In addition to fostering a fall-free environment at home by installing helpful grab bars and railings in key areas, and clearing away clutter from common walkways, experts recommend seniors exercise regularly to improve their strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility. Physical fitness for mobility-impaired seniors is paramount as well and may involve chair exercises, gentle tai chi, and water yoga.

Cognitive Decline
Worried about developing dementia or Alzheimer’s? It’s smart to express at least a little concern about falling prey to one of the fastest growing conditions among seniors. Understanding how and why cognitive decline occurs can go a long way toward helping you fortify your brain against it.

Cognitive decline is most readily understood as the loss or impairment of key brain functions like memory, decision-making, critical thinking, judgment, and problem-solving. While researchers know a good amount about what causes conditions like Alzheimer’s, they’re still not sure why it happens in the first place. They do recommend taking steps to protect brain cells and the communication pathways between them through exercise, learning new skills, interacting with others socially, reading, playing games, and eating brain-boosting foods with Omega-3’s and antioxidants.

Vision or Hearing Loss
Vision and hearing loss don’t just impact your ability to see and hear - they affect your independence and self-reliance and can increase the risk for anxiety and depression too. Vision changes and hearing loss are some of the most common conditions affecting seniors and result most often from age-related changes and degeneration in the body.

Medical experts agree that getting your vision and hearing checked regularly as you age can help pick up on early warning signs so you can take action to either seek treatment or find devices that aid these critical senses.

Other common health concerns for seniors include arthritis, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, catching the flu, pneumonia, and oral health problems. The average American can expect to live until at least their 80’s as advancements in research and medicine continue to offer hope. However, staying on top of your own health and taking steps towards living a healthy lifestyle may be your ultimate weapon in staving off these health conditions that are so common among seniors.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

How Diet Can Help Fight Chronic Inflammation

When it comes to biochemical processes that occur in the body, there are two different types of inflammation. You can recognize acute inflammation as the redness and swelling that occurs after a sudden injury like an ankle sprain. It is the body’s way of responding to injury by flooding the affected area with white blood cells, fluids, nutrients, hormones, and other agents that can assist in repair. This type of inflammation is temporary and subsides once the area starts to heal.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a more subtle, underlying array of processes which occur non-stop over an extended period of time and increase the risk for diseases like arthritis, Parkinson’s, and diabetes. While inflammation is absolutely natural and necessary to defend the body and your organs against foreign invaders, like infectious bacteria, prolonged inflammation can actually do harm to internal organs and tissues, specifically when it is not necessary.

The immune system is not perfect and at times, dysfunction may even cause it to mistake the body itself as dangerous, leading it to overreact and attack internals tissues and organs - this specifically leads to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

What Are Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation?
There are blood tests which can examine the levels of certain inflammatory markers like c-reactive proteins, however, other symptoms can also be good indicators that chronic inflammation is at work. Symptoms may include:
  • Weight gain - if you are experiencing unexpected weight gain and are concerned that a slowdown in your metabolism is at work, chronic inflammation could be playing a role. Fat cells, like those found in adipose tissue around your belly, are responsible for triggering certain chemicals that aid inflammatory responses in the body. Excess fat could potentially lead to excess inflammation.
  • Fatigue - if your body is constantly working “overtime” because it is always managing unnecessary inflammatory processes, it could result in feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. Some researchers have also found that certain immune cells associated with chronic inflammation can infiltrate key areas of the brain and cause behavioral changes that result in fatigue too.
  • Allergies - allergies at their very core are a mistaken overreaction by the body to a relatively harmless pathogen, like pollen or dander. An increase in allergic activity could indicate that the body is in a constant state of hyper-reactivity or inflammation; symptoms might include frequent stuffy or runny nose, nasal congestion, and allergic rashes (dermatitis).
  • Gut issues - poor digestion issues like bloating, cramping, flatulence, heartburn, an urgency to use the bathroom, and frequent diarrhea could indicate that inflammation-related conditions are at work and your body isn’t absorbing all the critical nutrients it needs from the food you eat.
Additional symptoms may also present in recurring skin issues, gum disease, depression, joint stiffness, and high blood sugar levels.

