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What To Do If You Get the Flu

I’m guessing that the flu isn’t on your top-10 wish list, right? But just in case you get sick this flu season, here’s a list of 10 things you can do to help ease your symptoms—and to stop the flu in its tracks and protect others.

1. Stock up. A few supplies may make it a bit easier to manage the flu. It’s best to have these on hand before you get sick. Otherwise, send a healthy member of your family out on an errand, if you can.

• Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen for reducing fevers and easing achiness

• A thermometer

• Cough syrup or cough drops

• Saline nose drops or sprays

• Drinks such as fruit juices or tea (avoid caffeine)

• Easy-to-eat foods such as clear soups, crackers, or applesauce1,2

2. Stay home! The first day you have symptoms, you may be tempted to venture out to work or school. Please don’t! Not only do you need the rest, but this is also when you’re most contagious.1 Try to nap—and read or binge-watch your favorite television episodes.

3. Prevent the spread. In...

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Overweight? All Is Not Lost!

Need to shed 15 or 25 pounds? Try this trick: Pick up a 15- or 25-pound turkey in the grocery store (or a bag of soil at the nursery). Then carry it around for a few minutes. Did you find it tough to do? Extra pounds take a toll, don’t they? But weight gain is often such a gradual process that you might not even realize it’s happening.1

Sadly, more and more people are dying from weight-related health problems. This includes high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions. In 2015, 40 percent of 4 million deaths linked to weight were in people who weren’t even considered obese, just overweight.2 And for those who gain more, the risks are even greater. For example, 44 extra pounds in midlife increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 10 times.1 There’s an emotional toll as well. A recent study found that heavy kids faced three times the risk of depression in adulthood.3

Okay, enough of the scary statistics. I’m here to also say that even small changes can make a big difference. For example, did you know that...

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What happens when your kid doesn’t get enough sleep? Does he turn into Oscar the Grouch? Not a surprise, really. But moodiness isn’t the only downside of a lack of shuteye.

Sleep is critical for mental and physical development. In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, injuries, diabetes, and obesity in kids, as well as depression in teens (and adults).1,2

Sleep guidelines for kids. About a year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new sleep guidelines for kids. In case you missed it, here’s what they now recommend:

• Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours (including naps)

• Kids 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours (including naps)

• Kids 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours (including naps)

• Kids 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours

• Teens: 8 to 10 hours1

Guidelines are more challenging to devise for infants younger than four months. That’s because there is so much variation among young infants as they begin to develop regular sleep-wake cycles. 1,2

Signs of sleeplessness. How...

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Protect Yourself from the Sun

Did you know that skin cancer rates are on the rise in the U.S., where it is the most common type of cancer?1 It’s no wonder. Just in the past year alone, one-third of the adult population has been sunburned at least once. And that lobster-red look is a clear sign of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays—a known cause of skin cancer, which can impact any age, gender, or race.1,2

Risks of tanning. But you’re not off the hook if you stop at tanning. That’s your body’s response to sun injury.1 When you tan—either outdoors or indoors—you increase your risk of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer. You also increase your risk of:

• Premature skin aging—wrinkles and age spots

• Damaged skin texture

• Potentially blinding eye diseases1

Here’s the silver lining in this gloomy cloud: Avoiding the sun’s UV rays is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer.1

General guidelines. You probably know the drill, but it bears repeating:

1. Seek shade and stay out of the sun, if you can, when UV rays are...

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Men and Hearing Loss

“You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” Depending upon your age, these words may recall the lyrics of a 1970s folk song by Joni Mitchell. But you might want to listen up and consider these words another kind of warning—especially if you’re a man.

More people with hearing loss. Today, twice as many people have hearing loss as in the 1980s. And sadly the trend isn’t improving. A recent report predicted that the number of U.S. adults with hearing loss will rise to nearly a quarter of the population in the next 40 years.1 Perhaps we’ve adapted just a bit too well to all the noise in our environment—from rock shows and subways to motorcycles and kids’ toys.

The story is even more sobering for men. That’s because hearing loss may be more common and severe in men than in women. One likely reason is that more men than women are exposed to sustained loud noises.2

Links to other health issues. Increasingly, researchers are seeing links between hearing loss and other health issues—problems that often affect men. These include sleep...

