Slowly Silenced:  How Alzheimer’s Quiets Beautiful Minds

Most have been touched by the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s. We have lost family and friends to the disease that snuffs the light in bright minds.  For us, the first to lose their fight was a friend’s mom, way too young with a rapid onset.  Most recently, it was my wife’s dad, who went from being a Gifted and passionate performer to a man locked in motionless silence for years.  When he missed calling on her birthday, my wife knew his humorous attempts at covering his forgetfulness hid something deeper.  I knew when he no longer remembered the words to his own gold Records as he played at our daughter’s graduation party.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.  More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and over 15 million Americans are providing unpaid care and support.  Worldwide, 50 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

These numbers are expected to triple by 2050 without significant breakthroughs.  And, while death from heart disease has decreased in the last few years, death from Alzheimer’s has increased by 123%.  It is the only Top 10 leading cause of death in the United States without a cure, prevention or even a truly promising way to slow progress.

ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA BASICS

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia – a general term for memory loss and other decline in intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.  It is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its initial stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.

SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER’S

The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information.

Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as we age. Most of us eventually notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work may be a sign that brain cells are failing.

The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer’s changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

10 WARNING SIGNS OF ALZHEIMER’S

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Below are 10 warning signs and symptoms. Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor.

MEMORY LOSS THAT DISRUPTS DAILY LIFE

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over, increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g. reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Sometimes forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later.

 CHALLENGES IN PLANNING OR SOLVING PROBLEMS

Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

DIFFICULTY COMPLETING FAMILIAR TASKS AT HOME, AT WORK OR AT LEISURE

People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

CONFUSION WITH TIME OR PLACE

People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING VISUAL IMAGES AND SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS

For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Vision changes related to cataracts.

NEW PROBLEMS WITH WORDS IN SPEAKING OR WRITING

People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

A Typical Age-Related Change

Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

 MISPLACING THINGS AND LOSING THE ABILITY TO RETRACE STEPS

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

DECREASED OR POOR JUDGMENT

People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Making an unwise decision once in a while.

WITHDRAWAL FROM WORK OR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

CHANGES IN MOOD AND PERSONALITY

The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

A Typical Age-Related Change

Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.


RESEARCH AND PROGRESS

Today, Alzheimer’s is at the forefront of biomedical research.  Researchers are working to uncover as many aspects of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as possible. Ninety percent of what we know about Alzheimer’s has been discovered in the last 15 years. Some of the most remarkable progress has shed light on how Alzheimer’s affects the brain. The hope is this better understanding will lead to new treatments.

A worldwide quest is under way to find new treatments to stop, slow or even prevent Alzheimer’s. Because new drugs take years to produce from concept to market—and because drugs that seem promising in early-stage studies may not work as hoped in large-scale trials—it is critical that Alzheimer’s and related dementias research continue to accelerate. To ensure that the effort to find better treatments receives the focus it deserves, the Alzheimer’s Association funds researchers looking at new treatment strategies and advocates for more federal funding of Alzheimer’s research.

Currently, there are five FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drugs that treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but these medications do not treat the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s. In contrast, many of the new drugs in development aim to modify the disease process itself, by impacting one or more of the many wide-ranging brain changes that Alzheimer’s causes. These changes offer potential “targets” for new drugs to stop or slow the progress of the disease.

Many researchers believe successful treatment will eventually involve a “cocktail” of medications aimed at several targets, similar to current state-of-the-art treatments for many cancers and AIDS.

WITH EARLY DETECTION, YOU CAN:

  • Get the maximum benefit from available treatments
  • Have more time to plan for the future
  • Participate in building the right care team and social support network
  • Locate care and support services for you and your loved ones

People with memory loss or other possible signs of Alzheimer’s may find it hard to recognize they have a problem. Signs of dementia may be more obvious to family members or friends. Anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and intervention methods are improving dramatically, and treatment options and sources of support can improve quality of life.

WHEN YOU SEE YOUR DOCTOR

If you need assistance finding a doctor with experience evaluating memory problems, your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter can help. Your doctor will evaluate your overall health and identify any conditions that could affect how well your mind is working. They may refer you to a specialist such as a:

  • Neurologist – specializes in diseases of the brain and nervous system
  • Psychiatrist – specializes in disorders that affect mood or the way the mind works
  • Psychologist – has special training in testing memory and other mental functions
  • Geriatrician – specializes in the care of older adults and Alzheimer’s disease

Everyday, there are physicians in the HealthLynked system ready to care for Alzheimer patients and support the caregivers who offer so much to help them live the best lives possible.  If someone you love is showing signs of memory loss beyond what might be considered normal for their age, go to HealthLynked.com to connect and collaborate with any number of specialists at the ready.

 

Ready to get Lynked and get help?  Go to HealthLynked.com today to register for free!

Sources:

ALZ.org

NYTimes.com

 

Hashtags

#endalz

#alzheimersawarenessmonth

#gopurple

#patientcare

#dementia

#research

#HealthCare

#HealthLynked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Leading Cause of Blindness Impacts 24 Million Americans

A family member hit a pole in a parking deck at full Speed a few years back.  While that is just around 15 miles an hour in a garage, you can still total a car at those speeds when dueling concrete.  She did.  More shocking to hear was that She just didn’t see it.  We all learned cataracts were making her nearly blind.  As they worsened over the years, and she compensated, she had no idea how bad they had gotten.

I was sitting with my Dad one morning early this weekend, and it dawned on me he wasn’t wearing his bifocals.  We live far apart and hadn’t seen each other in almost a year.  I’d never known him not to have them on….or the New graduated lenses he moved to a few years back.  When I joined him, he was watching TV, so I asked him if he was just listening.  He shared with me his cataract surgery had restored his vision to 20/20, and even reading the paper was easy.  At almost 80y/o, that was awesome news!

More than half of Americans either have a cataract or have had surgery for them by his age. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision impairment in the US and the number one cause of blindness around the world.  This month, designated Cataract Awareness Month, “shines a light on the prevalent problem of cataracts”.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision and is especially common in older adults. In the US, a full 17% of Americans age 40 and over have cataracts in one or both eyes.

In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina (tissue filled with light sensitive cells at the back of the eye). There, light is converted by those special cells into signals transmitted by nerves to create images in the brain. For the retina to receive a sharp image, the lens must be clear. When it is not, as with a cataract, what one sees will be blurry.

