Natural Options For Managing Asthma

 Natural Options For Managing Asthma

 

 

 

Natural Remedies and Complimentary Treatments for Asthma Management

 

 

If you have asthma or care for someone who does, you probably already know that prescription drugs are the largest medical expense related to asthma. According to the American Lung Association, asthma medications cost $6 billion a year in the United States.

In addition to the expense of asthma prescriptions, keeping track of different inhalers and medications can also be a pain. If you’re seeking more natural methods of asthma treatment or are looking for ways to improve control of your asthma symptoms, you may be thinking about using a natural remedy or alternative treatment for your asthma.

The natural treatment of asthma focuses on several key principles: reducing allergic exposure, reducing the sensitivity and spasticity of the airways of the lungs, balancing the allergic/inflammatory pathways in the body, and correcting nutrient imbalances.

 

 

Steam Baths as Asthma Treatment

 

While warm steam baths have often been used to help alleviate nasal congestion and airway irritation associated with asthma, there’s never been a study that proves that steam treatments help improve asthma symptoms. It’s important to understand that it’s not a cure for asthma.

Even so, just because the studies haven’t established a definite benefit doesn’t mean that steam baths won’t be of benefit to some people.

Steam baths may relieve some of the symptoms because it may provide moisture to the airways.  One caution, though, is that steam can be dangerously hot, so in some asthmatics, it could exacerbate symptoms. So, always use a gentle steam and monitor how you react.

Steam baths may help offset some symptoms, particularly nasal stuffiness,  it has to be stressed that steam baths are not a substitute for asthma medications. 

If a steam bath isn’t convenient, try a personal steam inhaler to efficiently get the soothing steam into your nose and throat.

Example: This Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler provides gentle, germ-free steam.

 

 

Herbs and Other Alternative Asthma Treatment Options

 

A number of herbs have been touted as natural remedies for asthma.  While there are no definitive studies proving the efficacy of these options for asthma, it’s important to note that there is no financial incentive for large pharma companies to invest millions studying natural products which cannot be patented and profited from. So, just because a remedy hasn’t been scientifically proven, does not mean if doesn’t work for some people, or that it won’t work for you.  I do suggest, though, that you check with your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your routine.

 

Some alternative treatment options and their associated risks and benefits include:

 

Garlic

Garlic has been used as a natural remedy to manage many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, it would make sense that garlic may also help relieve asthma symptoms.

There have never been any controlled studies investigating the effect of garlic on asthma symptoms, so its role in asthma treatment is unknown. The use of garlic as an alternative treatment for asthma is, however, currently being studied.

 

 

 

Ginger

Ginger is also thought to decrease inflammation, and a recent study did show that oral ginger supplements were linked to improvement in asthma symptoms. The study didn’t show, however, that ginger use led to any improvement in actual lung function. As a result, we can’t really use this study to draw any conclusions about the use of ginger as an alternative treatment for asthma. Additional studies are now being conducted to evaluate more fully whether or not ginger may help manage asthma symptoms.

 

 

 

 

Turmeric

Turmeric has been the subject of a number of studies, and it has been found to have some anti-allergy properties. It’s thought that turmeric has an effect on histamines, which can cause inflammation. Nevertheless, much more research needs to be done before turmeric can be established as a safe and effective natural remedy for asthma. 

I have written extensively on turmeric (it’s a true adaptogenic herb that is beneficial in so many ways!).

 

 

 

Example: This Vimerson Health Turmeric and Ginger With Bioperine combines 2 helpful herbs plus bioperine, which enhances turmeric absorption.

 

 

Honey

Honey is an ingredient in many cough and cold remedies, used to help sooth an irritated throat and calm a cough. Many people with asthma may try mixing honey with a hot drink for relief, but again, there are no studies to support the use of honey as an alternative treatment for asthma symptoms.  Choose Manuka honey for its added health benefits.

 

 

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are often used as a natural remedy to help prevent and treat heart disease. Though some research suggests that omega-3s may also help to decrease airway inflammation and boost lung function, there’s still a lot that isn’t known about their role in asthma treatment. There is some literature to say thatfish oil supplements may also be beneficial in people with asthma, but as of right now, more research needs to be done.

Example: Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

 

 

 

Avoid Echinacea and Licorice Root 

 

 

One study that examined the use of a number of different herbs to treat asthma found that Echinacea — an herb often used to treat upper respiratory infections — was not only ineffective, but was also associated with a number of side effects.

Worsening asthma symptoms, skin rashes and possible liver damage when taken with other medications are risks linked to Echinacea use. Likewise, licorice root — which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is sometimes used by people with asthma to soothe their lungs — was found to be ineffective as an alternative treatment for asthma and was also associated with side effects such as high blood pressure.

There have not been any clinical trials that have shown either Echinacea or licorice root to be an effective asthma treatment and she notes that there have been some reports that Echinacea may worsen asthma symptoms in some people.  So, just stay away from both.

 

 

 

Check Your Indoor Air Quality

 

There might not be much you can do about pollution outdoors, but minimizing pollutants in your home can greatly lessen susceptibility to outdoor asthma attacks.

Believe it or not, the Environmental Protection Agency tells us our indoor environments are two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environments!

Here are tips to help you remove many sources of irritants that are likely found in your home:

 

  • Try to keep a window open even during the winter to bring fresh air in. If you can afford it, use a heat recovery ventilator (air-to-air heat exchanger) to bring outside air in.

 

  • Avoid secondhand smoke from wood-burning stoves and cigarettes.

 

  • Switch to natural cleaning products or use baking soda, lavender oil and vinegar to make your own. There are many simple recipes available online that can keep added chemicals out of your home and save you a bundle of money.  I like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products.  They’re made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients, they smell wonderful, and yes – they are very effective.

 

  • Avoid antibacterial soaps and disinfectants.

 

 

  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas, and fix water leaks to reduce mold.  If you have (or suspect) a mold problem, read this article.

 

  • Buy a water filter to remove chlorine from your tap water.

 

  • Install flooring or carpets that you can vacuum beneath to reduce dust mites.  Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner.

 

  • Wash bedding weekly, and keep upholstery and carpets regularly vacuumed.

I use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent. It’s a natural, HE compatible product that does a great job on dirty laundry. It’s free of phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, artificial colors, parabens, animal derived ingredients, MEA, DEA, optical brighteners.

 

  • Use sheets and pillow cases that are non-allergenic and don’t contain down or feathers.

 

  • Keep furry friends out of the bedroom to limit the amount of pet hair you’re exposed to. Clean and brush pets regularly to remove some of their fur that can wind up around your home.

 

  • Cockroaches are another asthma trigger, so speak with a professional exterminator if you suspect you might have some in your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manage Your Stress

 

The Western lifestyle includes high degrees of emotional stress, and studies show that stress management techniques help reduce asthma severity. It’s well-known that stress increases the severity and frequency of asthmatic attacks because it hinders immune function and raises inflammation.

In fact, studies show that roughly 67 percent or more of asthmatics have diminished adrenal capacity, increased anxiety and other mood disorders related to stress. Mood disorders are considered “adaptive diseases” — that is, they result from a person’s inability to deal with stress.

Try natural stress relievers, including massage, deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and art therapies. These can all help reduce stress and give asthmatics the tools to modulate their stress responses. This lowers susceptibility to future attacks and lessens reliance on asthma drugs.

On a personal note, we have a massage chair at our house, and it is a huge stress reducer (plus, it helped my husband heal from debilitating sciatica pain).  I wrote about that and reviewed the best massage chairs here.

 

 

Stay Active

 

A growing body of literature indicates that lifestyle changes in recent decades, specifically decreased physical activity and dietary changes, are key contributing factors causing an increase in asthma prevalence and severity. Obesity is linked to higher risk for asthma and other breathing problems, including sleep apnea.

Although vigorous exercise can sometimes cause symptoms in people who already have asthma, staying active is generally very beneficial for improving immune function, preventing obesity, dealing with stress and lowering inflammation.

 

 

Asthma Attacks May be Unavoidable – Always Wear a Medical ID for Asthma

 

Over time, people with asthma may learn what triggers their asthma attacks and are thus better able to avoid having serious episodes. However, not all allergens are avoidable, and not all asthma attacks are caused by allergies. In fact, as we discussed, many asthma attacks are unavoidable because they are caused by chemicals, exercise, smoke exposure, and stress.

While most asthma attacks are treatable with rescue drugs such as inhalers, sometimes an inhaler is too far away to be reached. Other times, the attack may be extreme. In both instances, those surrounding the person suffering an asthma attack need to know what to do and how to help.

By wearing medical ID jewelry, those with asthma can have their diagnosis and treatment protocol on hand in the event they are unable to speak. Additionally, if EMTs do need to respond, knowing the cause of someone’s inability to breathe can contribute toward faster, more effective treatment.

If you have asthma, wearing medical ID jewelry is imperative. I recommend listing your name, diagnosis(es), any medications, all allergies, and emergency contact numbers.

Here are some examples of what to engrave on your asthma medical alert jewelry (ICE = In Case of Emergency):

 

Medical ID BraceletBELLA FRANKLIN
ASTHMA
GIVE INHALER
CALL 911
ICE 555-746-4097

 

ANGELA CURTIS
ASTHMA
INHALER IN PURSE
ICE 555-746-4097
ICE 555-746-0014

 

JESSE ABRAMS
ALGYS: BEES, LATEX
SEVERE ASTHMA
EPI & INHALER IN BAG
ICE 555-746-0014

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Risk factors and underlying contributors of asthma include an inflammatory/poor diet, low immune function, food or seasonal allergies, and exposure to household or environmental irritants.  Anything you can do to mitigate those factors will help with asthma management.

Look into supplements which reduce inflammation and enhance your body’s immunity, try to cut down on stress, and avoid chemicals and pollutants wherever possible.

 

Recommended Reading:

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on natural options for managing asthma.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Is the SoClean CPAP Cleaner Worth Buying?

The Most Powerful Herb on the Planet

How Manuka Honey Helps Ulcerative Colitis

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

 

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

 

 

TeloYears+TeloCoach

 

… And Should You Bother With It?

 

A fast-growing body of research is finding that telomere length in leukocytes, the white blood cells of the immune system, reliably predicts age-related disease — and can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors, such as exercise and diet.

Twenty years ago little was known about the aging process. Many ideas existed but nothing was certain. Today we know how and why we age. We cannot control it just yet, but even that may change in the near future.

The human body has 100 trillion highly-specialized cells. Each of these cells has sets of chromosomes that contain your DNA and RNA, the latter being a compound that tells each cell what its job is. At the ends of each chromosome are cap pieces called telomeres. These telomeres keep the DNA and RNA from getting damaged by all of the activity that goes on in a cell.

 

 

What Your Immortal Cells Can Tell Us

Research demonstrated that the vast majority of cells in our bodies are mortal and have a fixed lifespan. On average, they can divide only 52 times and no more. When the cell cannot divide anymore, it is said to be senescent and susceptible to disease, infection, malfunctioning, and death. The reason cells cannot divide more than 52 times is that half of the telomere goes with the newly-cloned cell and half stays with the parent. Eventually the telomere is so short it cannot divide into two.

A tiny percentage of the cells in your body are immortal and can divide again and again with no limit.

These immortal cells are largely a part of your immune system and fight off diseases and infections as well as repair injuries. Immortal cells also have telomeres that split into two, but an enzyme called telomerase restores the telomeres to their full size after cell division. For some reason the mortal cells in our bodies do not allow telomerase inside. Only the immortal cells do so.

 

While immune cells are essential for our survival, another category of immortal cells are very deadly, and these are cancer cells.

When cancer starts to grow in a person’s body, the immune cells are dispatched to the area, recognize cancer as not belonging there, and try to do away with it. The immune cells bring telomerase to the location where the cancer is growing to clone themselves onsite. However telomerase also fuels the growth of the cancer. Cancer cells need telomerase to clone themselves and cannot do so without it.

 

 

A Possible Cure for Cancer?

One really intriguing possibility presents itself: Can we cure cancer by denying telomerase to the portion of the body where the cancer is growing?

Well, such a medicine has been developed, and right now there are four clinical trials taking place with human cancer patients to test its effectiveness.

To be deemed a success, the medicine must:

(1) kill all cancer cells, not just some of them;

(2) not spread to other parts of the body and take out telomerase where it is assisting immune cells; and

(3) not cause serious side effects like heart attack or stroke.

 


TeloYears “Now and Later” 2-pack

from: Telomere Diagnostics 

 

If successful, the cancer cells would not be able to clone themselves and multiply. The existing cancer cells would become senescent and die. Since 90 percent of all cancer cells are rapidly growing and need telomerase, the medicine has potential to take out all of these cancers at once.