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Aging Women: Ways to Stay Healthier

Like a surprise visit from your least favorite relative, aging can bring more than you’d bargained for: a few more wrinkles, a little less stamina, floppy arms, baggy kneecaps…. Sound familiar? Worse, though, are the big health changes that may accompany aging. Many of these you can’t even see. Here are some tips to point you in a healthier direction.

Where’s the fat? As it turns out, not all fat is created equal. Where you carry your fat can make a big difference, especially as you age. A recent study of women in their seventh decade of life found that being overweight or obese didn’t shorten their lives, unless the weight was carried at their waists. The risk of death was consistently higher in women with waists measuring more than 31.5 inches. However, there was an exception: Compared with white or black women, Latinas had lower death rates at any waist measurement or body mass index (BMI).1

A second study also found that pockets of fat near the heart can be a hazard for women as...

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Seasonal Allergies: Trying to Nip Them in the Bud

Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, fatigue…. These are just a few of the signs of seasonal allergies—also known as hay fever.1 And get ready: It looks like we may have a real doozy of an allergy season this year.2 Milder winter temperatures in places can cause plants to pollinate early. And a rainier spring leads to quick plant growth, as well as an increase in mold. 1

Allergic reactions mostly occur when your body responds to a “false alarm.” And, as you well know, there isn’t a cure for seasonal allergies. But there’s no reason to let this time of year take all the spring out of your step! Arm yourself with information.

Monitor climate factors. When checking the weather and planning your day, keep these things in mind:

· Heat and high humidity promote the growth of molds.

· Cool nights and warm days allow tree, grass, and ragweed pollens to thrive.

· In spring and summer, tree and...

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5 Tips to Help Save Your Vision

Eight out of 10 people living with vision loss worldwide could have saved their sight through prevention or treatment.1 Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Of course, seeing your doctor for eye exams and treatment is key.

Here are a few other things you can do help ensure your eyes have a bright future:

1. Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B rays give you a big bang for your buck. They can:

• Delay development of cataracts.

• Prevent retinal damage.

• Protect delicate eyelid skin from skin cancer, non-cancerous growths, and wrinkles.2

2. Eat right. You are what you eat. It’s an old adage, but there’s something to it. And when it comes to your eyes, it may still hold true. Recently, the Coimbra Eye Study found a lower rate of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in people eating a Mediterranean diet. This includes lots of:

• Vegetables

• Legumes such as beans

• Fish

• Cereals

• Fruits (In the study, those who ate just over 5 ounces...

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Healthy Holidays for You!

The holidays may be a source of many special memories…. And also temptation, stress, and oversize expectations may throw you a curve ball or two. How can you possibly maintain your balance through it all, let alone stay healthy?

Check out these 7 tips for a healthier holiday.

1. Beat the bugs. Add “flu shot” to your to-do list, unless of course you’ve already gotten it done. Also, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Lots of germs can easily “leap” from hands to nose and mouth—not to mention from you to other people.

When you fly or ride a bus or train, use a disinfectant wipe on armrests, tray table and latch, air vent, and seatbelt buckle. Also, drink plenty of fluids while traveling—try for 8 ounces of water each hour. Moist airways are less susceptible to viruses and bacteria.1,2

2. Stay active. And by active we don’t mean just shopping or wrapping presents! At the very least, put on some holiday music and dance! This may not be the best time of year to start a new exercise routine, but don’t let exercise go...

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Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

On Thanksgiving Day, families across the country will come together around dining room tables. Many will share a bountiful feast and give thanks for many blessings. What better time than the month of November to also give thanks for our customers?

We are particularly grateful this year: In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Chain Drug Store Pharmacies.” We outpaced other “brick-and-mortar” chain drug stores in four of five categories:

· Our stores

· Our cost competitiveness

· Our pharmacists

· Our non-pharmacy staff

The pharmacy study is now in its eighth year. This year, it was based on responses from 14,789 pharmacy customers who filled or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of June 2016.

Personalized service. The survey also found that health and wellness services...

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News about the Flu Vaccine

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. We’re here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.

Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

  • 30 percent reduction in admission for stroke

  • 22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure

  • 19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack

  • 15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was...

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When Kids’ Allergies Strike in the Fall

School is in session, and just like clockwork your 8-year-old starts sneezing, sniffling, and snorting—not to mention clearing her throat and blowing her nose like there’s no tomorrow. Poor thing! What’s going on?