Make time to schedule an appointment with an eyecare professional when you experience any of the following 7 signs you may have cataracts:

Cloudy days

Cataracts start small and initially may have negligible effect on your vision. Things might seem a little blurry — like looking at an impressionist painting. This effect usually increases over time. The world will seem increasingly cloudy, blurry, or dim.

No more wild nights

As cataracts become more advanced, they begin to darken with a yellow or brown tinge.  This begins to affect night vision and makes certain nighttime activities, such as driving, more difficult.  A study from Curtin University in Australia found that treating cataracts reduced the risk of car accidents by 13 percent.

If you suspect you have cataracts, be very careful at night and don’t drive when your vision is compromised.  Would have been great advice for our family member.

The glare of bright lights

Light sensitivity is a common symptom of cataracts. The glare of bright lights can be painful, especially to those with posterior subcapsular cataracts, according to the Mayo Clinic. These types of cataracts start at the back of the lens, blocking the path of light and often interfere with your reading vision.

Halos everywhere?

The clouding of the lens can result in diffraction of light entering your eye. This can cause a halo to appear around light sources. Rings around every light, sometimes in a variety of colors, can make driving very difficult. This is another reason why driving at night, especially when there are streetlights and headlights, can be dangerous if you have a cataract.

Your Glass is Half Full

If you find yourself frequently needing stronger glasses or contacts, you may have cataracts. Simply buying a strong pair of reading glasses from the drugstore isn’t going to fix the problem. See an eye doctor if your eyesight is changing rapidly. You may have cataracts or another eye condition that will benefit with prompt treatment.

Living in a yellow submarine

As cataracts progress, the clumps of protein clouding your lens may turn yellow or brownish. This results in all the light coming into your eye having a yellow tint. It’s almost as though you are wearing “blue-blocker” sunglasses, as advertised on TV, which block blue and violet light. This changes how you see color and reduces your ability to tell the difference between colors.

Double trouble

Diffraction from the lens clouding in a cataract can actually lead you to see two or more images of a single object. Many things can cause double vision, also called diplopia, including:

  • brain tumor
  • corneal swelling
  • multiple sclerosis
  • stroke
  • cataracts

Binocular double vision, which causes two images to be visible only if both eyes are open, can be a sign of serious health concerns, including:

Monocular double vision, which causes multiple images to appear in one eye but not the other, is more likely to be an issue with your eye’s cornea or lens. Cataracts is a common cause of diplopia. As the cataract grows larger, this effect may go away.

More Insights into Cataracts

What is the treatment for cataracts?

While so very prevalent, they are also very simple to treat. The solution for the clouding of the eye with cataracts is often surgery requiring the removal of the deteriorated lens.  The unhealthy lens is replaced with an artificial, intraocular lens, or IOL. Over 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery annually, making it one of the most common surgeries in the United States. In fact, the entire surgery lasts only about 20 minutes, and most people can resume normal activities fairly rapidly.

Is cataract removal safe?

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries, enjoying a success rate of 95 percent. Your surgeon will remove your clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens through a minuscule incision in the cornea – the highly organized tissue covering the eye.  Only 15 minutes are required to complete the procedure in an outpatient surgery center.

Do cataracts only affect seniors?

Cataracts can affect anyone! Although most people do not show symptoms of cataracts until at least the age of 40, cataracts can also affect young adults and even children. Heredity, disease, eye injury and smoking are causes for cataracts to develop at an earlier age.

Can I prevent cataracts?

There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, choosing a healthy lifestyle can slow their progression. Some ways to delay the progression of cataracts include smoking abstinence, minimizing exposure to UV rays and radiation, eating healthy foods, maintaining healthy blood sugars and blood pressures, and wearing proper eye protection to avoid eye injury.

A patient and their optometrist should discuss any of these symptoms and options for care.  While some of these might suggest a variety of vision problems, an eyecare practitioner will be able to determine whether the patient may have cataracts through a comprehensive eye exam.  They will then collaborate with the individual on the best course of action.

THE GOOD NEWS:  While cataracts are — in most cases — a natural part of aging, removal typically results in vastly improved vision!!  Looking to get connected to a great eyecare professional near you?  Go to HealthLynked.com to find a practitioner who will help you sharpen your focus and get you seeing more clearly in no time.

With HealthLynked, you can find physicians and practitioners who want to collaborate closely with you to help you live in the very best possible state of wellness and avoid immobile concrete pillars.

Sources:

YourSightMatters.com

HealthLine.com

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

 

Hashtags

#eyespy2018 #healthyvisionmonth #ophthalmology #optometry #eyecare #cataracts #nationaleyewearday

 

Ground Breaking App is the Future of HealthCare – Meet HealthLynked!

People who saw the Demo in December of 1976 might have guessed they were witnessing the birth of something big.  However, it was not at all clear then the little machine and the team showing it off were more significant than any number of other exhibitors at the West Coast Computer Faire –  a smaller tech conference akin to the Worldwide Developer Conference going on today through Friday in San Jose.

Soon thereafter, it became increasingly evident the new gadget was really going to matter. The first of its kind product started selling on this day, May 5th,  in 1977.  By the end of the year, it was gaining fame as one of the best among a new tech genre – microcomputers.  Before this unique platform came to market, predecessors were aimed at techno-nerd gearheads who knew how to sling solder, build their own and at least had Basic code in their repertoire.  This new one was practically plug-and-play.

The Apple ][ has sometimes been named the first personal computer.  It certainly was one of the best selling and had the longest run of home computers, built well into the 1990s.  What really made it stand out was its visionary design.  It was created as the clearest idea of what a PC should be and where it could really take us.  Eventually, it even returned us to space as the computers used to monitor the clean rooms around our shuttle builds.

The vision it embodied married the widely different yet wildly complementary gifts of two Steves – Jobs and Wozniak. To help it break out of the Homebrew Computer world, the Apple II, like future Apple products, had the right features and best vision in place. While it didn’t have what would later be known as a graphical user interface, it did have a richer, more interactive feel than other PCs.  It was one of the first models to host color graphics and sound right out of the box, and even came with two paddles as standard equipment. Such features made it a natural for games and educational software; they also made it a uniquely inviting device.

The platform Woz built and Jobs shaped and marketed was, indeed, a platform — the best and most successful container of its generation for interesting and useful hardware and software add-ons, much like the iPhone and iPad today. “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication”, read the headline on the first Apple II brochure. A nod to the wisdom of Leonardo Da Vinci often quoted by Einstein, it captured Apple’s philosophy, then as now.