Time will tell if these studies are successful.

 

 

Fountain of Youth

Another intriguing possibility also exists: Can we get the mortal cells in our bodies to welcome telomerase inside, turning these mortal cells into immortal ones? If done to all of our mortal cells, we would then become immortal. Believe it or not, this has already been done, albeit on a small scale.

Researchers collected human senescent cells that are incapable of dividing. Telomerase was force-fed to the cells in a test-tube study.

What happened? The senescent cells had their biological clocks reset to zero and started dividing again, just like baby cells. In one case they divided 26 times before the experiment came to an end.

Importantly, none of the cells in the experiment showed any cancer or tumor growth. This is great news, as scientists had previously speculated that the reason the body does not allow telomerase inside 99 percent of its cells — with the exception of immune cells and some cells that develop during pregnancy — is to prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

Researchers are working on methods to introduce telomerase into mortal cells. It is one thing to do research with just 100 cells in a test tube and another to do it with 100 trillion cells in the entire human body. However, we know exactly what needs to be done to make the Fountain of Youth a reality.

 

The Telomere Effect

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer

Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shared a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres—structures at the tips of chromosomes that play a key role in cellular aging. 

The main message of her breakthrough book, “The Telomere Effect,” is that you have more control over your own aging than you may imagine. You can actually lengthen your telomeres—and perhaps your life—by following sound health advice, the authors argue, based on a review of thousands of studies.

“Telomeres listen to you, they listen to your behaviors, they listen to your state of mind,” said Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Telomeres sit at the end of strands of DNA, like the protective caps on shoelaces. Stress from a rough lifestyle will shorten those caps, making it more likely that cells will stop dividing and essentially die.

Too many of these senescent cells accelerates human aging, the pair say. This doesn’t cause any particular disease, but research suggests that it hastens the time when whatever your genes have in store will occur—so if you’re vulnerable to heart disease, you’re more likely to get it younger if your telomeres are shorter, said Epel, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center.

“We can provide a new level of specificity and tell people more precisely with clues emerging from telomere science, what exactly about exercise is related to long telomeres, what exact foods are related to long telomeres, what aspects of sleep are more related to long telomeres,” Epel added.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Should we all just sit around and wait for more scientific telomere discoveries to happen?

That would be a great mistake, because we already know of four sets of factors that each correlate with longevity, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia (as well as many other deadly conditions).

 

These four factors are:

  • aerobic exercise,
  • cognitive enrichment,
  • psychological states of mind
  • nutrition

Discover how well you are agingThere is a proven correlation between telomere length and these four factors. For example, one study found that runners have been found to have longer telomeres than sedentary people.

The bottom line is that if you take great care of your body,  cell division is postponed, just as  research also shows that if you take lousy care of your body and the cells are under stress, they will divide more quickly, shortening your telomeres.

Doing the right things with these four factors will not make you immortal, but it may be the difference between dying in your 90s and dying in your 60s.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

 

Are Genetic Testing Services Worthwhile?

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Midlife Health Screening Women NEED in Their 50’s

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan

Complete Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

Fatty Liver – What I Wish I Had Known

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Midlife Health Screening Women Need

Health Screenings Women Need in Their 50’s

 

 

Checkups and a few special tests can be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself.

 

 

What’s Different Now?

 

You’ll need to see your health care professional more frequently now that you are in your 50s, plus you’ll have to have some new preventive tests and screenings to keep your health in check.

If you are at high risk or have a family history of medical problems, or you have serious medical conditions, you’ll need specialized care and additional tests beyond the basic recommendations.

Checkups and a few special tests can be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself. Your doctor can tell a great deal about your health by talking to you, looking at you, and examining certain areas of your body.

Whether you are seeing a gynecologist and/or a family doctor for your routine check-ups it is important that you know exactly what you need — and what to expect. Young women tend to see a gynecologist for their regular check-ups as they have been “programmed” to get an annual Pap test and breast exam.

After childbearing, many women stop going to a gynecologist (too many women think that after childbearing they no longer need a Pap test or gynecologic exam) and rely on their family doctor to do all the routine exams — both general and gynecologic. Yet too many family doctors are already overwhelmed with “too much to do and too little time” that many important tests can get missed or fall under the radar screen.

Some women, on the other hand, see both a gynecologist for their gynecological exams and a family doctor or Internist for their general check up and screening for chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. So for many women, no one doctor takes care of it all — so it is up to you to see that you get all the tests you need — at the right time and on time.

Add to that the fact that no one doctor today can keep up with all the latest information about everything — the importance of the new HPV test along with the Pap test is a case in point.

 

 

Have a Complete Physical

 

It can take a physician at least an hour or more to provide a thorough evaluation to a woman who needs both a comprehensive history and physical evaluation including a pelvic exam. When was the last time a doctor spent an hour or more with you?

Make sure that you tell the receptionist that you are coming for a complete physical so that they schedule enough time and come as prepared as possible so that you get all care and attention you need.

 

 

Guidelines For Preventive Health Screenings and Immunizations in Your 50’s

 

Here are guidelines for preventive health screenings and immunizations generally recommended for healthy women in their 50s:

 

General Physical Exam

This includes taking a detailed history to learn all about you and your family history and a head-to-toe physical exam including an exam of your skin, eye, ears, nose throat, lymph nodes, chest, breast, abdomen, rectum and extremities.  Make sure you get a breast exam and rectal exam and stool check for blood by your family doctor if you are not examined yearly by a gynecologist as well.

 

Weight

Obesity screening is now considered a preventive checkup. Ask your health care professional for more information on healthy weight guidelines or weight-management strategies.

 

Waist circumference (WC)

Women with increased WC are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and cancer of breast and uterus.

BMI (measure of height and weight): much less reliable estimate of future health risk than WC and body shape.

 

Blood Pressure

Test for hypertension: Have your blood pressure taken at least every two years if normal; more often if it is at or above 120/80.

 

Bone Mineral Density Exam/Bone Mass Measurement:

This is recommended for women who have sustained a fracture, are at increased risk due to certain medications or have diseases or conditions that are known to be associated with bone loss.

This test is an x-ray, also called the DXA scan, which measures your bone density. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk for bone fractures. (There is also a much less accurate heel ultrasound test that does NOT diagnose osteoporosis but merely tells your doctor whether you are at risk and should have the more complete x-ray DXA scan test.)

The DXA scan is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The most important score or result to check is your T-score. The T-score tells you how your bones compare to that of a healthy 35 year old woman. If your T-score falls between -1 and -2.5 then you have mild bone loss called osteopenia. If your T score is -2.5 or lower, than you have osteoporosis and a significant increased risk of fractures.

 

Recommended: Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes and Reverse Aging by Sara Gottfried, M.D.

 

Breast Self-Exam

Some health care professionals suggest doing a breast self-examination each month. However, research has shown that BSE plays a small role in finding breast cancer compared with finding a breast lump by chance or simply knowing what is normal. If you choose to perform a monthly BSE, ask your health care professional to show you how to perform one.

 

Clinical Breast Exam

You should talk with your health care professional about getting this exam. Screening recommendations vary on whether this is beneficial in combination with a mammogram, so talk with your health care provider about whether it’s right for you. If so, your doctor or other health care professional will examine your breasts for any abnormalities, often as part of the annual gynecologic examination.

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Women 50 years and older should be screened for colorectal cancer using any of several screening methods. There are a number of tests that screen for colorectal cancer, and they are divided into two groups: tests that find both colorectal cancer and polyps, and those that mainly find cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk of colorectal cancer have one of the following screening tests beginning at age 50:

 

Tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
  • Double contrast barium enema every five years

(If any of the above tests are positive, a colonoscopy should be done.)

 

Tests that mainly find cancer:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
  • Stool DNA (sDNA), interval uncertain

 

Discuss options and procedures with your health care professional to determine the best screening method for you.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

EKG 

A baseline EKG to assess your heart’s electrical activity should be done by age 50.  IF you are at increased risk for heart disease, ask for a special CT scan, stress test using a heart ultrasound or special dye to get more accurate pictures of your heart.

Tip: Ask your doctor to reduce the size of your printout on a copy machine. Then carry it with you in your wallet along with your emergency health card. Also keep a copy in your binder or folder for future reference. If you need emergency care, a copy of your old EKG compared to a new one will help your doctors decide how best to treat you.

Make sure you understand the purpose of every exam or test your doctor orders for you. Because everyone is different you must be sure to talk with your doctor about your specific treatment goals.

In addition, keeping an ongoing log of any tests or procedures you’ve had and recording the information in your calendar will help remind you to schedule regular checkups such as mammograms and a cholesterol check.

 

Dental Exam

Visit the dentist regularly. Check-ups can detect early signs of oral health problems and bone loss. Professional tooth cleaning is also important for preventing oral problems and should be done every six to 12 months.

 

Diabetes Screening

You should be screened every three years; more often or earlier if you’re overweight or have other risks for diabetes.

 

Eye exam

The American Academy of Ophthalmology now recommends that starting at age 40, adults with no risk factors or signs of eye disease get a baseline screening. Then based on the results of that initial screening, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary follow-up exams.

For people of any age with symptoms of eye disease or risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of eye problems, the academy recommends they see an ophthalmologist to determine how often they should have their eyes examined.

 

Mammography

Beginning at age 40, you may be offered an annual mammography to screen for breast cancer . Guidelines on breast cancer screening vary, so talk to your health care professional about what’s right for you. Some doctors prefer to begin screening at age 50 or only offer it every two years.

A mammogram is an x-ray that can detect breast cancer early; often before a lump can be felt. It is best to schedule this test a week after your period, a time when your breasts will be least tender and glandular.

If you are taking Hormone therapy after menopause your breasts may appear more glandular or dense from the hormones. Ask your doctor about stopping the hormones a few weeks before the scheduled test. Women over 50 should have this test yearly. Women at high risk for breast cancer should ask about a digital mammogram and an MRI.

 

Pap Test and Pelvic Exam:

Get a Pap test every three years or both a Pap test and an HPV test every five years. The Pap test screens for abnormalities that could indicate pre- or early cervical cancer.

If you have risk factors such as previous abnormal screening results, multiple sex partners, a weakened immune system, DES exposure in utero or HIV infection, you should have a Pap test every year. Talk to your health care professional about what’s right for you.

If you have had a total hysterectomy (removal of both your uterus and cervix), you may stop having cervical cancer screenings, unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer or precancer. If you had a hysterectomy without removal of your cervix, you should continue to follow the guidelines above.

Remember: Don’t confuse your annual or semiannual Pap test with a gynecologic examination. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all women your age have a gynecologic examination, including a pelvic exam, annually.

 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

If you have a history of chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or you or your partner have had multiple sex partners, ask your health care professional about whether you need to be screened for STDs, including gonorrhea and HIV.

 

Skin Exam for Skin Cancer

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you have your skin examined by a dermatologist every year. Recommendations include doing a monthly mole self-exam and practicing sun safety to reduce your risk of damaging your skin and developing skin cancer. If you have had skin cancer or have a relative with a history of melanoma, ask your health care professional for guidance.

Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is reaching epidemic levels thanks to excessive sun exposure and loss of the protective ozone layer. It is important that you get a head-to-toe check of your skin on an annual basis.

 

Recommended: Menopause Confidential: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Thriving Through Midlife by Tara Allmen, MD

 

Blood Work 

 

An overnight fast or fasting sample is critical. Your blood contains a great deal of information about your health.  When your doctor orders the lab to run a complete series of tests, you can find out about the status of your liver, your thyroid, your blood cholesterol, your blood sugar and much more.

 

A Complete blood count (this is optional)

This is the most common blood test. Your doctor may order it as part of a complete physical examination. He’ll also order it before you have surgery and if you have unexplained and continuing symptoms. The complete blood count (CBC) measures the number, size and shape of the different types of cells in your blood.

Women at increased risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease (women with waist circumference over 35 inches) should ask for a C-reactive protein test – and important test of blood inflammation and marker of future heart disease risk.

 

Blood Chemistry Tests

A single sample of your blood serum can be used to run a series of tests quickly and inexpensively.

The following explains the most commonly requested tests:

Glucose can indicate diabetes if your level is high or hypoglycemia if it’s low. A fasting glucose of less than 100 is normal, a level of 100 to 125 is abnormal and called “impaired glucose tolerance” and a level of 126 or greater means diabetes.

Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine are tests of your kidney function.

Sodium, Potassium and Chloride are blood salts or electrolytes. These tests are especially important if you are on diuretics (“water pills”) for hypertension or heart disease.