What are Anti-inflammatory Foods?
The first step in modifying your diet to combat inflammation is to get to know the staples which help fight inflammation on a cellular level in the body. These include:
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables that generate powerful phytonutrients - they include apples, bananas, eggplants, carrots, apricots, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, and kale
  • Whole grains like oatmeal and barley that also offer generous fiber content which helps the body better digest food and extract critical vitamins and minerals
  • Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, thyme, sage, and rosemary
  • Antioxidant-rich foods like garlic, blueberries, onions, broccoli, and brussel sprouts
  • Foods high in Omega-3’s including walnuts, kidney beans, chia seeds, flax meal, wild-caught salmon and other cold-water fish like herring, trout, mackerel, and sardines
  • Healthy fats like you find in avocado, Greek yogurt, and extra-virgin olive oil
By incorporating more of these anti-inflammatory staples, you will transversely start cutting out unhealthy diet practices that can contribute to disease and illness. Additional guidelines to live by include:
  • Limiting consumption of red meat
  • Cutting out trans fats completely
  • Clearly reading nutrition labels prior to eating
  • Avoiding refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Scaling back sodium consumption
  • Replacing processed foods with freshly, prepared ones
  • Chewing slowly and thoroughly to aid digestion
  • Staying properly hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day
Final Considerations
In addition to regular physical activity, a well-managed anti-inflammatory diet is key to combating the negative effects of chronic inflammation. By taking steps to eat more fresh, whole foods daily, incorporate more healthy “snacks” into your diet, and increase your intake of fiber and Omega-3’s, you can have a profound effect on not just the biochemical processes occurring inside your body but also how you look and feel on the outside too.

This is a guest blog post.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

What You Should Know about Pregnancy and Makeup

Is it safe to put on makeup during pregnancy?

There is debate surrounding whether putting on makeup during pregnancy is good or bad. Most expectant mothers are usually wary of the chemicals used in making some of the cosmetics that they use for makeup. The circumstances surrounding the use of makeup during pregnancy for women remain confusing. Most women feel that makeup is the best way for them to help conceal their changing skin tone and woes. The problem is that some of the chemicals used in makeup creams can have adverse effects on the unborn baby’s development.

Using makeup during pregnancy is not a bad idea but much caution need to be taken when using some of those cosmetics out there. While choosing a cosmetic to use when you are pregnant, as an expectant mother should narrow in on the best you can choose from the park.

Cosmetics and the chemicals used in them with regards to pregnancy

There are numerous theories out there surrounding the use of cosmetics and the effects of chemical exposure during your period of pregnancy. Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the chemicals where concerns have been noted.

About hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a well known skin lightening agent that is popular amongst women who like to have lighter skin. While there is alot of speculation that the agent has chemicals in it that will be fatal to the fetus there is no concrete study that has proven this. However, a pregnant woman using any cosmetic containing the agent needs to use that cosmetic in moderation. This is due to the high rate at which the substance is said to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

About Tretinoin

Tretinoin is a chemical that is popularly used in various cosmetics. Tretinoin use during pregnancy has been linked with certain birth defects and therefore its use during pregnancy is not wise. Its absorption rate however remains minimal when applied topically on the skin.

About Phthalates

This is yet another common chemical that is used in most makeup products which may include lipstick, hairsprays, and even nail polish. Studies suggest that the chemical usually interferes with a woman’s hormones during pregnancy and therefore needs to be avoided for the period of pregnancy.

According to studies, mothers that put on makeup containing the chemical during pregnancy had their babies having a lowered IQ level. The studies suggest that the chemical can lower the IQ level of a baby by more than six points. To further complicate the issue is that babies whose mothers exposed themselves to high levels of the chemical are more likely to develop asthma by their eleventh birthday compared those who weren’t.

About clindamycin and erythromycin

Applying clindamycin and erythromycin topically by a pregnant woman may not cause any adverse effects to the unborn child. This is due to the fact that the skin poorly absorbs salicylic acid, which is a key ingredient used in most anti-acne products. Dihydroxyacetone, which is a color additive for most skin tanning products, is also not readily absorbed by the skin.

Sodium, calcium, and potassium hydroxide used in depilatory creams are also not harmful in expectant mothers. Sunscreens help to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and help prevent conditions i.e. melasma. This means that women can still continue to be beautiful without posing any threat to their unborn children.