The Apple II readied the world for the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and, likely, every other major technology gadget or platform of the past 41 years. Countless others have followed its lead.

On this day, the 41st anniversary of this amazing platform, we at HealthLynked are launching our own.  We believe it will be the kind of breakthrough in its own genre the ][ was.  That’s a lofty ideal and bold belief, yet we want the whole world to have access to their own medical information in the ways Woz and Jobs wanted the whole world to compute.

And we built the HealthLynked platform to make that possible.  It has all the right stuff to let patient members really take control of their healthcare,… and the right vision for providers to really have access to all the real-time health information that makes the best possible care a reality.

We are Improving HealthCare!  Go to the Apple store or HealthLynked.com today to download the first of its kind, universal, portable health record and connection and collaboration tool that is clearly paving the way to a much better medical future.

Sources:

TIME.com

Computerhistory.org

 

#apple #iPhone #iPad #iOS12 #WWDC18 #PatientCare

#HealthCare #HealthLynked

Celebrate Life on National Cancer Survivors Day

Today is National Cancer Survivors Day – a Celebration of Life for anyone who has been touched by cancer. As I sit here today with one of my favorite cancer survivors, valiantly battling prostrate cancer for the last 12 years, I am reminded of their struggles and how important each moment is.

 

Every day, and especially today, we lift up cancer survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals, family members, and friends.  We pay tribute to those who are living with a history of cancer and hope to bring attention to the ongoing challenges they still face.  Most importantly, we join together with everyone to celebrate life. Spread the word there is life after cancer –beautiful, meaningful life that it is something to celebrate.  Let us all do more to lessen the burdens of cancer survivorship.

 

#NCSD

#NCSD2018

#NationalCancerSurvivors

#HealthCare

#HealthLynked

#survivor

#cancer

 

Some Eating Disorders Increase the Odds of Death 18-Fold

 

Trigger WarningThis article covers one or more eating disorders in graphic detail.

We began to notice eating out was often a struggle, even around the sixth grade.  Just a picky eater, right?  I mean, we all have our preferences. We made room for her to assert her will as she began to grow into adulthood.

Then, favorite foods started to disappear from her diet, exercise amount and intensity really picked up, and anxiety started to reach pressure cooker levels around foods she considered “disgusting”.  Finally, on a trip with friends to the beach, we witnessed our daughter abandon the group to workout.  The ultimate alarm: in a fit of desperate anguish, she ran out of a restaurant sobbing…panicked about the menu choices.

The rest of our drive home, my wife researched eating disorders on her phone and decided Piper had Orthorexia –  a term with varying levels of acceptance in the eating disorder treatment community to describe a collection of behaviors that focus on “perfect” eating.  We agreed to intervene and seek help.

In the weeks that followed our initial discussions with her – she, in complete denial; we, in utter despair –  the physical signs of her disordered eating were becoming readily apparent.  She was way too thin and had stopped menstruating – especially essential at her age for continued development and strengthening of bones.  She was wasting away before our eyes, and we started to consider in-treatment programs while we tiptoed around tough topics to prevent another frightening blowup.

While we waited for an opening with professionals skilled in eating disorder recovery and lobbied mental health experts for help, we continued to clumsily insert ourselves into the decisions she was making around food and exercise.  The gym trips on top of swim team practice had clearly become a way for her to purge without actually throwing up, so we sat her down one night to tell her there would be no more working out…She leapt from our kitchen table, ran to a drawer, pulled a knife, and started to try to slice her wrists in rage.  Luckily, we were able to restrain her, her superhero sister calmed her down, and we got her to a hospital.

The months that followed were not easy, and Some of the way too deep talking was often tougher than I had imagined it could be.  The struggles were complex and very real.  I still spend many nights not wanting to leave her alone, but our youngest is well on the road to recovery.  We were able to find a great team, which included us, to help her restore mostly normal eating and thought patterns, and we are confident she will be able to head off to school next year without concern for her mental health.

What was happening?

An eating disorder is any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. This pattern of eating leads to disruption in one’s behaviors, thinking, and mood and can eventually leave one unable to function in any number of areas: interpersonal relationships, social situations, school, and work. Ultimately, it can lead to severe disruptions in overall health, and even death.

In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health issues.  Eating disorders may seem benign, but every 62 minutes, someone dies as a direct result of an eating disorder.

Actual Mortality Rates

Studies report varying death rates from eating disorders, but there are common findings. Anorexia is the most lethal psychiatric disorder, carrying a sixfold increased risk of death — four times the death risk from major depression. A meta-analysis by Jon Arcelus, MD, PhD, of the University of Leicester, England, and colleagues found these standardized mortality rates: 5.86 for anorexia nervosa, 1.93 for bulimia nervosa, and 1.92 for eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Research has demonstrated higher death rates for bulimia nervosa and EDNOS than these figures. According to one study, the mortality rate for anorexia nervosa patients aged 25 to 44 followed after hospital discharge was 14 times that of age-matched non-eating disordered peers. (That’s 14 times!)

According to Arcelus, et al, age plays a major role.   Those diagnosed in their 20’s face the worst odds at 18 times the death risk of healthy people their age.  Overall,  Anorexia increases death risk:

  • Threefold when diagnosed before age 15.
  • Tenfold when diagnosed at ages 15 to 19.
  • 18-fold when diagnosed at ages 20 to 29.
  • Sixfold when diagnosed at ages 30 and older.

Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder

One who suffers from an eating disorder will continue damaging and destructive behaviors despite such compelling evidence these behaviors are not in that person’s best interest. Their driven actions may be caused by any number of factors and serve any number of purposes.  Early intervention markedly improves treatment outcome, which is one reason to ensure individuals with eating disorders receive a prompt diagnosis and access to treatment, preferably evidenced-based wherever possible.  If you or someone you love is showing any of the signs below, especially in combination, get help immediately:

Alterations in Weight

  • Unusually marked weight loss. If the person weighs less than 85 percent of their ideal body weight and exhibits other characteristic signs of an eating disorder, this person can be diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa.
  • Many can still be close to, at, or even above their ideal body weight and still have an eating disorder. This is somewhat often seen in binging and purging behaviors typical of patients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa and includes restrictive, rigid rule based eating.