Uric Acid is a waste product of all cells. An elevated level may mean kidney disease or gout.

Albumin is a blood protein produced by your liver. A low albumin count can be a sign of liver or kidney disease.

Globulin is a blood protein produced by your immune system. A high count can point to chronic inflammation, infection or blood disorders such as multiple myeloma.

Calcium is a component of your blood that helps all the cells in your body function normally. Your blood calcium level has nothing to do with how much calcium is in your bones. A high count can point to a disorder called hyperparathyroidism, which predisposes you to kidney stones and low bone density.

Serum Glutamine Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT) and Serum Glutamate Oxaloacetate Transaminase (SGOT) are enzymes (proteins) produced primarily by the liver. SGOT is also produced by red blood cells.

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme produced by many cells of the body. If this test is extremely high, your doctor will want to do additional tests, depending on your specific complaints to rule out a malignancy.

Bilirubin is the chemical in bile that gives it the yellow color. If the bile passages from the liver to the intestine are blocked, your bilirubin level will be high. Possible causes include gallstones and liver disease.

Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGT) is an enzyme produced by the liver. Obesity and excessive alcohol use are the most common reasons it can be mildly increased. It will also be elevated when there is blockage of bile and with liver disease.

Alkaline Phosphatase is an enzyme produced by the liver and bones. If it is abnormal (elevated), looking at the GGT (see above) will help determine the source. If the GGT is elevated as well, the liver is the culprit.

Blood fats or blood lipidsAlso called lipids, these are often listed together in a separate “panel” on your blood chemistry report. Sometimes only the total cholesterol and perhaps the triglyceride level will be listed if your doctor didn’t specifically request results for the lipid panel. However, you need all your numbers in order to make the best evaluation for heart disease.

Total cholesterol is the sum of your LDL and HDL (see below). High total cholesterol levels are linked to heart disease. The lower your total cholesterol the better. A total below 200 is desirable.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is your “good cholesterol”. Remember, “high density should be high.” The more of this type, the better. Ideally, your HDL cholesterol should be at least 30% of your total amount. In men, an HDL greater than 40 is normal; in women, an HDL greater than 50 is normal.

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is your “bad cholesterol”. Remember, “low density should be low”. A high LDL puts you at risk for heart disease; your doctor will suggest diet and often medication to get your LDL cholesterol below 130. If you have diabetes or heart disease already, your treatment goal for LDL cholesterol should be below 100.

Triglycerides are the other form of fat in your blood. The level will be much higher after a meal. If your level is out of range it should be repeated after an overnight fast. Elevated levels increase your risk of heart disease and could be a sign of early diabetes. Ideally they should be under 150.

 

Thyroid Test

Recommendations vary. The American Thyroid Association recommends having a TSH screening test at age 35 and then once every five years.

Note that mood changes (anxiety or depression) can indicate that your thyroid is out of whack.  Also, according to the Mayo Clinic,  an elevated blood cholesterol level can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The American Thyroid Association explains that “When thyroid hormone levels are low and TSH levels are increased (hypothyroidism), cholesterol levels are increased.”  So treatment for hypothyroidism may also help to lower cholesterol levels.

 

Ask your health care professional for guidance.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

Immunizations:

 

Hepatitis A

This vaccine is recommended for adults who live, work or travel in areas where hepatitis A is endemic and periodic outbreaks occur, or users of injection or street drugs, military personnel, institutionalized persons and those working in those institutions.

 

Hepatitis B

The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all adults at high risk for infection; high-risk individuals include injection drug users and their sexual partners; anyone with a history of multiple sexual partners in the previous six months or who has recently acquired a sexually transmitted disease; recipients of certain drug products; individuals with a health-related job with frequent exposure to blood or blood products; and travelers to countries where hepatitis B virus (HBV) is of high concern.

 

Influenza

Have a yearly influenza vaccination.

 

Pneumococcal

You need one to two doses if you smoke or if you have certain chronic medical conditions.

 

Tetanus

You should have tetanus-diphtheria booster shots every 10 years.

 

Shingles

An advisory panel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendes  that all adults 50 and older receive the new two-shot vaccine, Shingrix, which is 97 percent effective in preventing shingles in people 50 to 69 years old, and 91 percent effective in those 70 and older.  Check with your doctor to see if this vaccine is recommended for you.

 

New – The HPV Test Now For Women Over 30

Women over thirty and that means women 50 and over too, should ask for the human papilloma virus (HPV) test along with the Pap test, also called the DNAwithPap™ test or the HPV test with Pap test.

This combination of tests is now recommended for women over the age of thirty because a positive HPV test could mean you are a chronic carrier of the virus that is the sole cause of cervical cancer and therefore at increased risk of cervical cancer — and may require additional tests and treatment of any abnormal cells caused by the virus.  Women in their twenties commonly acquire the virus but it doesn’t persist because their immune system fights it off. 

Since cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus, having a negative HPV test and a Pap test is very reassuring and virtually guarantees that you are not at risk for cervical cancer over the next few years. 

If both tests are negative which will be the case for 95% of women over 30, then you can safely get the HPV and Pap test every three years instead of annually.

 

 

Links of Interest:

 

  • Arrange your own discount medical lab tests (without a doctor’s order) at Walk-In-Lab.
  • Discover what your DNA says about how well you’re aging with TELOYEARS.
  • Get your appetite under control and lose weight comfortably with Phen375.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Women over 50 should maintain good relationships with their doctors and keep regular medical appointments. Early detection is key for the successful treatment and management of health concerns, so get screened and be proactive.

 

Recommended: DrFormulas Menopause Support: Supports Hormonal Balance With Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Flavonoids & Isoflavones

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful information.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

 

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

Criteria For Choosing Your Best Weight Loss Plan

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health!

How to Find The Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

An Overview of Popular Diet Plans – Which One is Best?

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Should You Be Taking Daily Probiotics?

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

 Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

(And Other Medical ID Jewelry)

More than 95 percent of emergency medical responders look for a medical ID; more than 75 percent check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.  Should you be wearing one?

 

A medical ID provides information that could save your life in an emergency. With medical conditions, drug and food allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts engraved onto its surface, a medical ID bracelet or necklace guides paramedics and doctors in giving you appropriate, timely treatment when you are unable to communicate.  Image above:  VNOX Men’s Medical ID Bracelet with Free Engraving.

 

 

Why Wear a Medical ID?

 

In an emergency, when you might be unable to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace protects you by speaking for you.

Lack of information can be dangerous –

  • Symptoms of common ailments can be misdiagnosed easily.
  • Prompt diagnosis critical to effective treatment may be delayed.
  • Half of all medical errors occur because of mistakes made upon admission to or discharge from the hospital according to a study conducted in the US.

 

 

Paramedics Look for Medical ID

 

According to a recent U.S. survey of emergency medical professionals, including EMTs and paramedics –

  • More that 95 percent of repondents look for a medical ID during emergencies.
  • More that 75 percent look for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.
  • 95 percent look at the patient’s wrist to find a medical ID and 68 percent look for an ID on the patient’s neck.

 

 This is what the paramedics will (and won’t do):

• First they feel around both wrists for a medical bracelet
• If no bracelet, they look around your neck
• Last place they look is around your ankles
• They’ll read all information on both sides of the tag
• They’re especially concerned about blood thinners
• They don’t have time to make phone calls
• They’re reluctant to go into wallets without police observers

 

 

Doctors and Healthcare Organizations Recommend Medical IDs

 

Doctors and healthcare organizations throughout the world recommend medical IDs.  The following organizations are only a few who have formally recommended the wearing of medical IDs.

 

  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Mayo Clinic
  • National Institutes of Health
  • The Merck Manual
  • The National Association of EMS Educators
  • World Health Organization

 

 

Examples of Medical Conditions That Warrant Wearing a Medical ID:

 

  • Abnormal ECG/EKG
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Alchoholism
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Angina
  • Asthma
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Cataracts
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes (insulin dependent)
  • Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
  • Emphysema
  • Glaucoma
  • Hearing impairment
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Hypertension
  • Laryngectomy
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Mental retardation
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pacemaker or ICD implant
  • Renal failure
  • Seizure disorder
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Situs inversus
  • Stroke
  • Visual impairment

 

 

Listing Medication on Your Medical ID

 

As a rule and if space permits it is wise to list prescription medicines taken on a long-term or maintenance basis. This will give medical personnel better guidance for initiating treatment and will lessen the chance of a drug interaction.

 

Some classes of medicines that are appropriate for an ID are:

 

  • Analgesics: including many narcotics
  • Cardiac medicines: including ones for angina or atrial fibrillation
  • Anticoagulants: Blood Thinners
  • Anticonvulsants: for seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
  • Antihistamines, Decongestants: prescription or over-the-counter medicines for allergies
  • Antihypertensives: blood pressure medicines
  • Beta Blockers: drugs that can slow the heart rate
  • Chemotherapy agents: medicines for treating cancer or serious infectious diseases
  • Steroids

 

 

Listing Your Allergies

 

Allergic reactions to drugs, foods and insects can cause serious medical problems. A medical ID informs medics of an allergy, allowing for rapid response to a serious allergic reaction.

Allergens are numerous. Some common examples include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Analgesics: aspirin
  • Antibiotics: cephalosporins, erythromycins
  • Narcotics
  • Foods: nuts, wheat, dairy products, soy
  • Other: horse serum, insect stings, latex, x-ray dye

 

 

Other Information You Can Add on Your Medical ID

 

With space permitting, anything can be engraved on your medical ID,including:

 

  • Advance directive
  • Living will
  • DNR
  • Blood type
  • Contact lenses
  • Difficult intubation
  • Emergency contacts (next of kin, doctor, etc.)
  • Faith
  • Implant (e.g., pacemaker)
  • Organ donor
  • Transplanted organ
  • Stent
  • See wallet card

 

 

Tips For Engraving Your Medical ID

 

Start With Your Doctor

To begin with, ask your doctor to explain your illness so you understand what to say and how to abbreviate your conditions and medications, as well as what critical issues need to be listed, and in what order of importance.

List only medical conditions that should be known in an emergency. For example, a minor surgery that took place several years ago may no longer be relevant to your medical care.

 

Organize Your Medical Information

Each medical ID style allows a different amount of information to be engraved. If you know you will need a lot of information engraved, select a style that can accommodate this, such as our two-sided IDs. You can also engrave “See wallet card” and list more information there than can fit on your ID. You should list frequently changing medicines only on a wallet card.

Summarize your information with short, descriptive words. Any information that will not fit on your medical ID bracelet or necklace can be written on a wallet or handbag ID card.

Only medicines taken on a long-term basis should be engraved on a medical ID. You may wish to list the most important medicines first.

If you need help deciding what to engrave, you can always ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn Your Cellular Age

 

What to List on Your Medical ID (And How to List It)

 

Remember that first responders and doctors are trained to know the shorthand abbreviations.

 

Use “ON” and “NO”

Paramedics and doctors need to know quickly if you are taking meds, or can’t take them. That’s why “ON” tells them that you must take a medication that is critical to your health.  For example: ON COUMADIN.

On the other hand, the word “NO” tells them that you’re allergic to specific meds, foods or even anaphylactic. For example: NO MORPHINE or NO SHELLFISH.

Make sure you tell them if you’re taking or can’t take meds to avoid any confusion.

 

Blood thinners are usually best to be listed on the top since you could be bleeding internally due to trauma: ON XARELTO, ON PLAVIX, ON COUMADIN or ON BLOOD THINNER.

 

List all allergies to medications, foods and anything else that might cause an emergency, or what needs to be said to get you through a crisis such as NO NUTS, NO PCN, NO MORPHINE, NO BEES-USE EPIPEN.

 

Diabetes patients need to communicate DIABETIC 2-MEDS, DM1-INSULIN DEP, DM1-INSULIN PUMP, etc. Diabetes orgs. recommend using Arabic numbers and not Roman numerals to avoid confusion.

 

No MRI for most pacemakers, defibrillators and stimulators: NO MRI: PACEMAKER, NO MRI: ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator). List ferrous metal implants such as plates, pins, cerebral & heart aneurysm clips, screws, stents and meshes: NO MRI: PIN L-LEG, NO MRI: PLATE-HEAD, NO MRI: BRAIN CLIP.

 

Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be described as FORGETFUL, MEMORY LOSS, or ALZ.

 

Artificial Knees, Hips & Spine Injuries—specify where located:  R-KNEE: TKR (total knee replacement), L-HIP: THR (total hip replacement), SPINE MESH-SCI (spinal cord injury).