Chances are it’s allergies—the immune system’s abnormal reaction to a substance that would normally be quite harmless.1 Up to 40 percent of children in the U.S. have nasal allergies.2

How can you know for sure whether allergies are the culprit? One way is to have your child see the pediatrician, who may find clues in places like nasal mucous membranes. But the only way to identify specific triggers is to do allergy testing.1

Outdoor allergens. Also known as hay fever, seasonal allergies often bring images of springtime sufferers, so common when many plants begin to bloom. In the fall, however, outdoor allergens such as ragweed and tumbleweed may also release tiny pollen and wreak major havoc—especially in the morning.2,3

...

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It’s that time again: Time to switch from swimsuits to school clothes and from beach bags to backpacks. That’s the easy part. What about preparing your child to have the healthiest and safest school year possible? Here’s a handy checklist to help.

1. Schedule medical, eye, and dental checkups. Before school starts, check with the pediatrician to see if your child needs any immunizations. Vision and hearing tests are also a good idea, although schools perform hearing tests during certain grades.1 If your child is playing sports, ask the pediatrician whether a special checkup is needed. With certain sports, concussions can be a serious problem. Talk to the doctor about ways to protect your child.2

2. Organize your child’s medical history records. Provide copies to your child’s school or daycare providers. I can help you pull some of this together, but the list should include your child’s:

• Prescription medications

• Medical problems such as asthma or allergies

• Previous surgeries

• Emergency contacts2

3. Communicate about...

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9 Screening Tests for Men

Are you one of those guys who can’t remember the last time you stepped foot in a doctor’s office? Sure, maybe you’ve gotten in for something urgent, but what about scheduling an annual exam or screening tests? Maybe you simply forget, think you already have healthy habits, or insist that you “feel just fine.” Sorry, guys…. Not quite good enough.

Regular checkups and screening tests aren’t something you can afford to ignore. Baseline tests can help your doctor know how your health is changing over time. Plus, silent killers such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol can wreak havoc—and you wouldn’t have a clue without being tested.

Here’s a simple screening cheat sheet to make your life easier.

1. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. If you have ever smoked, get this ultrasound test one time between ages 65 and 75. This test will show whether or not your largest artery (abdominal aorta) is bulging. If it is, it may burst, putting you at risk for bleeding—and even death.

...

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7 Screening Tests for Women

May is the month when many women celebrate Mother’s Day. Maybe breakfast in bed, homemade cards, extra hugs….? It’s pretty wonderful to feel so cared for. But how well do you take care of yourself—whether or not you’re a mother?

One big piece of self-care involves regular screening tests, which can prevent many health problems—or help you nip them in the bud as early as possible. Life can get hectic, though, so it’s easy to forget or to put it off. Here is a brief overview of the tests the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends for women. Remember: these are guidelines only. Talk with your doctor about your unique needs.

1. Blood pressure test. Starting at age 18:

  • Get tested at least every 2 years if your blood pressure is lower than 120/80.

  • Get tested once a year if your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89.

  • Discuss treatment with your doctor if your blood pressure is 140/90 or...

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Is It an Allergy—or Is It a Cold?

Spring has sprung—or it’s just about to. That means spring allergies are “blooming,” too. But sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a cold and a seasonal allergy, also known as hay fever. Here are some signs to look for and ways to find relief.

Know the signs. Both colds and allergies can cause sneezing, stuffiness, or a runny nose. But there are telltale differences between a cold and seasonal allergy. Ask yourself these five questions. The more times you answer “yes,” the greater the chance the culprit is a seasonal allergy.1

  1. Are plants starting to flower (or leaves starting to fall?) A change of season means this is more likely an allergy—your body’s response to airborne allergens (substances such as pollen that cause allergies). Colds are most common in winter months, and are caused by viruses that show up in any environment.

  2. Did your symptoms appear suddenly and last more than a week? Cold symptoms tend to appear more gradually but go away...

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New U.S. Dietary Guidelines

Based on the most recent science, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released at the beginning of 2016. Before you say, “here we go again,” let’s take a closer look. The guidelines may sound familiar, but there are some differences from years past.1

Overall guidelines. For the most part, these guidelines don’t advise you about how much to eat of different foods, such as vegetables or meat. Instead, they focus on helping you fit healthy eating into their own unique lifestyle. To that end, they provide three examples of healthy eating plans: a healthy American diet, a Mediterranean-style diet, and a vegetarian diet.