Preoccupation with Body Image

  • May spend an inordinate amount of time looking in the mirror.
  • Often makes negative comments about her physical appearance and insists they are overweight.
  • May become preoccupied with certain celebrities and models on the Internet and in magazines, comparing themselves unfavorably to them.
  • Wearing baggy clothing to hide their body shape. I am a 220 pound barrel chested bear of a man, and my sweatshirts became de riguer for my little girl.

Disruptions in Eating Patterns

  • Stops eating with the family
  • Develops strong dislikes to previously enjoyed foods
  • Preoccupied with counting calories and fat grams
  • Eats noticeably smaller portions or refuses to eat at all
  • Starts binging on certain foods
  • Drinks excessive amounts of water and caffeine to suppress appetite
  • Goes to the bathroom after meals to vomit what they just ate
  • May develop eating rituals such as:
    • Chewing for long periods of time before swallowing
    • Cutting food into small portions
    • Not allowing different foods to touch
    • Moving food around on the plate
    • Taking a long time to eat
    • Hiding food into napkins to throw away later

Preoccupation with Nutritional Content of Foods

  • Classifies foods as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, safe or unsafe
  • Searches out organic, low-fat diet foods
  • Frequently visits Internet websites focused on nutrition
  • May suddenly decide that they are going to become vegetarian, vegan, etc.
  • All of the above became concerns around our house, and this obsession with “right” eating became her “religion”

Changes in Exercise Patterns

  • Becomes preoccupied with physical fitness
  • Spends hours exercising in a ritualistic, rigid manner
  • Talks about the number of calories that they burned and the time they spent exercising
  • Becomes perturbed if their exercise routine is disrupted and eats even less to compensate

Use of Laxatives, Diuretics, and Diet Pills

Mood Fluctuations

  • May show signs of irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • May stop socializing and lose interest in previously enjoyed activities

Physical Eating Disorder Symptoms

  • Fainting spells from malnutrition and dehydration
  • Chapped lips and grey skin
  • Hair loss
  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Musculoskeletal injuries and pain from excessive exercise
  • Dental erosions from self-induced vomiting.
  • Chronic constipation, gastro-esophageal reflux, and other gastro-intestinal problems
  • Markedly low blood pressure and pulse
  • Prone to upper respiratory infections
  • Low energy
  • Overall poor health

Nine Truths about Eating Disorders

Nine Truths” is based on Dr. Cynthia Bulik’s 2014 “9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted” talk at the National Institute of Mental Health Alliance for Research Progress meeting.

  • Truth #1:Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.
  • Truth #2:Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.
  • Truth #3:An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.
  • Truth #4:Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.
  • Truth #5:Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.
  • Truth #6:Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.
  • Truth #7:Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.
  • Truth #8:Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.
  • Truth #9:Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

What Are the First Steps to Recovery?

If you, or someone you know and love, shows any of these signs or exhibits patterns of the behaviors described above, it is important to get help as soon as possible. An eating disorder can quickly take on a life of its own and lead to a downward spiral of:

  • Functional disruptions
  • Broken relationships
  • Loss of educational and occupational opportunities
  • Deterioration in health
  • Possible premature death

The treatment process can be started by contacting the person’s primary care physician for a physical evaluation, including laboratory studies and an EKG, and ask for or initiate finding the appropriate level of treatment for the eating disorder. This may be a therapist that is comfortable working with eating disorders, an outpatient eating-disorder program, or even an in-patient facility that specializes in eating disorders.

As I reread the lists and statistics above, I now see so clearly all we were missing, or more accurately, dismissing as normal teenage “junk”.  We would celebrate a milkshake eaten on a weekend and convince ourselves we were seeing things.  That is how the eating disordered individual wants it, or, more accurately, the disease wants it.

An eating disorder, or ED for short, represents the closest thing I have seen to the metaphorical little devil and little angel on the shoulder scenario.  The devil – the disease – is lying and convinces the individual to lie….Then, that little devil, ED, puts on airs of being the little angel and starts to consume the mind…and the minds around the individual in the fight.  So insidious.  So scary.

Since today is World Eating Disorders Day, we challenge you to avoid being lulled into complacency or denial!  Because eating disorders can often be successfully treated, especially when they are caught early, little can be gained—and everything stands to be lost—if one takes a hurry-up and do-nothing attitude towards this pervasive problem.  Gather together a team.  Stay strong in the journey.

Get help as soon as possible.

If are looking for a health professional who can help begin your journey to recovery, you might find them using HealthLynked.  It is the first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a Higher Purpose – Improving HealthCare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more and find our additional resources on mental health information.

DISCLAIMER:  You must know, I am just a half-a-brain helicopter pilot and mechanical engineer turned accidental sales person who became an occasionally adept commercial leader.  My wife, who lead our charge against ED, has been an incredible CEO of our home for almost 30 years.  I am not a medical professional, so what I am sharing here should be in no way misconstrued as health advice.  This list is not exhaustive.  It is only some of what we learned in facing the fearsome specter of mental health gone askew in our own home.

Sources:

WebMD

Stanford Daily

AEDWeb.org

VeryWellMind.com

 

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A Once Controversial Bear Hug Now Saves Lives

At the end of the long, stark white hall, walking from work after a long day, I saw three friends laughing as they left the cafeteria of the hospital.  I couldn’t make out their faces, as they were brightly backlit by sun pouring in the large exit doors I was headed toward. Approaching closer, I could see the two ladies flanking their fellow nurse in the middle were slapping her on the back.  I thought they were really having a fantastic time!

Then, at about five feet from the group, when I could truly see their faces, it was apparent the lady in the middle was not having as much fun as the two by her sides.  While her two friends were still quite jovial – laughing as the kept hitting her, the one on the middle was clearly panicked.

She was choking.

It was 1998, a time when back slapping a choking victim was regaining prominence.  Thankfully, years of military first aid Training kicked in….I asked if she could speak, and she shook her head violently, “N O !“

The nurse in the middle was a large lady, to put it lightly.  I told her what I was going to do to help.  Wrapping my arms around her, fists below her rib cage and “j-ing” up just wasn’t working.  So, I picked her up with the same reverse bear hug and bounced her, using gravity to help.  Out popped a peppermint, right into her hand.

After many thank-yous from her and the continuing guffaws from her friends, we all parted ways – her much happier for the encounter.

A few years before, our then five-year old was upstairs with her sister, yelling, “Momma, the baby!  Momma, the baby!”  My wife bounded up to our 6-Month old’s room to find our oldest and our infant both terrified.  Our baby was gasping for air, and blood was coming from her mouth.