 

Lymphedema patients cannot have blood pressure taken or needle punctures such as R-ARM: NO BP/IV, NO NEEDLES/LABS.

 

Artificial heart valves & heart conditions: List CHF (chronic heart failure) or CABG (coronary artery bypass graft). 

 

Bariatric Bypass Surgery: Tell not to insert a blind gastric tube to avoid stomach punctures such as: GASTRIC BYPASS, NO BLIND NGT. 

 

Transplant Patients need to specify the type of transplant and anti-rejection meds such as heart, kidney or lung transplants: KIDNEY TX, HEART TX, ON CELLCEPT, ON PROGRAF.

 

Allergies to Med Classes: NO OPIOIDS, NO SULFA, NO CILLINS, NO MYCINS.

 

Space is At A Premium on a Medical ID

Be sure to shorten the information. For example, instead of saying “TAKING PENICILLIN”, you can say ON PCN. And it’s too long to say “DIABETIC TYPE 2 TAKING INSULIN” when you could say DM2-INSULIN or DIABETIC 2-INSULIN.

And medical conditions don’t have to be long to be clear to medical people.
“KIDNEY TRANSPLANT” can be written as KIDNEY TX. “ATRIAL FIBRILLATION” is AFIB. “AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT” is AVR.

 

Listing Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency phone numbers are stated as “ICE” which stands for “In Case of Emergency”. This would precede the number: ICE 888-234-5678.

It’s best to have a cell number of a family member or close friend who knows your medical issues.  However, don’t count on any phone number to be called by paramedics or doctors as they are usually too busy saving your life, so make sure all critical information is stated on your ID Tag.

   

Should You Engrave Your Name?

Engraving your name on your medical ID is a matter of personal preference. However, listing at least a first name is recommended. In an emergency, EMRs and doctors will say a person’s name in an effort to get his or her attention if the person is, for example, in a daze, a diabetic coma or unconscious.

Alzheimer’s patients should include his or her name and address or the address of a caregiver or family member.

 

Please visit Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry. It’s more than a piece of jewelry.  It’s peace of mind.

Lauren's Hope Medical ID

 

 

Why Other Medical Information Sources  Aren’t as Good as Medical ID’s

 

Your Wallet and Cell Phone

Lost wallets and broken phones may prevent retrieving your medical information in emergencies such as car accidents. Just because you have a medical card in your wallet does not guarantee that your wallet will be found or searched.
Even your cell phone may be broken or lost in the weeds.  That’s why you can only count on a medical ID that’s securely attached. 

 

Cellular Rescue Services 

Cellular Rescue Services with buttons or fall detection are great for people at severe risk, but may not be enough in every medical emergency.  Pressing a button and having your fall detected gets medical services to you quickly. However, once the emergency people get there, will they be completely informed about your pre-existing conditions? 
   
Paramedics are usually too busy to make phone calls if that’s required.  And, if the service can speak through the speaker, the information must be given quickly without delay otherwise they can’t wait.
   
What if you’re in a no-service cell zone—where is the information then?
     

Always having a medical ID bracelet is usually the quickest, surest way to convey your pre-existing conditions, your allergies, and what meds you are taking—right there on the spot—when every second counts!  It only makes common sense to protect yourself in every way possible—a cellular service and a bracelet!
    

Medical USB’s and QR Codes

98% of medical USB’s and QR Codes are useless in America. In a middle of an emergency, paramedics, hospitals and doctors have no time to access the equipment needed to read personal USB’s and QR Codes on medical bracelets.  As a matter of policy, most hospitals and first responders are forbidden to insert any private media into official computers for fear of viruses.

Also in emergencies, USB’s take too much time to load and read.  Most paramedics are not allowed to use their personal or hospital phones to read QR codes because of policy and HIPAA compliance. In most cases, there are “no universal standards” and scanners to permit reading these codes.

Also, be aware that most QR codes require a cellular connection to the internet to retrieve your medical information. Mountains, valleys and heavily forested areas can block this service. At this time, there is no nationwide Federal hospital standards to coordinate and read these devices. If you intend to use one of these devices or codes, make sure your area hospitals and EMT’s can read and accept your data before investing in this technology.

 

800-Number Medical Data Services    
    
Any service providing important medical information is helpful.  However, paramedics are usually too busy saving lives and unfortunately have no time to make calls to any phone service. Doctors in emergency rooms are also too busy to call. It’s only when an unconscious person comes out of the ER when nurses usually call for more information. Having a number for a medical data service on your ID tag can help—after the emergency is over!
  
It’s always better to have all “critical information” firmly attached to you.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Medical IDs are not just for emergencies. They can forestall problems eliminating trips to hospital, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and preventing minor emergencies from becoming major ones. Medical IDs save time and trouble as well as lives!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

Please visit Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry.

 

Lauren's Hope Medical ID Jewelry

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

New Solution to Dementia Wandering

Important Tips for Dealing With Dementia Wandering

Important Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Tips For Easier Senior Car Travel

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

 

The Solution to Dementia Wandering

The Solution to Dementia Wandering

 

 

 

Are You Worried About Someone You Care About Getting Lost?

 

The most important part of a caregiver’s job is to keep an elderly loved one safe. Some caregivers have elderly loved ones who are prone to wandering, especially those with dementia or other diseases. For example, a diabetic’s low blood sugars may cause episodes of confusion causing the person to wander. Whatever the cause, wandering is dangerous for the elderly and worrisome for caregivers.

 

 

There’s a New, Unobtrusive Option (Finally!)

Now there is finally a new option for monitoring loved ones’ locations, even from a any distance.  This system works really well for caregivers of seniors who could benefit from monitoring but who do not want or need round-the-clock supervision.  I am really excited about what I think is the ideal solution to relieve the stress of worrying about someone wandering off and getting lost or hurt:   Smartsole, a GPS tracking system, includes all the necessary equipment to provide state-of-the-art monitoring for caregivers.

 

 

New Monitoring Device

For some caregivers, being present round-the-clock simply is not possible. In addition to this, even caregivers who are present 24/7 cannot be by the side of a wander-prone senior at all times; it’s just impossible.

Electronic monitoring systems can help prevent wandering and also immediately locate seniors who meander off the beaten track.

You’ve probably already seen the most familiar types of consumers would be a wrist watch-type device and one that looks similar to a mobile phone, or the ankle strap devices that some wanderers wear; but these can be obtrusive and even embarrassing, and someone has to remember to put them on each day (which can obviously be a problem with dementia).

The newest and most unique device is the GPS “SmartSole,” which is placed inside a shoe insert and carried with the person being tracked (so they’ll always be wearing it when they have shoes on).  

 

With SmartSole, as long as your loved one is wearing their shoes, you won’t have to worry about them getting lost.

The SmartSoles have a battery that lasts for three days before needing a charge – so it’s ideal for caregivers who cannot visit every day.

 

 

Using Technology to Enhance Freedom and Safety of Dementia Sufferers

Smartsole is designed to provide caregivers with a safe way to monitor their loved ones in case of an emergency. As caregivers of seniors with dementia often know firsthand, the dangers of a loved one wandering and becoming lost are real. The consequences can be deadly.

Smartsole responds to this need with technology that pairs with smartphones and global positioning system (GPS) technology to find those who might have wandered.

With SmartSoles, caregivers also can set up “invisible” fences that notify them if an elderly loved one leaves the house or ventures beyond a certain distance.

Such a notification can prompt the caregiver to check on the person. All might be well. The elderly person may just be making a trip to the corner and back for exercise. Yet Smartsole keeps caregivers informed, in case a trip to the corner results in a missing person.

 

With SmartSoles, caregivers also can set up “invisible” fences that notify them if an elderly loved one leaves the house or ventures beyond a certain distance.

 

Voice connections are available too, which can help establish where the elderly loved one is and whether or not the person is safe. There is no need to guess at a location or purpose for going out. Certain triggers in the technology will also notify emergency personnel. 

You can  find more details on the SmartSole website.

The GPS SmartSole Hidden Wearable Tracker is also available at Amazon.

 

 

Getting Started With a Monitoring Device – Some Considerations

The first step toward establishing successful and safe caregiving practices is meeting with the patient and his or her doctor(s). Asking for safety recommendations, taking diligent notes, and then discussing, at length, what the elderly loved one needs and prefers all lay the groundwork for safety.

Some seniors value their privacy and would like electronic monitoring because it allows them to be safe but also alone. Others might want an additional level of security even if they live in a facility. Yet others might not enjoy the physical presence of an electronic monitoring device. The latter is an important consideration, as people have privacy rights when it comes to being monitored.

Overall, it is all about what works for the elderly loved one and his or her caregivers, taking into account all health risks assessments by physicians.

After everyone agrees with the idea of an electronic monitoring system, it pays to do research. Not every system, despite great gadgets or a high price, is the right one. Price, longevity, and reviews, both online and through word-of-mouth, are important considerations.

Company representatives should be able to provide research and proof of their products’ track records. They should also provide information on customer support or warranties in case device breaks. The Better Business Bureau or equivalent organization is a good guide to a company’s viability. Knowing the facts before investing in a product can help keep an elderly loved one safer and happier for longer.

 

 

Re-Evaluate Monitoring Requirements Periodically

Some electronic monitoring systems come with monthly or yearly fees for use. Periodic re-evaluation may show that there is no reason to continue paying for a system that is unsatisfactory or not useful. Upgrades to more intense monitoring or a more precise device is one solution, as is overtime for paid caregivers. There are many options.

Monitoring an elderly patient is a process rather than a one-off product purchase. Peace of mind for caregivers as well as the patient’s safety and happiness are the most important commodities such devices offer.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

If someone you love might potentially wander off and get lost, I highly recommend looking into the patented GPS enabled “Smart” insoles.  They fit easily into most adult shoes and let you monitor the whereabouts of loved ones in an unobtrusive way;  no need for them to remember to carry a separate tracking device they just slip on their shoes and go – like they normally would.

This Smart Sole system capitalizes on procedural memory, which means even those with advanced memory disorders typically remember to wear shoes!

This is a wearable technology that not only provides peace of mind, but can also save lives, while preserving the privacy and dignity of the wearer.

You can find full details and FAQ’s at the GPS SmartSole website

The SmartSole is also available at Amazon.

 

 

 

Suggested Reading:

Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical tips and soul-saving wisdom for caregivers by Paula Spencer Scott

 

 

Please Visit Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry.  It’s more than a piece of jewelry.  It’s peace of mind.

Rose Gold Tone Medical ID Jewelry

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

Signs You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

(And How to Do It)

 

 

 

 

Physical symptoms caused by poor indoor air quality could be ambiguous and wide ranging, including everything from allergies, to sinus conditions, to headaches, to respiratory irritation. But when symptoms do persist, checking a home’s air quality and air circulation might have great benefit.

 

The indoor air quality of your home is a key part of you and your family’s overall health, because indoor air quality health effects can be wide ranging and have a long-term cumulative effect.

Indoor air quality isn’t always easy to spot the way that a burst pipe or a broken refrigerator is – unlike those household appliances, there’s no switch you flip only to find out your indoor air quality is broken. In the busyness of modern life, it’s often easier to think that smell is coming from the neighbors or the headaches you experience are from your stressful job. But indoor air quality plays a key role in our long-term health, and as we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors, having good indoor air quality is important.

 

Related image

 

 

Know What Your Indoor Air Quality Is

 

In most homes, both urban and rural, people have become much more environmentally conscious than ever before. And while much is made of the air quality outdoors and around the world, we often overlook the air quality inside our living space. It really shouldn’t be that way, especially since we spend so much of our waking hours indoors. The bigger question is how to ensure that indoor air quality is at an acceptable standard. The best way to start is with an air quality test.

Most every home could use an air quality test, including those that seem to be just fine. The truth is, a homeowner doesn’t have to wait for physical symptoms to arise before exploring the indoor air environment. For that matter, symptoms could be ambiguous and wide ranging, including everything from allergies, to sinus conditions, to headaches, to respiratory irritation. But when symptoms do persist, checking a home’s air quality and air circulation might have great benefit.

In the majority of homes, dust and debris is commonplace. And this could be anything from plain dirt, to plant materials, to skin particles, to home cleaning off-gases. For those with respiratory issues, polluted indoor air may be playing a part, especially when irritation is exacerbated. Even furnace filters have their limits – and poor maintenance can easily contribute to poor air quality. In cases where furnace filters clog up quite quickly, an air quality test might diagnose a problem.