What these three types of diets share is an emphasis on more plant-based foods, healthy fats, and whole grains. The guidelines also suggest making meals and snacks from scratch. That helps avoid the common pitfalls of processed foods, such as high levels of salt and sugar.

Overall, a healthy eating pattern includes:

  • Any vegetable, but preferably a wide...

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Healthy Heart Habits: Life’s Simple 7

As you started into the new year, did you resolve to have healthier habits? Many people do. But a long-term study found that Americans are not doing as well as they were 20 years ago in maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle.1 And that increases their chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.2

Life’s Simple 7. In the study, the percentage of Americans who met all these heart-healthy lifestyle goals—what the American Heart Association calls Life’s Simple 7—dropped from 8.5 percent to 5.8 percent:

  • Eat a balanced diet.

  • Be active.

  • Manage your weight.

  • Don’t use tobacco.

  • Maintain ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Best for women. In the past, it was thought that hormones protected women from heart disease until menopause. Now we know that’s not the case. But two recent studies show that there may be subtle differences in what’s best for women and...

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Fighting Disease with Exercise

It’s certainly not a cure-all. But it’s pretty impressive.

Exercise is one of the few things that can help prevent or slow the development of most—if not all—major health problems. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, bone loss—to name a few. Topping things off, exercise can help ease the aging process, for example, by strengthening and stretching muscles and joints.1

In no time at all, you may also notice other subtle changes from exercise: more energy, less stress, firmer muscles, better-fitting clothes.1 Some pretty nice bonuses, don’t you think?

Heart benefits. Your heart is one of the organs that benefits the most. That’s a muscle you really can’t afford to ignore. Exercise helps your heart by:

  • Strengthening it, making it a more efficient pump

  • Reducing high cholesterol and plaque buildup

  • Reducing blood pressure

  • Helping you manage your weight1...

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Managing Diabetes Medications

It’s not the kind of club you really want to belong to. Today, nearly half of all American adults have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of getting it.1

If you count yourself among them, you know that managing your diabetes medications is something you can’t afford to ignore. If not well managed, diabetes can lead to serious complications. They include cardiovascular disease; nerve, kidney, eye, and foot damage; and hearing problems.2

Recent research. A study of 350,000 people with type 2 diabetes found that people with poorly managed diabetes were also 50 percent more likely to have dementia.3 Other recent studies have found that diabetes appears to take a particular toll on women’s hearts. Looking at nearly 11 million people, one study found the risk was almost 40 percent higher in women than in men.4

Whether woman or man, however, staying on top of medication management clearly needs to be top of mind.

Types of medications. As you likely know, managing...

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Flu Season Is Here: Seniors (and Friends), Take Note

The flu can hit seniors like a Mack Truck! That’s because their immune systems weaken with age.1 If you’re over 65—or care for someone who is—keep the following in mind as we head into the flu season. As for the rest of you? We have a message or two for you, as well.

A better match. Last year, seniors really bore the brunt of the flu season. Sixty percent of flu-related hospitalizations and nearly 80 percent of deaths were among those 65 or older.2 One problem was that last year’s main strain of flu (H3N2) wasn’t included in the vaccine. So the vaccine was only 13 percent effective against it.3

This year’s flu vaccine should be a better match for circulating strains of flu, according to U.S. officials. There’s also an adequate supply of vaccine.3

Long-term protection. More good news? A recent study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu...

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5 End-of Year Tips from Your Pharmacist

As the days keep getting shorter, does it feel as though there are fewer than 24 hours in a day? With the holidays right on the horizon, there’s so much to think about and so much to do. Here are a few end-of-year reminders to make sure your health—and your pocketbook—doesn’t get the short end of the stick.

1. Get your flu shot. If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.1

2. Plan for Medicare open enrollment. Every year, the open enrollment for Medicare is October 15 through December 7. This is when you can change your health plan and prescription drug coverage. You can get more information here: Call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to...

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More Options for Cholesterol Control

There’s more than one way to tackle the risk of high cholesterol. That’s a type of fat that can clog up your arteries and block blood flow.1

Check it out. Without being tested, though, you can’t be certain about your risk. Yes, you might be in good company being in the dark: For example, nearly half of Hispanics in the U.S. who have high blood pressure are unaware of it.2 But, no, ignorance is not bliss.