My wife’s first aid Training also kicked in (she was training to be a diagnostic medical sonographer at the time)….She looked inside our youngest’s mouth and could see nothing.  She finger-swept the back of her throat, and felt something lodged there…  (note:  debate is still open on mouth sweep)

My kids’ super hero mom flipped her over, held her slightly down across her forearm, commenced back blows toward her chest….and out came nothing.  She tried five more blows which only produced only more blood.

She called 911. Our six-month-old was gasping for air in distress.  All three were terrified.  I was at work.  Thank God for their mom.  I would have fallen apart.

You never want to see your littlest loved one loaded into an ambulance.  My wife rode along, and a neighbor took our oldest.  I got the call you never want:  “LT Horel, this is EMT Smith.  There is nothing you can do, so make sure you drive the speed limit and come to Sacred Heart Hospital.  Your wife is here with your daughter.  She is being given the best possible care; she is going into surgery to remove a foreign object blocking her airway.  Your wife needs you to be here with her.  Drive safely.  That’s all you can do now.”

Luckily, the object was the disposable cover of an otoscope – that curious tool used to look into your ears and the back of your throat.  Our neighbor was an ER doctor, and the neighborhood kids played with his all the time, evidently.  My oldest thought it would be something fun for her and her sister to play with, too.  A baby often sees something new and investigates by putting in their mouth, so pop it in she did.

Just enough air got through, and while things were touch and go then, that little lady has grown up to be an incredible teacher in the Bronx.  I will never forget how she looked on this day; she was a pitiful little bundle of distressed and confused baby for whom the Heimlich failed.  Not because mom didn’t do everything right; Instead, because of what was in her throat, and how it was lodged.


Today marks the 44th anniversary of the invention of the Heimlich maneuver —a method for saving a choking victim with a bear hug and abdominal thrusts to eject a throat obstruction.  Given life in 1974, it has become a national safety icon, taught in schools, portrayed in movies, displayed on restaurant posters and endorsed by medical authorities.

It is the stuff of breathless, brink-of-death tales – like the two true stories above – and those told over the years by icons like Ronald Reagan, Edward I. Koch, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Cher, Walter Matthau, Carrie Fisher, Jack Lemmon, the sportscaster Dick Vitale, the television newsman John Chancellor and many others.  Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, the thoracic surgeon and medical maverick who developed and crusaded for the antichoking technique, has been credited with saving over 100,000 lives.  He passed just two years ago.

The Heimlich maneuver, when he first proposed it, was suspect — an unscientific and possibly unsafe stunt that might be too difficult for laymen to perform and might even cause internal injuries or broken bones in a choking victim.

But the stakes were high. In the 1970s, choking on food or foreign objects – like toys, which my five-year-old thought the otoscope cap was – stood as the sixth-leading cause of accidental death in America.  Choking resulted in some 4,000 fatalities annually, many of them children. A blocked windpipe often left a victim unable to breathe or talk, gesturing wildly to communicate distress that mimicked a heart attack. In four minutes, an oxygen-starved brain begins to suffer irreversible damage. Death follows shortly thereafter.

Standard first aid for choking victims, advocated then by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, consisted of a couple of hard slaps on the back or a finger down the throat. But Dr. Heimlich believed those pushed an obstruction farther down in the windpipe, wedging it more tightly. He knew there was a reserve of air in the lungs and reasoned that sharp upward thrusts on the diaphragm would compress the lungs, push air back up the windpipe and send the obstruction flying out, like that peppermint.

His solution — wrapping arms around a victim from behind, making a fist just above the victim’s navel and below the ribcage, then thrusting up sharply.  Worked on dogs, so why not humans?  His ideas, published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine in an informal article headlined “Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary,” were met with skepticism.

Anticipating resistance from his peers, Dr. Heimlich sent copies to major newspapers around the country. Days later, a Washington State man who had read about it used the maneuver to save a neighbor.

Other cases began to hit the headlines. A 5-year-old Massachusetts boy saved a playmate after seeing the maneuver he had seen demonstrated on television. Testimonials flooded in…. Dr. Heimlich was on his way to celebrity.

In a profession that then frowned on self-promotion, he was regarded as a publicity-seeking eccentric, if not a crackpot. But as saved lives accumulated into mounds of real evidence, skeptics were silenced, state and federal health authorities endorsed the technique, and its popularity spread. Today, it is known to millions from the internet, television, films, pamphlets, books, newspapers and magazines, talked up in families and taught in schools, often with videos provided by the Heimlich Institute.

According to WikiHow, there are four ways to perform the Heimlich.  They all follow a similar format.

For a standing person

Determine if the person is truly choking.

A choking victim will often have their hands around their throat. If you notice someone making this gesture, look for other choking signals. You should only perform the Heimlich on a choking person. Look for the following

  • Cannot breathe or experiencing loud, difficult breathing
  • Cannot speak
  • Inability to cough effectively
  • Blue or gray color to lips and fingernail beds
  • Loss of consciousness
Let the person know you’re going to perform the Heimlich or abdominal thrusts.

Tell the choking person you want to help them. Let them know you know the Heimlich Maneuver and are going to perform it on them.

Wrap your arms around the person’s waist.

Stand with your legs separated to best support your body. Gently wrap both arms around their waist. Lean them forward slightly.

Position your hands.

With one hand, make a fist. Which hand you use does not matter. Position your fist below the ribcage, but above the navel. Then, wrap your other hand around your fist.

Make a series of thrusts.

To make a thrust, press hard and quick into the abdomen. Pull inward and upward as you press. It should feel like you’re trying to lift the person off the ground.

  • Make the thrusts quick and forceful.
  • Perform five abdominal thrusts in quick succession. If the object is still not dislodged, repeat with five additional thrusts.
Perform back blows.

If the object is not dislodged with the Heimlich maneuver, do back blows. Deliver five blows to the person’s back with the heel of your hand. Aim for the area between the shoulder blades.

Press down hard, as you need to use enough force to dislodge the object.  However, keep the force confined to your hands. Do not squeeze the area surrounding the person’s ribcage or abdomen.

Call emergency services.

Call emergency services if the object is not dislodged. Preferably, have someone else call emergency services after the Heimlich fails the first time and you are performing another round of back blows. When an emergency service worker arrives, they can get the object dislodged. At this point, stay away from the choking person

For an infant

Hold the infant face down.