Knowing what your indoor air quality is and why it’s important is the first step to having a healthier, safer home. Indoor air quality refers to the condition of the air inside of and around the building, especially as it relates to the comfort and health of the occupants within. Indoor air quality health effects appear when parts of the systems that support a high level of indoor air quality are faulty or broken. Some of these systems include your Heating, Ventilation and Cooling systems (HVAC), fans, HEPA filters, windows, doors, and moisture barriers.

Indoor air quality is more than just clean smelling air, it’s also about keeping allergens and pollutants out, while constantly refreshing and renewing the air within. When indoor air quality health effects appear, it can be the first symptom of a larger problem within your home.

 

 

 

High Off-Gas Levels in Your Home Can Make You Sick

 

Off-gassing is the release of chemicals from the things we bring into our homes, or that our homes are actually made of. In drafty old houses with lots of air changes it wasn’t much of a problem, but as we build our houses tighter for energy efficiency, these chemicals can build up inside. The craziest part of it all is that we go out and buy them without knowing what’s in them, and often stockpile them in the bathroom, the tiniest room of the house with the worst ventilation.

Poor indoor air quality can affect your health in a number of ways, and research has shown that certain toxins or chemicals can build up in people’s systems and cause trouble years down the road. Children, elders, or people who suffer from chronic illness or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to poor indoor air quality which can worsen symptoms or complicate existing illnesses.

While the symptoms of poor indoor air quality health effects are broad, there are a number of them that can be mistaken for other illnesses such as colds, influenza, or allergies. They are:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • dizziness

 

The key sign that your trouble may be with indoor air quality health effects is that they often completely disappear as soon as you leave the room or building.Indoor air quality health effects can be experienced at any time, by any person. But when indoor air quality is a problem in your own home, these effects can become serious. Air pollution can affect asthma, COPD, or allergies, but also heart conditions like angina; it can even be a contributing factor to heart attacks or strokes. Air pollution from some pollutants like asbestos or bacteria like legionella (which causes Legionnaires’ disease) can be fatal.

Some indoor air quality health effects may show up after one exposure, while others take repeated exposure to cause symptoms, which often makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

These small chemical compounds are common in many household items like wood, perfumes, paint, cleaners, glues, and solvents. They may be stable as a liquid or solid, but when exposed to air, they rapidly become gaseous and can become problematic for your indoor air quality.

 

 

Here are some of the worst offenders of off-gas and volatile organic compounds in the home:

 

Particle Board and Plywood

Judging by words of the American Chemistry Council, Formaldehyde is positively benign, a natural part of our world. And it is, in small doses. Unfortunately, it is part of the glue that holds particle board together, the stuff our houses and furniture is made of. It is a recognized carcinogen and causes eye and nose irritation. But hey, it’s a natural part of our world.

The best way to avoid formaldehyde is to buy used, whether it is an older home where it has had the time to off-gas, or furniture that has stood the test of time. Or, buy solid wood furniture instead of particle board.

 

 

Dryer Sheets

Here is a completely useless product that does nothing but add VOCs to your clothing. Chemicals include chloroform and pentanes, which the Material Safety Data Sheet suggests can cause eye and skin irritation. Ultimately, anything that is designed to make your clothes smell nice is releasing compounds you don’t want in your house.  To reduce wrinkles, static and drying time, use dryer balls instead.

Example: These Handy Laundry Sheep Wool Dryer Balls are a great alternative to liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

 

 

Air Fresheners

There really are few products stupider than air fresheners, which are actually designed to pump chemicals into your home. The NRDC notes that 75% of houses now use them. Most of them are pumping out phthalates, the gender bender hormone disruptor that is the main villain in vinyl. The NRDC says:

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates—including one that we found in air freshener products—are “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.” Young children and pregnant women should be especially careful to avoid contact with these chemicals.

 To enhance the scent in your home, you can use essential oils and a diffuser instead of chemical sprays.  They’re safe and natural, and smell much better, anyways.

Example: These Lagunamoon Essential Oils are premium grade, natural and 100% pure. The set includes lemongrass, peppermint, orange, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree.

 

 

URPOWER Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Aromotherapy Diffusers Cool Mist Aroma Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Modes, Waterless Auto Shut-off, 7 Color LED Lights for Home Office

Example: This Urpower Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser has adjustable mist modes, 7 colored LED lights for ambience, and auto shut-off.

 

 

Nail Polish Remover With Acetone

Breathing moderate-to-high levels of acetone for short periods of time can cause nose, throat, lung, and eye irritation.  It can also cause intoxication, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion increased pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, and shortening of the menstrual cycle in women.

Use an acetone free nail polish remover instead.  A good quality remover without acetone can get the job done!

 

Example: I use this Pure Vitality Beauty polish remover, and it has never let me down. It’s free from acetone, acetate, ethyl lactate & petroleum chemicals (and it’s cruelty free).

 

 

Electronics

Many products have the flame retardant triphenyl phosphate in the insulation on their wiring; it is an endocrine disruptor that off-gases when the device heats up.

 

Non-Stick Pans

It is suspected that overheating a teflon pan can lead to the release of Perfluorinated chemicals that cause “teflon flu.”

 

Laser Printers and Copiers

The printing process releases ozone, which causes irritation to nose, throat and lungs.

Individuals who have preexisting lung problems, such as emphysema, bronchitis, or asthma, are even more at risk for the effects of ozone (O3). Children are also more susceptible to the effects of ozone (O3) and can increase their sensitivity to allergens.

 

 

Example: Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar is an effective natural cleaner, with a pleasant fresh lime mint scent.

Household Cleaners

It is hard to know where to start with this one, so many of them are full of VOCs. That’s why people get “spring cleaning headache” from inhaling them all.

The US Department of Health and Human Services maintains a household products database where you can look up the ingredients of almost every product sold in the country. It is disturbing reading.

The EPA has noted that levels of organic pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes rather than outside. Most of the cleaners we use are not needed;  vinegar and baking sodas are good substitutes.

If, like me, you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, try one of the many natural cleaners on the market.  They are pleasant to use, and most are very effective. 

I have used several of Aunt Fannie’s products, as well as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, and have been satisfied with all of them so far.  There are many options, so get rid of your toxic cleaners and replace them with natural choices – it’s an easy change.

 

Getting Rid of VOCs

There really are two ways to deal with the buildup of VOCs:

* Don’t use products that have them in the first place, and

* Provide lots of fresh air to get rid of them.

That’s why every new house should have a heat recovery ventilator, every stove should have a real exhaust fan that vents to the exterior (not those silly recirculating noisemakers) and every bathroom should have a high quality exhaust fan that actually gets used, (not the ten buck noisy ones that most builders put in and people hate using).

 

EnviroKlenz Mobile HEPA Air Purifier

 

 

Moisture Build-up and Mold

 

Sometimes you see it, but sometimes you don’t: mold is often not visible to the naked eye, but it has a recognizably musty smell and it’s important to have it promptly -and professionally- removed.

 

Interestingly, most homeowners aren’t aware enough of the negative effects of moisture build up in various parts of the house. Moisture is simply a stepping-stone for mold or mildew to develop, even in a small sized washroom space. And while mold may look unsightly, an infiltration could be the first sign of a health risk. In any home, it’s wise to watch for the beginnings of mold, but for extra measure a high quality air test will be able to pinpoint the exact source and extent.

Found worldwide, mold is an important type of fungus. But when it grows indoors, toxic strains can proliferate and cause serious indoor air quality health effects that can make people seriously ill. Mold is often found after a water leak or flood, and can destroy construction materials and objects as well as cause health trouble.

Mold is often not visible to the naked eye, but it has a recognizably musty smell and it’s important to have it promptly -and professionally- removed. 

If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, you can pick up a mold testing kit to see if you need to  call a professional for mold removal.  Keep in mind that a mold testing kit is for mold only, and does not test for any other volatile organic compounds or off-gas.  For that, you will need a comprehensive test.

 

Example: This DIY Mold Test tests for mold and pollen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon Monoxide

This odorless, invisible gas is produced by appliances that use fossil fuels, such as your furnace or gas stove. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home and it prevents your body from using oxygen efficiently – resulting in tiredness, dizziness and headaches. If the concentration is high enough, you can die. While plug-in and battery powered testers are available, have your heating and cooling systems checked by a professional yearly, and ensure appliances are correctly vented.

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detection device on every level of the home. If the home has an attached garage a CO detector should be installed in the room that shares a door with the garage. In the case of CO, monitoring is better than testing.

 

 

Here’s How You Can Be Proactive About Your Indoor Air

 

You can test your home’s indoor air quality quite easily on your own with a testing kit.  If a specific problem is found, you can then assess whether you can handle the issue or need to call the appropriate professional to take care of it.

My husband and I did this testing in our home, and it was a simple process, which saved us from paying a professional for a service call to do the testing for us (using a similar testing device).

There is a good variety of indoor air testing kits available to consumers these days, so there is really no reason to feel you have to call someone if you suspect your home’s air is causing health problems.

We used the Home Air Check, and were very satisfied with it.  Their testing device  provides a comprehensive picture of chemical levels that you are breathing when in the home. It also indicates a level of actively growing mold present in the home. Since these chemicals are tested simultaneously, this sophisticated analysis becomes less expensive than arranging for a professional to come out charge you for their time and several separate tests.

Also, the samples are collected without the use of toxic chemicals, so there are no health risks using Home Air Check. We were happy with the level of completeness, sophistication, prediction, and value of Home Air Check.

The Home Air Check Indoor Air Test measures VOC’s, formaldehyde and mold.

 

This is how the testing process works:

You use a small sampling device to collect an air sample in your home. The sampling time takes about 2 hours.  Full instructions are included in the kit (and it is very straightforward).

After the sample is collected,  you return the complete kit to the Home Air Check laboratory, where they analyze the air sample using sophisticated state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be found in home air. In addition, they look for 21 specific mold compounds that can be generated when mold is actively growing in a home.

A detailed report is then generated. In this report will be a Total VOC concentration level – a total of all the VOCs found in your home. The US Green Building Council recommends a TVOC level of less than 500 ng/L to be considered a healthy environment. (The median US home is about 1,200 ng/L.) A total concentration of Mold VOCs is also listed. Generally, this number should be less than 8 ng/L or you have active mold growth you need to find.

The report also includes a Contamination Index, which gives you a prediction of which sources or materials in your home may be responsible for these contaminating chemicals, such as gasoline, paint, adhesives, odorants, personal care products, etc. Home Air Check emails you the report within 5 business days of receipt of your air sample. You can then use their phone or chat line support to answer any questions you have and to help you improve your air quality.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Exercising With Parkinson’s Disease

Exercising With Parkinson’s Disease

 

Image result for parkinson's exercise

 

A Guide to Being Physically Active With Parkinson’s

 

 

Research has shown that regular exercise benefits people with Parkinson’s disease

Exercise:

  • reduces stiffness
  • improves mobility, posture, balance and gait

Aerobic exercise increases oxygen delivery and neurotransmitters to keep our heart, lungs, and nervous system healthy. General exercise may also reduce depression. Learning-based memory exercises can also help keep our memory sharp.

 

 

Best Exercise Options for People with Parkinson’s Disease

 

There is increasing evidence that aerobic and learning-based exercises could be neuroprotective in aging individuals and those with neurodegenerative disease.  

Facilitating exercise programs that challenge our heart and lungs as well as promote good biomechanics, good posture, trunk rotation and normal rhythmic, symmetric movements are the best.  Dancing to music may be particularly good for decreasing stiffness.

Although research on this subject is ongoing, it does appear that beyond aerobic activities performed with healthy movement patterns, exercises challenging the individual to change tempo, activity, or direction (what is referred to as “random practice” exercise) benefits people with Parkinson’s disease. 

It is also important to keep variety in exercise activities, because individuals with Parkinson’s disease often have difficulty in shifting from one activity to another or in performing two activities at the same time. Exercises that require balance and preparatory adjustment of the body are also important along with rhythmic activities such as dancing, skipping and cycling can maintain the ability to perform reciprocal movements.   Finally, exercises that promote attention and learning are beneficial.

 

Types of exercises that do this:

  • Walking outside or in a mall
  • Dancing
  • Yoga classes
  • Tai Chi classes
  • Stepping over obstacles
  • Marching to music with big arm swings
  • Sports (ping pong, golf, tennis, volleyball)
  • Aerobic/Jazzercise classes  

 

Types of exercises that promote cardiopulmonary fitness:

  • Paced walking (treadmill walking at different speeds and different inclines)
  • Hiking using walking sticks
  • Swimming with different strokes with the eyes open and closed not only challenge motor learning but also increase heart rate and provide good cardiopulmonary conditioning.

