One in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To raise awareness this month has been deemed as American Diabetes Awareness month. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and several other health problems if it’s not controlled. The good news? People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. These changes include:
- Healthy eating habits
- Increased physical activity
- Weight loss
You’ve probably been asked a few times lately if you’ve had your flu shot. If you haven’t and would like more information read a few information bits from the CDC about the flu and flu shots. Why should people get vaccinated against the flu? Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. "Flu season" in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. How do flu vaccines work? Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called "trivalent" vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. There are also flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called "quadrivalent" vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus. Looking for more information? Ask your doctor and schedule your appointment to get your flu shot.
Looking for a better or new health insurance plan? Health Insurance open enrollment for healthcare started on November 1st. See below the important dates you need to know about to make sure you are covered.
- November 1, 2016: Open Enrollment started — first day to enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2017 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2017.
- December 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for coverage to start January 1, 2017.
- January 1, 2017: 2017 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.
- January 31, 2017: Last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a plan.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation. This investigation includes performing a complete autopsy, examining the death scene, and reviewing the clinical history. When a baby dies, health care providers, law enforcement personnel, and communities try to find out why. They ask questions, examine the baby, gather information, and run tests. If they can’t find a cause for the death, and if the baby was younger than 1 year old, the medical examiner or coroner will call the death SIDS. If there is still some uncertainty as to the cause after it is determined to be fully unexplained, then the medical examiner or coroner might leave the cause of death as “unknown”. Facts about SIDS:
- SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.
- More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available.
- Most SIDS deaths occur when in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby's first year.
- SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who seems healthy.
- SIDS is sometimes called "crib death" or "cot death" because it is associated with the timeframe when the baby is sleeping. Cribs themselves don't cause SIDS, but the baby's sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death.
- Slightly more boys die of SIDS than do girls.
- In the past, the number of SIDS deaths seemed to increase during the colder months of the year. But today, the numbers are more evenly spread throughout the calendar year.
- SIDS rates for the United States have dropped steadily since 1994 in all racial and ethnic groups. Thousands of infant lives have been saved, but some ethnic groups are still at higher risk for SIDS.
According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States and 20% to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries. Physical therapists can help in risk reduction and prevention of falls. How well we keep our balance now, in midlife, can protect us from what lies ahead. Avoiding falls and improving your balance early in life means a longer life. Approximately 20% of women who fracture a hip become permanently disabled, and another 20% die within a year. In fact, health problems linked to hip fractures result in more women's deaths each year than breast cancer does. An enhanced sense of stability doesn't just help protect you from future falls, it helps with immediate health benefits, including improved mobility, fewer injuries, greater capacity to push yourself harder during workouts—all increasing your overall fitness. Test Your Balance Try the following moves to test your balance and see what you need to work on: 1. On both feet: Stand with feet together, anklebones touching, and arms folded across chest; then close your eyes. Have someone time you: It's normal to sway a bit, but you should be able to stand for 60 seconds without moving your feet. Next, place one foot directly in front of the other and close your eyes. You should be able to stand for at least 38 seconds on both sides. 2. On one foot: Stand on one foot and bend other knee, lifting non-supporting foot off floor without letting it touch standing leg. (Do this in a doorway so you can grab the sides if you start to fall.) Repeat with eyes closed. People age 60 and younger can typically hold the pose for about 29 seconds with their eyes open, 21 seconds with their eyes closed. People age 61 and older: 22 seconds with eyes open, 10 seconds with eyes closed. 3. On ball of foot: Stand on one foot with hands on hips, and place non-supporting foot against inside knee of standing leg. Raise heel off floor and hold the pose—you should be able to do so for 25 seconds. Talk to your doctor about additional tips and tricks to help you improve your balance.