To start, find a firm surface. Lay the infant on the firm surface with their face down. Make sure the infant’s head is turned so they can breathe. Kneel near the infant’s feet.

You can also place the infant on your lap face down.

Give the baby five quick blows to the back.

Use the heel of your hand. Deliver five quick blows to the area between the infant’s shoulder blades. Hopefully, an object will pop out quickly.

With an infant, be firm in the blows but do not use harsh force. You do not want to press too hard, as this could hurt an infant. Gravity combined with back blows can provide adequate force to dislodge the object.

Turn the infant over.

If no object pops out, turn the infant over. Support their head with your hand, keeping the head slightly lower than the feet.

Give the infant five chest thrusts.

Place your fingers on the lower half of the infant’s breastbone. Make sure to keep your hand in the middle of your infant’s breastbone and not to one side of another. Press down five times in a series of chest thrusts. If you see the object become dislodged, stop giving chest thrusts.

Call emergency services if the object fails to come out.

Immediately call 9-1-1 if the object does not become dislodged. As you wait, repeat the back blows and the chest thrusts. Repeating the steps may cause the object to become dislodged while you’re waiting.

There are also methods for a victim lying on the ground and for performing the lifesaving technique on yourselfYou can find those here….


Back to the man and the history of the maneuver itself.   Dr. Heimlich developed and held patents on a score of medical innovations and devices, including mechanical aids for chest surgery that were widely used in the Vietnam War, procedures for treating chronic lung disease and methods for helping stroke victims relearn to swallow. He also claimed to have invented a technique for replacing a damaged esophagus with stomach parts, but later acknowledged he learned a Romanian surgeon had been using it for four years prior to his published article.  No one is sure if he really knew, but he was invited to Romania after he learned to meet the man and champion the procedure.

No one knows how many lives have been saved by this technique, although reported choking deaths declined after its popularization. The Heimlich Institute claims 50,000 lives saved in the United States alone. A 2009 Op-Ed article in The New York Times estimated that 100,000 people had been rescued from choking. The American Medical Association, which endorsed the technique in 1975 and gave it the name Heimlich maneuver, says it saves unknown thousands annually.  Most likely go unreported these days, like the case of the jovial nurses above.  Just a matter of a day in a hospital hallway.

In 1984, Dr. Heimlich, the recipient of many honors, won the Albert Lasker Public Service Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious medical science prizes, for a “simple, practical, cost-free solution to a life-threatening emergency, requiring neither great strength, special equipment or elaborate training.”  A surgeon well regarded by many, while considered a crackpot self-promoter by some, used what would be considered social campaigning to get the word out, appearing on TV and publishing in every print piece who would honor the request.  Omni magazine, in a 1983 article, quotes him saying, “I can do more toward saving lives in three minutes on television than I could do all my life in the operating room.”

A novel invention that saves lives and represents a paradigm shift.  That’s what we designed our platform to be.  At HealthLynked, we have built a healthcare ecosystem established for a higher purpose – Improving HealthCare.  Through the efficient exchange of information, we ensure patients get the best care possible by consolidating relevant health information for providers in one, easy to access and secure location.   Think of it as a great big, medical bear hug!

Ready to get Lynked?  Go to HealthLynked.com to get started today!

 

Sources:

NYTimes.com

WikiHow.com

 

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#choking

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10 People Will Perish in the Next Minute from Smoking

 

Each minute, smokers burn through nearly 11 million cigarettes and 10 perish from the habit – one approximately every six seconds.  The United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) have set aside today as World No Tobacco Day.  Following are a few facts to consider when measuring the impact of smoking on the world’s population.

How many people smoke?

  • There are around one billion smokers in the world – one-seventh of the global population – according to WHO and other estimates.
  • China has the highest number: within its population of 1.3 billion, about 315 million are smokers; and they consume more than a third of the world’s cigarettes, also according to WHO.
  • Indonesia has the highest proportion of smokers – 76% of the country’s men over 15 are stuck in the habit.
  • About 80% of the world’s smokers live in low to middle-income countries, and 226 million of them are considered poor.

On the decline?

  • A study published in The Lancet medical journal, April 2017, found the percentage of people using tobacco every day has dropped in 25 years.
  • One in four men and one in 20 women smoked daily in 2015, down from one in three men and one in 12 women in 1990.  Newest estimates are now showing 1 in 5 people smoke across the general population, or about the same as at the turn of the century.
  • Reductions in smoking rates in some nations “are almost entirely offset by the increasing consumption in many countries with weaker tobacco control regulations,” says The Tobacco Atlas anti-smoking lobby.  These include poorer parts of the world – in particular, sub-Saharan Africa.  In addition, Electronic cigarettes have also entered most markets.
  • Tobacco use has decreased in places such as Australia, Brazil and Britain, where anti-smoking measures include higher taxes, bans and health warnings. France reports a million fewer daily smokers in 2017 over 2016. Ireland and Uruguay are the two countries which have achieved the highest levels of tobacco control.
  • Since 2007, the number of people around the world to have benefited from stronger regulations has more than quadrupled – up from one billion to five billion.
  • Tobacco sales have even declined in China, down by 10% from a peak in 2012, according to the Euromonitor International market research group.

A high cost

Still, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death.  Active smoking or passive contact kills more than seven million people every year, according to the WHO.  Cancers, heart attacks, strokes and lung diseases are the main health concerns associated with tobacco. Over the 20th century, tobacco claimed 100 million lives – more than the 60-80 million deaths during World War II and the 18 million in World War I combined.

At current rates, tobacco could account for up to a billion deaths in the 21st century, the WHO says. Smoking uses up almost 6% of world spending on healthcare as well as nearly 2% of global GDP, according to a January 2017 study in the scientific journal Tobacco Control. This amounted to $1.436 billion globally in 2012, 40% of which is borne by developing countries.

The benefits of quitting

This year, World No Tobacco Day highlights the impact of tobacco use on heart disease under the banner: “Tobacco Breaks Hearts”. There are many reasons to focus on heart health.

More people die from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) worldwide than from any other cause, and tobacco use is responsible for about 10% of these deaths.  Despite broad public awareness of the connection between smoking and cancer, less attention has been given to the cardiovascular risks of smoking, including heart attack and stroke. When a person quits smoking, among the most immediate effects are a drop in heart rate, blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels in the blood – all important indicators for heart health.