 

Types of exercise that do NOT challenge motor planning:

  • Riding a stationary bicycle without doing other activities
  • Weight lifting
  • Treadmill walking at a slow speed
  • Lap swimming can be very habitual and also automatic.  

 

These exercises for cardiovascular, endurance and strengthening could be enriched by performing simultaneous activities such as reading, writing, problem solving, singing, watching the news or a movie or throwing and catching balls. Exercises that demand attention, repetition, progression of difficulty with spaced practice over time are the best exercise routines to promote learning.

A note on bicycling: Parkinson’s disease impairs balance and reaction time. Traditional bicycles may pose a safety risk for some patients. Stationary, tandem and three-wheeled bikes are safe alternatives.

 

Example: Sunny Health Recumbent Bike (300 lb capacity)

 

 

Parkinson’s Study Shows a Specific Type of Treadmill Exercise Improves Walking in Patients With Parkinson’s

 

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore VA Medical Center found that Parkinson’s patients who walked on a treadmill at a comfortable speed for a longer duration—what’s considered a low-intensity exercise— improved their walking more than patients who walked for less time but at an increased speed and incline, a high-intensity exercise. They also found benefits for stretching and resistance exercises.

“Our study showed that low-intensity exercise performed for 50 minutes three times a week was the most beneficial in terms of helping participants improve their mobility,” says Lisa Shulman, MD, principal investigator and professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Walking difficulty is the major cause of disability in Parkinson’s disease. These results show that exercise in people with Parkinson’s disease can make a difference in their function. Exercise may, in fact, delay disability and help to preserve independence.

“Many patients ask us what kind of exercise they should be doing. Now we can tell them that this research shows that low-intensity walking, which most people with Parkinson’s can do, combined with stretching and resistance training may be the best option,” adds Dr. Shulman, who is also co-director of the Maryland Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The study compared 67 people with Parkinson’s disease who were randomly assigned to one of three exercise groups: walking on a treadmill at low intensity for 50 minutes, higher-intensity treadmill training to improve cardiovascular fitness for 30 minutes, and using weights (leg presses, extensions and curls) and stretching exercises to improve muscle strength and range of motion. Participants exercised three times a week for three months under the supervision of exercise physiologists at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. “We saw positive effects with all three types of exercise, but the low-intensity training showed the most consistent improvement in gait and mobility,” says Dr. Shulman.

“To maintain the best possible quality of life, people with Parkinson’s disease need practical, evidence-based advice about what kind of exercise will most benefit them over the long term. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has aimed to answer this question in its exercise funding to investigators such as Dr. Lisa Shulman and her team,” says Todd Sherer, PhD, chief program officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

The Maryland research team measured participants’ cardiovascular fitness before and after training, and found cardiovascular improvement in both the low- and high-intensity groups. Other measurements included the distance covered in a six-minute walk and timed tests of walking short distances, such as 50 feet.

“The results of this study provide practical information to people with Parkinson’s disease to make decisions about managing their health and well-being. Our University of Maryland faculty members are committed to testing new approaches, such as exercise, to help patients,” says E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

 

This Exerpeutic F2000 Recovery Fitness Walking Treadmill with Full Length Hand Rails is specifically designed for seniors and people in recovery.

 

 

Avoid Strength Training

Weight lifting is NOT the best choice of an exercise program for the person with Parkinson’s disease, particularly if it is the only exercise activity.  Individuals need to be careful how they perform strengthening exercises to minimize increasing stiffness and rigidity. When performed properly, strengthening exercises do have some value.

As one ages, more exercise must be performed to maintain muscle mass.  Muscle mass and strength allow an individual to complete daily chores and to maintain balance.  Additionally, strengthening postural muscles may help to maintain a more upright posture. Integrative, functional exercises other than weight-training may strengthen muscles in ways that are more beneficial to individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

 

Examples of alternative exercises to weight lifting:

  • Activities in a standing position strengthen legs
  • Pushing up to rise on the toes
  • Modified squats
  • Repetitively rising and sitting from a chair
  • Wearing ankle and wrist weights around the house or out on a walk
  • Push-ups or wall push-ups for arms

 

Light weights are just as effective as heavy weights in maintaining muscle tone and do not increase stiffness as much.  Walking with ankle weights and wrist weights can help strengthen while encouraging increased awareness of arm swinging and high stepping.

Example: These Nordic Lifting 5 lb Ankle/Wrist Weights are fully adjustable to fit anyone, and can be used on either the ankles or wrists.

 

Moderation is the best word for strength training without other forms of exercise. However, integrating strengthening and flexibility exercises into aerobic, rhythmic and learning-based exercise routines that are fun, engaging, progressing in difficulty and rewarding are the best.

 

Swimming is a Good Second Choice Activity

Swimming provides good cardiopulmonary training and maintains muscle strength.  However, lap swimming does not challenge balance or stimulate variety of movements.  Therefore, lap swimming is a second choice activity. However, since the arms, legs and head may be doing different things, it may increase coordination.  The resistance of the water increases stiffness in some people and decreases it in others.

 

Activities to try:

  • Adding resistance with paddles and trunk support – provides more opportunity for reciprocal movements and circling movements of the arms and the legs
  • Rolling and somersaults – in the pool are good for those who are particularly comfortable in the water

 

A Caution About Swimming

For individuals with Parkinson’s disease who have difficulty in breathing, swimming may not be a comfortable aerobic activity. Thus, swimming may be an appropriate choice of exercise for individuals who have enjoyed it in the past and are comfortable with the techniques and those with musculoskeletal conditions particularly of the knee and back. Swimming using certain strokes can also help increase shoulder range of motion.

 

Decreasing Muscle Stiffness With Specific Exercises

Exercises that require large, rhythmical movements through a full range of motion have been shown to decrease rigidity.  For example, in a program of aerobic exercise using music, there was a reduction in rigidity in 9 out of 10 participants immediately after the exercise program.

 

Exercises to decrease stiffness:

  • Large, rhythmical movements
  • Rotating the trunk
  • Vibration, rocking and swinging

 

Other considerations to decrease stiffness:

  • Avoiding tremors (e.g. touching the limb that is shaking to quiet the movement) can also decrease tension 
  • Decreasing stress in ones life – having fun, thinking positively about planning and carrying out challenging, socially engaging and learning-based activities
  • Cooling or warming the tense extremity can sometimes be helpful.

 

The Effect of Medication on Exercise

The best time to exercise is when mobility is best. For individuals who take medications for Parkinson’s disease, the best level of function often occurs about 1 hour after a dose of medications.  The answer to this question varies by individual. The individual reaction to the medication is also important.

 

Frequency of Exercise

The guidelines for people with Parkinson’s disease are no different from those without the disease (i.e. 4-5 times a week for at least 30-40 minutes).  This assumes that your heart is beating at 70 to 80% of maximum (220 – your age times 70 or 80%).

 

Make Exercise Fun:

Engage in group exercise, movement or dancing classes.  For many, participating in activities with other people, can be more stimulating and increase compliance.

 

Stay active and integrate exercise into your usual day:

  • Walk whenever possible instead of driving
  • Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator
  • Take regular 5 minute breaks every 30 minutes (lifting the arms up over your head, performing wall glides, breathing diaphragmatically, getting up to get a glass of water, or putting theraband exercise bands on chairs to work on some strengthening)
  • Avoid long periods of time watching TV and or using a computer

 

Example: These exercise bands are a great way to gently work muscles at home.

 

They come in 5 strengths, and can be used for a variety of exercises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Down After Exercise

A “cool-down period” is important.  After exercise, allow yourself a longer time for a cool-down than others would need (Individuals who exercised before developing Parkinson’s disease typically double their cool-down time).  

 

A cool-down period accomplishes 2 goals:

1)      Promotes a slow decrease in heart rate

2)      Allows the muscles time to cool down gradually so they do not become stiff.  

A cool-down period consists of the same exercise activity but at a progressively slower pace.  During the cool-down, all muscles need to go through a slow, full range of motion.  If you feel exhausted and want to fall asleep immediately after exercise, then you are not cooling down slowly enough.

 

Daily Learning

If you listen to the news, talk to someone about it.  Listen to educational programs and discuss what you learned.  Do crossword puzzles or participate in memory training programs on the web or from a CD.

 

Getting Out Regularly

If you are retired, consider volunteering your time to help others ( e.g. Red Cross, Meals on Wheels).  Move about in the community and learn the tricks of keeping your eyes on a target to improve stability. Carry a cane to let people know that it would be best not to bump you.

See Choosing a Walking Cane

 

Practice Writing

Learn to hold your pen lightly and write with big cursive type movements. Consider making the surface of your pen rough or sticky. This will help decrease the force of your squeezing the pen. Write by moving the whole arm, not just the fingers.  Practice writing to music and even say the words out loud as you write. Circle making big movements.

 

Your Voice Needs Exercise, Too

Talk slowly, clearly and loudly with a lot of expression of your eyes and your face. Have everyone speak loudly and slowly. If you find you continue to talk softly and quickly and people are having difficulty understanding you, then ask a friend to read and record some passages from a book. Then you put the head set on and hear your friends voice as you read the same passages.  This may strengthen the learning.

 

 

Helpful Walking Techniques

Often individuals with Parkinson’s disease have problems with abruptly halting or “freezing,” when walking.

 

To help decrease freezing, try:

  • Reciprocal arm swinging
  • High long steps
  • Scanning the environment and using visual fixation on an object in the distance or auditory cues (listening to music, singing to yourself, counting)
  • Thinking about making big steps to clear obstacles on the floor or marching (high steps)
  • Walking hand-in-hand, swinging the arms with a friend or family member
  • Having someone place their foot in front of you as a cue to step high and over
  • One person found that throwing pennies and stepping over them was helpful (“But,” he added, “don’t bend down to pick them up.”). 
  • Loud rhythmical clapping
  • Paced walking with high stepping. 
  • Using walking sticks (using them for sensory feedback and sense of stability may be more important than using a cane. Of course, using a cane or a walker can be helpful if there is a lot of weakness and stiffness.) 

Pushing one’s self to stay active should be the goal.

 

See Choosing the Right Medical Walker

 

 

Getting Out of Bed

For some people with Parkinson’s disease, getting out of bed may become difficult. First, you might practice rolling on your bed. Roll back and forth and get a rhythm. Then with some momentum, roll to your side and come to sitting. You might have a dresser near the side of your bed so you could touch the dresser for stability if you need to.

When specifically trying to come to sitting from lying in bed, roll over on your side. Push on your elbow and let your feet come over the edge of the bed and then sit up at the edge.  Sit there for a minute to adjust and then rise to stand and then walk. This technique is not only easier but better for your back.

 

This Stander Bed Cane can provide much needed support for getting out of bed.

 

 

Techniques to make it easier to move around in bed:

  • Wear satin pajamas or use satin sheets (but not both). 
  • Practice standing up and sitting down quickly from a chair without using your hands, to improve your transitional movement skills
  • Practice getting up quickly from a chair and taking a few big steps and then turn around and go sit back down. 
  • Practice safe skills by climbing and descending stairs.  

If you are seeing a physical therapist, the last three bullets are some of the activities that should be practiced.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Exercise is a vital part of daily life for all people who want to stay fit and healthy. For people with Parkinson’s disease, however, it is more than just about staying healthy. For them, the right exercises can improve vital aspects of daily living, such as mobility and maintaining balance. Those with Parkinson’s Disease should speak with their doctor or an advisory group to work out a specific program to help them start or maintain an exercise program.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Planning Ahead for Parkinson’s Needs

New Spoon for Hand Tremors Helps at Mealtime

Caregiving for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Swallowing and Dental Problems

Parkinson’s Disease and Low Blood Pressure

Parkinson’s Disease Myths – Know the Facts!

Brain Disease and Swallowing Problems

Complete Guide to Medical ID Bracelets

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

10 Simple Products to Help with Getting Dressed

Hands-Free Shoes Make Dressing Easier!

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Shoes and Slippers For Swollen Feet

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Nail Fungus Laser Therapy Guide

Nail Fungus Laser Therapy Guide

 

 

 

Nail fungus, particularly in the toenails, is a common malady among older persons and laser therapy is being used as a treatment but is it worth it?

 

Dermatologist B.E. Elewski says that merely being over 60 years of age is a risk factor for this type of fungus. It is wise for elderly persons to use effective treatments, including new therapies that appear promising. Is laser therapy for toenail fungus one of the promising treatments?

There are many traditional treatments for nail fungus including oral and topical anti-fungal treatments.  In addition, the affected part of a nail or the whole nail plate can be removed surgically and rapidly as an outpatient procedure.