When to be cautious

Because most cosmetics available in the markets are not subject to any regulation, gauging whether they are safe or harmful can be a Herculean task. To be safe during pregnancy if you need to use certain cosmetic products, you may need to check out for the following products:

Vitamin A

Taking vitamin A orally has got lots of benefits to the pregnant mother and particularly to their skin. There is, however, retinoids which are a synthetic form of vitamin A that is mostly used in cosmetic creams and pills. While such creams usually help to fight psoriasis and acne, retinoids can be very harmful to the unborn baby and may cause adverse effects to the developing fetus.

Vitamin K

You will find this vitamin in almost every skin lightening cream you will get in the market. This vitamin is good for your health as it helps in normal blood clott. When you are pregnant, you can be prone to blood clots. This is why when you are pregnant you should be careful not to use vitamin K products in excess during topical application to prevent too much of it from getting into your bloodstream because it could make the blood become too thin. If this occurs, it can be a source of complication to the fetus. However, it is important to get enough vitamin K during pregnancy because a deficiency in this vitamin can also cause problem.

Centalla Asiatica

This is an effective treatment for stretch marks but it also increases sensitivity to the sun’s rays and this may be a source rashes in expectant women. When taken orally, it brings a narcotic-like effect and it has been reported to cause miscarriages in some women. This is why this particular beauty chemical need to be avoided at all times during pregnancy.


It is advisable to protect the fetus growing inside of you by reducing your exposure to lead. This calls on you to avoid using cosmetics that are rich in lead and mercury especially if you are in your first trimester.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

10 Lesser-Known Reasons Why Headaches Occur

The chances are, everyone you’ve ever met has suffered from a headache at some point in their lives. What causes these headaches, however, is an extensive list with no definite answer and can include factors like a lack of sleep, blocked sinuses, or too much alcohol the night before.

But what about those times that there seems to be no obvious explanation? That’s when you need to look a little deeper. Experiment by eliminating the following uncommon sources, and hopefully one of them will hit the nail on the headache.

1. Exercise

The biggest concern about exercise headaches is that they can mean vastly different things. If you’ve been pushing yourself particularly hard during heated weather or at a high altitude, then it’s probably nothing to worry about and that pain should subside rather rapidly. However, if the throbbing lingers for longer than a day, then it could mean something much more serious, such as internal bleeding or a tumor. Be safe and speak to your doctor.

2. Sex
While the exact cause has never been accurately established, there does seem to be two distinct variations of sexual headaches. The first is reported as a slow buildup of pre-orgasm pain, while the second occurs suddenly at the same time as your climax. Many healthy people suffer from sex headaches, but if you have only recently been experiencing them, speak to a doctor to ensure nothing unusual has flared up.

3. Your Hairstyle
Pulling your hair back into a tight ponytail may be the fastest way to look presentable, but this tension can aggravate the nerves in your scalp, and ultimately lead to a headache. For most people, the obvious solution of loosening the hair tie should eradicate the pain within 30 minutes. However, there are those who experience a condition called allodynia, which is when your neurotransmitters become highly overactive and you experience pain in situations that would not normally cause pain. In these cases, a shorter haircut may be the only solution.

4. Your Metabolism
As one gets older, your headaches may possibly be slow metabolism related, and you would need to ensure that you address this in the same manner as any other health attribute. If you are skipping meals, drastically reducing your calorie intake, not hydrating properly, or lacking in sleep, then these bad habits are a good place to start.

5. Headache Medication
Strange but true, the medication you are taking for your headaches may very well be the cause of them. By perpetually fighting the pain with drugs, you can develop a rapid tolerance or even a dependency on these chemicals. Unfortunately, the only way out is to go through, which does mean a period of withdrawal and perhaps even worse headaches for a while.

6. Cheese
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but those aged cheeses you’ve been eating? They contain a substance called tyramine which has been linked to dilated blood vessels and migraines. A similar effect has been noted on any dried, smoked, or pickled foods. Keep a diet journal, and eliminate these parties one by one until you locate the culprit. Of course, if you insist on drinking red wine with your cheese, then you may already know what the problem is here.

7. Anxiety
Your body reacts to stress various negative ways, including tension in your neck and the depletion of your adrenal glands. These responses often conspire against you and develop into a stabbing anxiety migraine. If this is a frequent concern of yours, then you need to search for ways to destress your life. Try meditation, long warm baths, or go on a vacation.