Moreover, the benefits of smoking cessation and tobacco control policies for heart health can be seen almost immediately. While cancer risk decreases steadily over years after quitting smoking, the risks for heart attack and stroke decline much more rapidly. Evidence from many countries, including the U.S., demonstrates that implementation of comprehensive smoke-free laws reduces hospitalizations for acute coronary events. In fact, the majority of deaths caused by secondhand smoke are from heart disease and stroke and can clearly be prevented by policies that protect non-smokers.

Much progress has been made in tobacco control since the first World No Tobacco Day in 1987, yet there is more work to be done.  We must continue raising awareness about the harms of tobacco use and the benefits of going tobacco-free, especially in countries where the burden is greatest.

If you are ready to kick the habit, find a physician who can help you today in America’s largest healthcare network – HealthLynked.  In our safe, secure and intuitive platform, you can connect with providers who care, and carry your most up to date health information with you wherever you go….

Ready to get Lynked?  Go to HealthLynked.com today, sign up for Free, and start new HealtCare habits to increase your personal wellness right away.  You and your heart will be glad you did.

 

Sources:

Hindustan Times

WHO.org

NCI.org

 

Hashtags:

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7 Ways to Get Moving on Senior Health and Fitness Day

 

It is never too late to start feeling great, and you are never over the hill, especially if you take the time to walk up one!

Held annually on the last Wednesday in May, today is National Senior Health and Fitness Day – a nationwide health and fitness event held for older adults.  More than 100,000 organizations will participate throughout the country.  Retirement communities, senior centers, park districts, hospitals, and other locations will provide multiple ways to get active and eat healthy.  Get involved by participating with organizations hosting events or find ways to make your own fun to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day!

Start today by making permanent lifestyle changes

A balanced diet and participation in regular exercise are paramount to maintaining a healthy life for people of all ages. For seniors, routine exercise and healthy eating can have an even more noticeable impact on their general well-being.

For most, much of what becomes debilitating later in life may be prevented or advancement slowed through creating a healthy lifestyle. Osteoporosisarthritisheart disease, high blood pressures, diabetes, high cholesteroldementiadepression, and certain cancers are some of the common conditions which can be positively modified in seniors through diet, exercise, and other simple lifestyle changes.

Consider the role diet plays in health

A good and healthy diet has numerous potential benefits.  Heart disease, vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressurehigh cholesterol, strokes, memory problems, osteoporosis, certain cancers, skin, hair and nail diseases, and visual problems are examples of conditions which can be impacted by diet.

Proteins, carbohydrates, fatsvitaminsminerals, and water are all essential nutrients that make up most cells and tissues in human body. Thus, these essential components need to be provided in in the right measure through diet for the maintenance of good health.

A balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber is generally recommended to provide these necessary nutrients.  Supplementation with minerals and vitamins, and the intake of plenty of fluids are considered essential to a healthy diet.

Although the quality of food is important, its quantity should not be overlooked. A very healthy diet consumed in too large portions can still lead to a high caloric intake.  Moderate portion sizes to achieve daily caloric goals of 1,500 to 2,000 are generally advised. Avoiding empty calories are also important. These are foods which lack good nutritional value but are high in calories. Examples include sodas, chips, cookies, donuts, and alcohol.

Special dietary restrictions for certain conditions are also important to follow. Restricted salt and fluid intake for people with heart failure or kidney disease, or carbohydrate controlled diet for people with diabetes are general examples of such guidelines.

Let’s get moving!

The benefits of exercise in disease prevention and progression cannot be overemphasized. Regular physical activity and exercise can help manage or even prevent a variety of health problems in the elderly.

Some of the numerous health benefits of exercise include:

  • Building up physical endurance
  • Better sleepquality and duration
  • Weight maintenance and burning excess calories
  • Better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues
  • Improving the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol
  • Optimizing health of the heart, lung, and vascular system
  • Maintaining bone and muscle health
  • Reducing fall risks and arthritis
  • Mood enhancement

Regular exercise 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes is strongly advised for seniors. An effective exercise is one which would increase the heart rate adequately to about 75% of maximum heart rate. A person’s maximum heart rate is roughly calculated by subtracting age from the number 220.

Walkingswimming, and exercise machines are generally safe and can help achieve these goals. Balance exercises, flexibility exercises, and resistance exercises (weight lifting) can also be beneficial.

Here are some ideas to get your active lifestyle kicked off or restarted today:

1. Go to the Park

Park and Recreational Departments are getting involved in National Senior Health and Fitness Day, offering the opportunity for seniors to get out in nature. Check out local events near you or plan your own day at the park, filled with trail walking and a picnic!

2. Attend a Fitness Class

What more appropriate way to spend National Senior Health and Fitness Day than by attending a fitness class? Whether at a local community center or private gym, look for a structured workout session. Having an instructor helps demonstrate proper technique to prevent injury while a large group of people heightens motivation and energy!

3. Walk to Health

Organizations near you may be organizing walking events, so take advantage of such. But not all fitness activities have to be structured, and can include a walk with close friends and family members. Whether walking on your favorite trail or around the neighborhood, enjoy a brisk stroll with loved ones.

4. Work in the Garden

Gardening is a leisurely hobby promoting both health and fitness. Attend to a personal or community garden or plant a garden bed or pot filled with fresh produce of herbs. Take gardening a step further, with personal crop or purchased from the grocer, and cook a meal with fresh produce filled with extensive nutrients to nourish the body.

5. Shake it

Move and dance to the music! Whether signed up for a Zumba class or in the comfort of your own kitchen, there are endless possibilities when it comes to dancing, as it can be done just about anywhere.

6. Schedule A Health Screening

Along with being active, be proactive with health. Scheduling a health screening keeps seniors in the know of their own personal health and offers a chance to take preventative measures or actions, which may also be dependent on the physical results and discussions held with a healthcare professional.

7. Volunteer

Volunteering is a chance to offer health and wellbeing not only to yourself but affords opportunities to extend it to others. Seek out volunteer options at health fairs to spread the word of good health, food pantries to offer nutrition to individuals in need, or through any other such events available in your community or area.

 

As a general precaution, if symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, or fainting or dizziness occur during or after exercising, it is important for the individual to stop the exercise and notify their physician promptly.  Always consult with a physician before starting any new fitness regimen.