When it comes to your long-term health, vitamin D is one of the crucial nutrients your body needs to keep running smoothly. Sufficient levels can reduce your risk of depression, high blood pressure, cancer and possibly diabetes. Having enough vitamin D also ensures the health of your bones and immune system. Needless to say, it's important to make sure that you're getting enough, but where can you get vitamin D, and how much do you need? Children age 1 and older and adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should get an average of 600 international units of vitamin D a day. The same amount is recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Once you turn 71, your vitamin D intake should increase to about 800 IUs each day. There aren't many foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D. Some of the best natural sources include fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, which are also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms also have some vitamin D, but not as much. Your best bet is to eat foods that have been fortified with vitamin D, like milk, cereal, orange juice, yogurt and soy milk. Your body can make its own vitamin D when you're exposed to sunlight. But, always make sure to wear sunscreen if you are out in the sun. For the sake of your body, make it a point to eat vitamin D-rich foods or take a vitamin D supplement. As with many nutrients, you can overdo it taking supplements. The safe upper limit for children 1 to 8 years is 2,500 to 3,000 IUs per day; for other children and adults (including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding), it’s 4,000 IUs per day. More than that can damage your kidneys or cause toxicity, with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, constipation, weakness, weight loss, confusion or problems with heart rhythm. Vitamin D supplements also can interact with other medications, so be sure and talk to your health care provider if you think you need supplements. Talk to your doctor if you feel you are not getting enough vitamin D.
This month is breast cancer awareness month. How are you showing your support? Wearing pink? Joining a community walk? Getting a mammogram? Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer). But, millions of women are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment. This month we support our breast cancer survivors, those women and men that are being affected by this disease now, and those that may be affected by breast cancer in the future. Click below or on the link here, on our Navigating Breast Cancer Video.
Can’t find your car keys or wallet? Forget what items you wanted to get at the grocery store? Can't remember the name of the personal trainer you liked at the gym? You’re not the only one. Everyone forgets things occasionally. Still, memory loss is nothing to take lightly. Consider the following Mayo Clinic brain stimulating and memory sharpening tips to help you with your memory loss. Remember seek help from your doctor if you feel your memory is worse than it should be. Stay active - Mentally. Brain puzzles. Cross words. Read! Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and might keep memory loss at bay. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization. Regularly Socialize. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others — especially if you live alone. When you're invited to share a meal or attend an event, get going. Organize your life. You're more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current and check off items you've completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials. Limit distractions and don't try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you're trying to remember, you'll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you're trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept. Sleep! Sleep plays an important role in helping you consolidate your memories, so you can recall them down the road. Make getting enough sleep a priority. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a day. Talk to your doctor if you are having problems with your memory.
Not sleeping? Tossing and turning at night? Waking up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep? Or even having trouble falling asleep because you are in bed worrying about life? It’s no fun when you wake up feeling more tired, not refreshed, in the morning and are excessively tired during the day. You’re not alone. More than 25 percent of Americans report not getting enough sleep occasionally, and 10%, according to the CDC, experience insomnia almost every night. There are a lot of things that can help you have a chance to get some sleep. Consider exercise, turning off your screens far before going to bed, and do not drink alcohol to make you sleep, it just doesn’t work. Exercise. Did you know, regular exercise can be a great way to help stimulate better sleep? If you have trouble sleeping, avoid working out too late. Strenuous exercise can make you more alert. It also increases your body temperature, which may stay elevated for as many as six hours. Steer clear of workouts too close to bedtime. Aim to complete a workout two or three hours before you plan on going to sleep. Turn off your screens. It's tempting to try to wind down by reading on the computer or watching TV before bed, but both can actually stimulate you. The light and noise of TVs and computers can be engaging and can reduce brain melatonin levels. You want your melatonin levels to increase around bedtime to help you fall asleep. Need just a little noise to help you drift off? Try listening to relaxing music or download a relaxing, sleep app. Do not drink Alcohol - it doesn’t work. Think a cocktail before bed will offer relief? Think again. This myth probably persists because alcohol can help you fall asleep. But as it moves through your body it may lead to disturbed, restless sleep, or it may make you wake earlier. The sleep that you lose is hard to catch up on. It's unlikely that you can fully catch up, especially with our busy schedules. . Sleeping in one or two days a week or over the weekend may actually upset your natural body clock. The disruption may make it harder to get to sleep the next time. The only way to catch up on lost sleep is to get back into a regular sleep schedule. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you are having problems sleeping. We can help!