8. Screens
It’s no secret that your computer and phone are bombarding your vision with bright lights, which can strain your eyes into a headache. A misaligned posture is also reported to play a role. Try to alleviate some of the spinal pressure by always positioning your technology at eye level, and take a 10-minute break every hour or so.

9. The Sun
Those headaches inflicted by the sun’s glare are usually a result of a deeper issue, and it’s worth analyzing your quality of sleep, blood sugar levels, or alcohol consumption before you blame a star. However, light sensitivity can also be eased with the use of sunglasses or a hat.

10. Caffeine Withdrawal
When one relies on the power of coffee to keep their engines running, a dependency may be soon to follow. Without this regular fix, you could find yourself drowsy, depressed, or carrying around a persistent headache. To quiet these symptoms, gradually reduce your coffee consumption rather than abruptly quitting it altogether. But whichever way you choose, all negative side effects should be completely gone within two to nine days.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Injured? Speed-Up Your Recovery Time with These Helpful Tips

Nothing seems worse than being injured in an accident. The feelings are even worse when the accident wasn’t your fault, but it costs you everything. Depending on how serious your injuries are you could have lost your job, received a ton of medical bills, and have a long way to go towards recovery. All you want to do is recover from the accident and reclaim your life. Though the journey towards recovery will be different for everyone, taking these steps can help to speed up the process.

See Your Doctor

Immediately following the accident, it is important for you to visit your primary care physician. Even if you don’t see any cause for concern, some injuries can be internal, causing damage you’re unaware of. Other injuries can pop up later. Therefore, you just want to have a record of what’s going on and when it started. Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. If they give advice you don’t agree with, discuss alternate options.

Reduce Stress

High levels of stress will dramatically decrease your efforts to recover. Yes, you’re dealing with a lot right now, however, if you allow the stress to consume you, it can lead to an array of medical issues which will only result in more health problems to recover from. Here are some suggestions for reducing the stress after an accident:

  • Hire an Attorney - When you’re dealing with raw emotion and physical pain, it can be difficult to keep a level head. However, that is exactly what is required to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. To keep your best interests first, it is recommended that you consult with a legal professional like Steven Schwartzapfel, a personal injury lawyer to help. They can assist you with completing the personal injury claim, compiling evidence and reports, talking with the insurance agency, and if necessary, filing a case in court. If you win, you could get compensated for lost wages, medical bills, and more which would be a great way to relieve financial stress.
  • Get Finances in Order - The bills won’t stop coming in simply because you’re out of work for the time being. Therefore, you should get your finances in order. Start by creating a budget and eliminating any excess spending. Then, apply for disability insurance to try and recoup some of that lost income. Lastly, contact your creditors or service providers to update them on your status. Try to work out arrangements that fit in your budget as opposed to letting the late fees pile up.
  • Ask for Help - You may need a lot of help in reducing the stress of an accident. Friends and family can help with things like watching the children, transportation, cooking, and cleaning. Not to mention, being in an accident is traumatic and may require some therapy to get through. If you’re feeling depressed or anxious as well, you could benefit from the assistance of a therapist.
Eat Right

Your body will need all the right vitamins, nutrients, and minerals possible to recover from your injuries. You should start by eliminating processed foods, sweets, and salty treats. Make sure that you also cut back on the carbs. Instead, fuel up on lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables. Eating at least 3-5 times a day is recommended to give your body the ammunition it needs to heal itself.

Exercise When You Can

There is a common misconception that after you’ve been injured you should sleep or remain still 24/7. Though getting plenty of rest is a great way to help your body repair the damage from the accident, it isn’t enough. Sitting too long after being injured can lead to muscle loss, blood clots, and more. Once you’ve been cleared by the doctor, you should start exercising a few minutes each day gradually increasing the amount of time and intensity of exercises you do.

Recovering from the emotional, physical, and financial damage caused by an accident won’t happen overnight. However, if you follow the doctor’s orders, start relieving some stress, and take care of yourself by eating right and exercising as allowed, you’ll get through it a lot easier. People like your doctor, personal injury lawyer, friends, family, and therapist are all there to help you get through the process and back to yourself.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.