 

In addition to diet and exercise, other important life style modifications for leading a healthier life include:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Brushing and flossing teeth twice a day
  • Visiting a dentist annually or biannually
  • Limiting alcohol intake to one drink daily
  • Using skin moisturizers and sun protection
  • Going to the primary care doctor routinely
  • Engaging in routine and scheduled social activities
  • Reviewing list of medications with your doctor(s) often
  • Adhering to routine sleep schedule and using good sleep hygiene
  • Following recommended instructions for health screening, preventive tests, and vaccinations
  • Following up with eye doctor and foot doctor, especially for people with diabetes
  • Being aware of potential medication side effects and drug interactions, to include over-the-counter drugs, herbals, and alternative medicine
  • Staying proactive in own healthcare and participating in decision making

Get Connected!

Finding the right physician and keeping up with your medications can be challenging.  We are here to help!  HealthLynked is the first of its kind portable health record designed with seniors in mind.  It allows you to gather all your relevant health information and providers in one place – including your medications, pharmacy and healthcare team – to ensure you get the very best care possible.

Ready to get Lynked?  Go to HealthLynked.com now to register for free and start taking control of your health today!

Find more information on how to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day events here.

 

#SeniorHealthFitnessDay

 

 

Let’s Lift the Global Burden of Viral Hepatitis, B and C

World Digestive Health Day is celebrated every year on May 29th. WDHD for short, it marks the start of a twelve-month long campaign focused on raising public and professional awareness of a particular digestive disease or disorder.  The campaign for 2018 is entitled: “Viral Hepatitis B & C: Lift the Global Burden”

World Digestive Health Day was launched in 2004 to mark the 45th anniversary of the creation of the World Gastroenterology Organization. The Organization has over 100-member societies and 50,000 individual members all over the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated there are 325 million people across the world who are living with Hepatitis B and C. These conditions can lead to chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. During World Digestive Health Day and the year that follows, the aim of the World Gastroenterology Organization is to provide both medical professionals and the lay public an understanding of the latest research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis B and C.

Campaign Information

The WDHD 2018 Campaign is titled “Viral Hepatitis, B and C: Lift the Global Burden”.  By participating in the campaign, you will help:

  • Advocate and raise awareness of Viral Hepatitis, B and C, most especially its management and the availability of treatment in countries where the viruses are being newly or increasingly diagnosed.
  • Inform physicians, pharmacists, allied health professionals, healthcare payers and the public of the prevalence, risk factors and causes of Viral Hepatitis B and C.
  • Educate through an evidence-based and patient-centered approach on the prevention and diagnosis of Viral Hepatitis B and C.

How to Get Involved

WGO and WGOF invite you to get involved in the campaign by creating exciting ways to advocate and raise awareness of Viral Hepatitis, B and C all year long. Below are a few ways you may TAKE ACTION and CELEBRATE in your respective community. WGO and WGOF are appreciative of all campaign participants and for your continued efforts to support the WDHD campaign.

TAKE ACTION

  • Host a conference or symposium featuring scientific programs, plenaries, presentations and/or forums on Viral Hepatitis B and C.
  • Create Viral Hepatitis prevention toolkits for healthcare professionals and the general public.
  • Organize a public awareness campaign and disseminate campaign materials through blogs, podcasts, videos and brochures.
  • Create your own way to TAKE ACTION to support the campaign and share with others.
  • Join the WDHD Conversation on Social Media!
  • WGO and WGO Foundation want to hear from you! To join the conversation in support of WDHD 2018, tag WGO on Facebook (World Digestive Health Day – WDHD) and/or Twitter (@WGOF_WDHD), and be sure to include #WDHD2018 in your post.  Both encourage you to connect and interact with them on LinkedIn too, as WGO and WGO Foundation are now officially part of the LinkedIn community!

CELEBRATE

  • Host a walk-a-thon to rally your community in support of WDHD.
  • Generate Viral Hepatitis awareness by developing a social media campaign.
  • Engage your local media with podcasts, public service announcements, press releases, radio advertisements and/or TV interviews.
  • Create your own way to CELEBRATE by telling your story and and share with others!!
  • For more information on World Digestive Health Day, including information about upcoming events and more information about Viral Hepatitis B and C, those interested can visit the World Gastroenterology Organization Website.

Did you know?

Gastroenterology, as a specialty, emerged at the end of the Nineteenth Century when clinicians were stimulated to study the gastrointestinal tract.  Thanks to the work of great physiologists, tools where devised for the investigation of the digestive system, such as tubes for sampling gastric contents and endoscopic instruments to visualize the upper and the lower gastrointestinal tract.

At the same time, great new surgical techniques made possible the definitive treatment of digestive disease which became the basis of the medico-surgical collaboration which has had such an impact in the ever-growing specialty. The discovery of x-rays also represented extraordinary progress which was rapidly put to use. The first efforts to conduct upper endoscopy as well as the examination of the lower bowel with instruments devised in America defined the field of gastrointestinal disease. Endoscopy, as such, began in the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, although its rapid advance was initially hindered by the wide use of radiological techniques.

Get Connected

Need a good gastro doctor to take a peak inside or help you get closer to your microbiome?  Find one fast on HealthLynked.com, where you can build your own personal, portable health record and Connect and collaborate with your care team using our novel ecosystem.

Get Lynked today!  Go to HealthLynked to sign up for Free and start taking control of your medical care.

 

Sources:

 www.worldgastroenterology.org

 

Hashtags:

#WDHD #ViralHep #HepB #HepC #HBV #HCV #WDHD2018  #HepatitisB #HepatitisC#HealthCare #HealthLynked

 

We Honor Our Fallen on Memorial Day

On this day many consider a welcomed rest from work and the unofficial start of the summer season, we at HealthLynked wish to show our gratitude for those who have paid the ultimate price and to those who are still serving around the globe.  We recognize brave service women and men stand when and where many others may not and do not count the protection of their own lives more important than the protection of freedom around the globe.

 The cost of freedom is always high, and Americans have always paid it. Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully measure, but we can honor their sacrifice.  As President Ronald Reagan said in his 1983 message on this day:

“Words are even more feeble on this Day, for…before us is a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them.

Yet, we must try to honor them — not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe…, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves.

Today, we lift up in celebration those who gave everything so that we may play this day away and  sleep in peace tonight.  Everyday, may we all give of ourselves more deeply, and in a multitude of ways, to honor their great commitment to the greater good of all.

With great respect and humility,

Your HealthLynked Team.