These traditional treatments have potential side effects. Oral medications can cause upset stomachs and even liver damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. They are not always effective in elder persons. Topical ointments may take months to work. Removal of the nail or a portion is painful and takes a long time for growth of the nail. Recurrence and reinfection are common.

Laser treatment of nail fungus, which was approved by the FDA in 2010, penetrates the nail plate and kills fungi underneath. Advocates of laser therapy for toenail fungus say the procedure is fast, painless and brings quick results. But scientists do not agree.

 

The Disappointing Truth:  Nail Fungus Laser Treatment is Ineffective

 

Becker and Bershow reviewed the scientific studies of laser therapy for toenail fungus and found no effective results in randomized, controlled, clinical trials. In addition, the therapy was not painless and recurrence of fungal infection was high.

However, the authors of the literature review acknowledged that reinfection is so common with nail fungus that it is possible that reinfection, not recurrence of the original infection, was responsible for the unpersuasive results.

Another study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, noted that laser treatment did not produce a cure when tested on humans with toenail fungus. The researchers noted that only one kind of laser light was tested. Nevertheless, they stated about their results: “In vivo treatment did not result in onychomycosis cure” meaning that the testing of laser treatment on human patients did not produce a toenail fungus cure. (see sources below)

 

Nail Fungus Laser Therapy is Expensive, Elective and Cosmetic

 

Another detriment of nail fungus laser therapy is cost. The expense is usually not covered by insurance because toenail fungus is deemed a cosmetic issue, not a serious health matter. Treatment is elective and based more on the appearance of the feet than an actual health threat. The cosmetic side of nail fungus is perturbing to those who have it. Symptoms of nail fungus include distortion of the nail surface, including a brittle or ridged appearance, discoloration of the nail surface (usually a dull yellow color) and brittle-looking or crumbling nails. But it is rarely a dangerous condition.

Until laser therapy passes more randomized, controlled, clinical tests elderly patients may wish to forego the expense. Although laser therapy for nail fungus may be the wave of the future, at this time it has not proven effective. Scientists recommend traditional treatments as they have proven to be more effective.

 

 

 

So What Can You Do to GET RID OF IT?!

 

Doctors will often recommend Oral antifungal drugs

Studies show the most effective treatments are terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part.

You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection.

Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65. And treatment success seems to improve when you combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.

Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage. You may need occasional blood tests to check on how you’re doing with these types of drugs. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or those taking certain medications.

 

For more severe cases, there are surgical and other treatments such as Nail removal. If your nail infection is severe or extremely painful, your doctor may suggest removing your nail. A new nail will usually grow in its place. But it will come in slowly and may take as long as a year to grow back completely. Sometimes surgery is used in combination with ciclopirox to treat the nail bed.

 

In my research for a better option, I came across a natural product called Zane Hellas Fungus Stop Anti fungal Nail Solution, which really stood out among the many remedies marketed to toenail fungus sufferers. 

Fungus Stop is made in Greece by a company called Zane Hellas, and is the #1 bestseller in Nail Fungus Treatments on Amazon, with numerous positive testimonials and photos included in its over 1,500 customer reviews, which simply wouldn’t be possible with an ineffective product.

 The main active ingredient in Fungus Stop is Carvacrol. Carvacrol is an ingredient found in the highest content in Oregano Oil and is completely natural.

Carvacrol  has very strong antifungal properties and can completely eradicate toenail fungus.

Used since ancient times and there are many published scientific medical studies on the properties and effectiveness of Carvacrol Oregano Oil.

 

  • Fungus Stop also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C to nourish the skin and nails.
  • Fungus Stop produces fast results in the appearance and color of the nails.
  • Treatment can be completed only in 4 Weeks with this highly effective maximum strength solution.
  • Fungus Stop is Clinically Proven and formulated at Therapeutic Grade strength.
  • Fungus Stop kills 99.9% of Nail Fungus.
  • 100% Natural Herb Ingredients

 

 

Who Should Use Fungus Stop?

 

Fungus Stop is an Antifungal, suitable for Toenail Fungus, Athletes Foot, Bacterial Infections and Parasites Problems.  If you are diabetic and think you may be developing toenail fungus, see your doctor first, as diabetic foot problems may be more serious.

 

 

What’s In Fungus Stop?

 

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Wild Essential Oregano Oil ( non GMO- 100% Organic & Wild)
  • Organic Almond Oil (From Real Almond Seeds)
  •  Organic Essentila Tea Tree Oil
  • Organic Calentula Oil,Organic Avocado Oil
  • Made in Greece

 

 

How Do I use Fungus Stop?

 

Brush Fungus Stop on to your nail (around and under nails), once a day for 4 weeks . Heat sensation is normal.

Wait 5-7 minutes until absorbed. Do not wash your feet or hands for 5-7 minutes.

During this time avoid the hand contact with eyes.

If the fungal infection it is on your toenails put clean socks.

Stop use if irritation occurs or there is no improvement within 4 weeks. Do not use on broken skin or any other foot conditions.

 

 

When to See a Doctor

 

You may want to see a physician if Fungus Stop hasn’t helped. Also, as previously mentioned, be sure to see a doctor if you have diabetes and think you’re developing nail fungus.

 

How Do I keep Toenail Fungus From Coming Back?

 

  • Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep your nails short and dry. Wash your hands and feet with soap and water, rinse, and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. Trim nails straight across and file down thickened areas.
  • Wear anti-fungal socks that absorb sweat. Fabrics effective at wicking away moisture include wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  • Choose shoes that reduce humidity. It also helps to occasionally take off your shoes or wear open-toe footwear.
  • Discard old shoes. If possible, avoid wearing old shoes, which can harbor fungi and cause a reinfection. Or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
  • Wear rubber gloves. This protects your hands from overexposure to water. Between uses, turn the gloves inside out to dry.
  • Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This may give germs access to your skin and nails.
  • Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear sandals or shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
  • Choose a reputable nail salon. Make sure the place you go for a manicure or pedicure sterilizes its instruments. Better yet, bring your own and disinfect them after use.
  • Give up nail polish and artificial nails while you are treating nail fungus. Although it may be tempting to hide nail fungal infections under a coat of pretty pink polish, this can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.
  • Wash your hands after touching an infected nail. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail.

 

Toenail Fungal infections of the nails can be a persistent and sometimes embarrassing problem, and occasionally can become painful. 

If you suspect you are developing toenail fungus, I recommend that you begin a treatment with Fungus Stop right away, and give it a good 4 weeks.

See your doctor if you are diabetic, or if you don’t see any improvement within a few weeks of using the product. 

With time and consistency, you will very likely be able to cure your toenail fungus yourself, so be patient and apply the treatment daily.

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some helpful information about getting rid of toenail fungus; it’s much easier to do these days than most people think.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Practical Shoes For the Elderly

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Foot Circulation Booster Machine Guide – Full Reviews

Caring for Diabetic Feet

Science Proves Resveratrol Treats Gout

Stasis Dermatitis Leg and Foot Condition

Compression Therapy for Seniors

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Choosing a Walking Cane

Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

Fatty Liver – What I Wish I Had Known

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Sources

Becker, C., Bershow, A. (September 14, 2013). Lasers and photodynamic therapy in the treatment of onychomycosis–a review of the literature. Dermatology Online Journal, 19(9): 19611. Available online at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0js6z1kw. Accessed March 10, 2017.

Carney, C., Cantrell, W., Warner, J., Elewski, B. (October 2013). Treatment of onychomycosis using a submillisecond 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69(4): 578–582. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2013.04.054.

Elewski, B. E. (July 1998). Onychomycosis: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Management. Clinical Microbiology Review, 11(3): 415-429. Available online at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88888/. Accessed February 17, 2017.

Great Neck Family Foot Care. (February 24, 2017). Safe & Effective Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus. Available online at http://greatneckfamilyfootcare.com/2017/02/safe-effective-laser-treatment-toenail-fungus/. Accessed March 10, 2017.

Mayo Clinic. Nail Fungus. Available online at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/basics/symptoms/con-20019319. Accessed February 17, 2017.

O’Connor, A. (March 14, 2014). Laser Treatments for Toenail Fungus. Ask Well. New York Times. Available online at  https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/ask-well-laser-treatments-for-nail-fungus/?_r=0. Accessed March 10, 2017.

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

 

 

Thinking about using a DNA sample to look at your heritage

—and predict your future?

 

 

Only a few short years ago, services like Ancestry.com and 23andMe that allow you to submit a saliva or tissue sample to find out where your ancestors came from was the stuff of science fiction.  The thought of sending a genetic simple to a company like Ancestry.com and receiving a detailed report on your genetic background—including a very detailed discussion of what part of the globe your forebears hailed from.

Yet today, Ancestry DNA and 23andMe have advanced these concepts to a point where they are both scientifically possible and economically feasible. Depending on what you are trying to do, and depending on the service you choose, it is possible to begin delving into your genetic background for as little as a few hundred dollars. Those wishing for a much more detailed look at their genes can anticipate paying upwards of $2,000; however, most people do not need the level of detail that such a and analysis would bring, and are able to achieve their goals for less than $200.

This is the world of genetic mapping: the practice of using a DNA sample to look at your heritage—and predict your future. If you are considering using a genetic mapping service, here is some more information that you may find to be useful.

 

How Does Genetic Mapping Work?

 

Of course, the number of laboratories and companies offering genetic mapping services is almost limitless and growing by the day. As technology continues to advance, making genetic mapping more feasible, more and more companies are offering this service—in one form or another—available to the public.

Ancestry.com, just as other services do, will request that you provide a sample of your DNA. This is usually done by placing saliva in a tube, then sealing it and mailing it to the lab. Other DNA samples that are commonly requested include a cotton swab of the cheek and gums or a small blood sample. Regardless of the specific type of sample, the process is essentially the same: a home collection kit is mailed to the consumer, who then collects the sample and returns it through the mail. This process is convenient, fast, and simple.

Once the genetic mapping company obtains the sample, it runs one or more of a number of tests on it. The results of the tests are then compiled into a report and sent back to the consumer. Reports can be as specific as testing for a few identified conditions, or as general as a lengthy list of various conditions and diseases, along with the consumer’s propensity for developing each.

In the case of genetic mapping that is used for other purposes—such as discovering one’s ethnic background—the reports may contain information setting out the consumer’s genetic makeup and ethnic background by percentage (for example, 62% Eastern European, 17% Southeast Asian, and 11% Northern African).

 

 

 

Why Would You Want to Map Your Genes?

 

Family Tree Testing Kit

 

Of course, there can be any number of reasons for using such a service, depending on what it is that the consumer is interested in. These services can be a valuable part of one’s preventive healthcare strategy, or can simply be an interesting source of information.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

In the case of genetic mapping reports that pertain to medical conditions or disease susceptibility, many people find them to be helpful in order to alert them to specific areas of concern. By identifying those diseases or conditions to which they are more likely to be susceptible, the genetic mapping process allows them to take preventive steps and enact rigorous monitoring procedures in order to minimize the likelihood that they will actually develop the conditions or diseases.

In the case of genetic mapping that is used to uncover one’s heritage, consumers who are seeking to find their roots may find the tests to be a valuable part of their efforts. Additionally, they can be used to assist in narrowing down a search for relatives, particularly in cases where someone was adopted at birth and is seeking to reconnect to his or her blood relations.

Sometimes, using a genetic mapping service is simply a way to help build a connection with someone else. For example, if you spend a lot of time with an elderly friend or relative, you may find that obtaining a genetic map of each person’s background gives you both something to talk about and explore together.

Other people simply want to be alerted as to any potential anomalies in their genetic makeup. For example, they may want to know if they have a certain gene mutation that would cause them to be more likely to fall prey to a certain fate—even if they have no blood relatives with a similar condition.

Whatever the specific reason for using a genetic mapping service, given the ease with which a genetic report may be obtained, along with the relatively lower cost of doing so, many people choose to obtain at least a cursory report on their overall genetic picture. Sometimes they do it for no other reason than because it is interesting and fun to do so.

A simple Internet search of genetic mapping services will return pages of results. With so many companies offering genetic mapping, it can be challenging to determine which one best suits your needs. As with so many other things, the answer is that it depends on what you are looking for.

 

 

Ancestry DNA

Many have used Ancestry.com to trace their ancestors and to utilize the rich hints that can make building a family tree much easier. But now, AncestryDNA also offers genetic tracking by using a “microarray-based autosomal DNA testing” matching a person’s entire genome from over 700,000 locations.  

The result will include information about your ethnicity across 26 regions/ethnicities and will identify potential relatives through DNA matching to others who have taken the AncestryDNA test.  It will disclose if you are partially Native American but the results cannot be used as a substitute for legal documentation.

 

 

 

23andMe

 

A company similar to Ancestry.com that combines both the ancestry and health concern tests is 23andMe. This business offers a basic test and a test with a more detailed report.

Similar to many of the other tests, it starts with a saliva sample.

Using the 23andme test provides consumers with a detailed report that provides a breakdown of their ethnicity by percentage, and can help them to determine their lineage going back as far as 1000 years. Those who opt-in are afforded the opportunity to connect with other people who share their DNA, making it possible to find blood relatives. This last option can be particularly useful to people who have been adopted and who are searching to discover their roots.

On the health risks screening front, 23andMe offers a test that screens consumers for a genetic propensity towards a number of potential conditions. These may be conditions that the consumers are more susceptible to, or it may be conditions for which consumers are carriers—meaning that they themselves don’t suffer from the condition, but they have the potential to produce offspring who would, under certain circumstances.

Other tests offered by this company include health and well-being issues (such as lactose intolerance—something that is not dangerous in and of itself, but can impact one’s well-being), genetic traits (such as the likelihood of developing male pattern baldness), and more.

 

Other Genetic Mapping Services

 

MyHeritageDNA

 

 

MyHeritageDNA provides two fascinating types of results:

Ethnicity Estimate: A percentage breakdown of your ancestral background, showing your ancestors’ origins from among 42 ethnicities, including Irish, Italian, North African, Japanese, East Asian, and many others. MyHeritage has the largest pool of supported ethnicities in the industry.

DNA Matching: This powerful feature uses your DNA to help you find new relatives from all around the world. Your matches, from both your mother’s and father’s side, will include information about your shared genetic sequences, and identify your estimated relationship.

 

 

 

 

GPS Origins

 

 

GPS Origins boasts the most complete DNA Ancestry results, with a new ancestral tracking technique that can pinpoint your ancestry down to the nearest town or village!  GPS Origins analyzes 800,000 genetic markers, 862 reference populations and 36 gene pools.

 

 

 

Colors BRCA Test

 

 

The Colors BRCA Test allows women to test their genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer, by testing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

These tests are physician ordered, and Colors will connect you with an independent physician who can order the testing on your behalf, if appropriate.

Your test result includes access to professional genetic counselors can help explain how your results may impact you. 

You can then take your clinical grade report to your healthcare provide, who can help you make a plan that reduces your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  I noticed that the Colors BRCA Test has particularly positive reviews from nearly every user.

While this test is probably of more interest to women, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations can impact certain male cancer risks as well:

Things You Should Consider About Genetic Testing

 

Of course, as with any new technology, there are considerations with genetic mapping that many people may not have encountered before. By being aware of these issues, you can go into your genetic mapping with your eyes open.

First, genetic mapping is not always 100% accurate. There exists the potential that a certain test will return a false positive—or a false negative—for a given condition. As such, you should not panic if your genetic mapping report suggests a high likelihood of developing a certain condition or contracting a certain disease. Instead, you should take it with a grain of salt and use the genetic mapping report as a basis from which to investigate further.

Another thing of which you should be aware is that some experts have criticized the validity of many of the genetic mapping tests in use today. While it is certainly possible to evaluate a given individual’s genes and use them to form a relatively accurate picture of his or her potential for developing certain conditions, the fact of the matter is that some of the tests in use simply do not have the accuracy and reliability of other, more expensive, tests.

Another thing to consider is the potential for the information gained from these tests to fall into the wrong hands. Given the current political climate in our country, it is impossible to determine if genetic mapping test results might one day be used by insurance companies to deny coverage—or charge higher premiums—to people who have been determined to be more likely to develop certain conditions. While some naysayers may say that this is an invasion of privacy and illegal, the unfortunate reality of our country is that laws frequently change to make the once-unthinkable a reality.

For this reason, if you are considering a genetic mapping test in order to discover whether you may be likely to develop certain conditions or diseases, you may wish to do it anonymously or pay attention to the privacy policies of the company selected. Ancestry.com devotes a significant amount of website space to discussing privacy.  Some genetic mapping companies will allow you to purchase the kit and submit it under a random number instead of using your name. By taking steps to prevent your identity from being associated with any one genetic mapping report, you can help protect against the eventuality that the information in the report might one day be used against you.

Finally, one last consideration is that genetic mapping tests—at least insofar as they are used to provide health condition information—frequently lacked any actionable information. For example, they may tell you that you’re more likely to develop a certain condition, but they may not be able to give you any advice as to what you could do about the situation.

While some conditions, such as adult-onset diabetes, can be proactively addressed through things such as a good diet and plenty of exercise, other conditions are simply out of your control. As such, discovering that you have a tendency to develop a certain condition could end up bringing an increased level of stress in your life as you grapple to deal with something over which you have absolutely no control.

Because of this, some people have opted to engage in all the preventive actions they can—such as eating well and exercising regularly—and forgo taking any genetic mapping test. Ultimately, whether knowing that one has a likelihood of developing a certain condition about which there is nothing he or she can do is something that would cause him or her undue duress or not is a choice that every person must make for himself or herself.

This is an interesting, but really complicated, look at the differences (and similarities!) between the Autosomal DNA Testing services.  The largest variation seems to be in the SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) which are the places in the genome where people differ.  For 1 out of every 1000, there is no difference.  Most of these SNPs don’t do very much, but some of them confer a risk of disease which can be very important.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Although there are some very significant considerations to keep in mind, most people find that genetic mapping tests are something that they feel are worthwhile. They can be fun and a great conversation started and a hobby of sorts especially if it is followed with building a family tree such as you can do through Ancestry.  Having the knowledge that you are or are not likely to develop certain conditions can help you in a number of ways, from making smart food choices to engaging in proactive estate planning.  But those considerations can be secondary when considering how much fun it is to know where your ancestors came from and whether it matches up with what you have been told your whole life. Understanding your ethnic and genetic background, and knowing where your ancestors come from is something that many people find both fascinating and worthwhile.

Overall, genetic mapping is a wonderful way to quickly and easily find out more about yourself, your loved ones, and the world in which you live.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

 

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

Simple Steps to Younger Looking Skin

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Good (And Products You Need)

Complete Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

Fatty Liver – What I Wish I Had Known

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

How to Cook for a Chemo Patient

How to Cook for a Chemo Patient

 

 

 

 

By Chef Ryan Callahan

 

The scariest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was be the caregiver for my mother while she went through cancer treatments.

 

Between the surgical reconstructions and the effects both short term and long term of chemotherapy, it was a hard and grueling battle the whole way. No amount of preparation or reading or support groups could have prepared me for what it is like to watch your loved one be torn apart, stitched back together, and then have a series of chemical bombs dropped on them.

 

With all that being said, there are many things that you can do to make your loved ones battle with cancer easier for both of you and improve their quality of life in the process. The aspect of what I focus on is the cooking and eating portion of caregiver life.

 

Eating is not just an important part of existing, it is also an extremely important part of feeling happy and healthy. During chemotherapy, my mother had extreme difficulty dealing with loss of appetite, metallic tastes, mouth sores, and nausea.

 

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #1: Hydration

 

 

Ingest lots of fluids! Dehydration is no joke! Water regulates many functions of your body including digestion, muscle movement, and taste. There are many ways to get water into your body: sports drinks, soup, vegetables, fruits, food in general, or even drinking plain old water.

As a caregiver, it is our responsibility to monitor and regulate fluid intake. I would suggest keeping a food and water log. You are also responsible for encouraging your loved one to drink and eat more even when they don’t want to. I frequently encouraged my mom by saying, “Just one more bite. Just one more sip.”

 

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #2: Roundness of Flavor

 

http://www.sensientflavorsandfragrances.com/images/uploads/float_images/International_Flavor.jpg

 

In short, this is the key to cooking for people going through chemotherapy. Roundness of Flavor is my personal culinary theory that encompasses every aspect of the actual tasting experience.

When you eat food, you experience food with all of your senses not just your mouth. Roundness of Flavor teaches you to find all five flavors (salty, savory, spicy, sour and sweet) and sensory experiences (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing) and bring them into balance.

When your sense of taste and smell come out of balance, you have to find which aspect of the sense has come out of balance and compensate when you cook to bring balance back to your body.

 

For example, if you are extra salt sensitive during chemo you will reduce the salt content of a meal, but increase the savory or spicy characteristics to bring balance to your dish.

 

Example:   This McCormick Everyday Essentials Variety Pack is a convenient kitchen staple

 

As a caregiver, it is your responsibility to learn what flavors work for your loved one and what flavors do not and adjust accordingly. By catering your cooking to their specific taste and flavor changes, you will be able to help them eat more. This will also increase their quality of life.

 

 

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #3: Palate Cleansing

 

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/6182287517_9003f05a66.jpg?timestamp=1487203200033

 

Palate Cleansing is a technique where you utilize a subtle and almost imperceptible sour note in your cooking to create the illusion of lightness inside of a dish.

Palate Cleansing is important because as chemotherapy side-effects become progressively stronger, chemo patients tend to have increasingly strong tastes of metal inside of their mouth. This metallic taste can become so strong that sometimes your loved ones will lose the ability to taste anything but metal.

Palate Cleansing is an easy-to-use cooking technique for waking up those taste buds and clearing out that metallic taste from your mouth. Palate Cleansing is also a great way to make heavier foods feel light in your mouth, allowing you to eat more nutrient dense dishes without feeling ill or disgusted while you eat them.

Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar to your meal as you are cooking it. Sour flavors should always be followed by equal parts sugar. Adding sugar after sour allows you to mask the actual sour flavor and smell of the vinegar while still allowing it to work its magic to rid your mouth of metallic tastes.

Remember, that is 1-2 tablespoons per entire dish not per serving. You can also cleanse your palate with fresh palate cleansing herbs like flat-leaf parsley, basil, and cilantro.

 

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #4: Sanitation

 

http://www.howtoxp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Sanitation-Of-Kitchen.jpg

 

 

If you prefer not to mix your own solution, try Clorox Bleach Floral Scent Kitchen Cleaner. I use this cleaner and find it more convenient and pleasant to use than a straight bleach and water combination.

Sanitation is the act of keeping your house, home, kitchen, and work space clean and disinfected from hazardous bacteria, viruses, and chemical contaminates.

The easiest way to ensure that your space is sanitized is by creating a bleach and water sanitizing solution.

The typical recipe is one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. This is the cheapest and most cost effective way to sanitize any hard, non-porous surface. Because bleach comes in varying concentrations, check the back of bottle for each brands specific sanitizing recipe. What you want to do is make sure to clean and then wipe down every kitchen surface with this sanitizing solution before and after cooking.

Cross-contamination is the most common (but easiest to prevent) cause of food poisoning.

A perfect example of cross-contamination would be cutting chicken on a cutting board, not sanitizing, then chopping a salad on that same cutting board.

That is a guaranteed way to give your loved one food poisoning, which will bring along a whole host of additional problems.

 

 

Food Temperature

 

When we store food, we want to make sure that our refrigerator is at 40 degrees or lower and that our freezer is at 0 degrees. This will ensure minimal bacterial growth during the storage period.

The next thing is need to consider as far as temperature is concerned is the proper temperature to which foods are cooked. What this means for you is that you are going to need to get a food thermometer and take the temperature of all food before you serve it.

 

 

 

 

As a caregiver, you want to ensure that all foods are cooked to the well done temperature before serving.

By ensuring your food is cooked to proper temperature, it does two things:

1) It kills any harmful bacteria in the food and

2) Makes the food much easier to digest.

 

 

 

 

 

While being a caregiver can be scary, it truly is a rewarding experience. But, to be truly successful as a caregiver you will have to learn new skills and new information that you never thought that you would have to learn. The most important of these skills, is learning the difference between cooking and cooking for chemotherapy.

 

By Chef Ryan Callahan

 

 

 

Chef Ryan Callahan is a culinary industry veteran with over 15 years of hands on culinary experience.

 

 

 

Chef Ryan’s cookbook, Cooking for Chemo …and After!, is a 2016 Gourmand Award winning cookbook in the Health and Nutrition category.

 

 

His cookbook was created after spending a year as his mother’s caregiver while she went through cancer treatments.

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Dealing With Cancer Related Weight Loss (Cachexia)

An Over-Bed Table Improves Quality of Life

Vitamin B17 – Laetrile Cancer Treatment

Painkiller Induced Constipation (OIC)

Complete Guide to Cancer and Hair Loss

Best Nutrition Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

Caregivers Need Sleep!

Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Safety Grab Bars and Hand Rails for the Bathroom

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Choosing a Transport Chair

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

1 2 3 12