If you haven’t had a recent cholesterol test, why not schedule one now? You can do it in honor of National Cholesterol Education Month. In the meantime, check out a few new findings about cholesterol control.

Fitness pays off. You probably already know that eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can raise your cholesterol. Likewise, being overweight can lower your levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol. But did you know that being inactive could literally be the “kiss of death?”1

Exercise can lower risks of high blood pressure, diabetes,...

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Why Childhood Vaccines Are Essential

Have you decided not to vaccinate your child? Are you concerned about vaccine safety? Do you think diseases like measles and whooping cough are problems of the past? Please think again.

When you don’t vaccinate, it may affect both your child and the whole community. Here’s one example: As of May 29, 173 people in 21 states and Washington DC became sick with measles. The infection was traced back to Disneyland in California.1 More than 80 percent of these people had not had vaccines or had no proof of vaccination.2

Here’s another: In 2012, nearly 50,000 cases of whooping cough were reported. That’s the biggest number in more than 50 years.3

Herd immunity. Vaccines contain weak or dead versions of foreign substances. They make the immune system create antibodies to fight disease.4 This not only protects your child. It also provides “herd immunity.” It protects other children and adults from serious infections—especially those too young or too sick to be vaccinated.1...

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When Drugs Deplete Nutrients

Medications can be life saving. But take heed: They can also rob your body of nutrients you need.

Nutrient loss can happen in many ways. For example, a medication may:

  • Depress your appetite, which means you may not eat enough to stay nourished.

  • Increase your desire for less healthy foods, such as lots of sugar, bread, or pasta.

  • Reduce absorption of certain nutrients in the “gut,” especially in seniors.

  • Block a nutrient’s effects at the level of the cell.

  • Increase loss of nutrients through your urinary system.1

Symptoms of nutrient loss may come on gradually and look a lot like symptoms of aging, disease, or changes in mood—so it’s easy to get caught off guard. For example, pain, numbness, or tingling in legs may be a vitamin B12 deficiency. Or a magnesium deficiency may cause muscle pain and stiffness. Over time, this deficiency may even contribute to bone disease (osteoporosis).2

Which drugs are the most common culprits?...

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Too hot? Too cold? Just right!

Here’s something you may not give a second thought: “Climate control” for your medications. Those little pills (or liquids) may appear untouched by the environment. But they’re not. Extreme heat or cold can make a big difference in how well your medications work.1 Proper storage is key. Here are a few things you should know.

When you receive a medication, check to see if there are specific instructions about storage. Know which need refrigeration, if any. If none do, follow these general guidelines. Store medications:

  • In their original container

  • At room temperature (59°F to 86°F)

  • Away from moisture

  • Protected from light1

At home. At home, a good storage spot might be a locked dresser drawer or kitchen shelf—not in a bathroom medicine cabinet, next to the stove, or on a countertop where the sun comes streaming in. Both bathrooms and kitchens not only get hot at times, but can also be very high in humidity.2

Keep all medications in the same place,...

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Understanding Asthma Inhalers

Did you know that only seven percent of people understand how to use asthma inhalers the right way?1 Combine that with a wide array of asthma medications, and asthma management can become more than a little confusing. Together, we can change that!

Everybody is different. So your doctor decides which type of medication and inhaler is best for you. But here’s a brief overview of what you need to know.

Types of inhaled medications. Inhaled medications help airways stay open without some of the side effects of those taken by mouth or injection. These medications work in different ways. For example, some reduce airway inflammation, while others relax small muscles around airways.2

One class of inhaled asthma medication provides quick relief from symptoms such as tightness and gasping. Often used daily—even without symptoms—the other class is for long-term control.3 If you often use quick-relief “rescue” medications more than twice a week, you may need a change in your treatment.

Types of asthma inhalers. Asthma inhalers...

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Preventing Falls as You Grow Older

Whether it simply bruises your ego or breaks a bone, taking a fall is no fun. Each year, one in three seniors 65 and older experiences a fall—a number that has grown in recent years.1 For people in this age group, falling is the leading cause of injury and injury-related deaths.1,2

Whether due to concerns about independence or worrying others, however, fewer than half these people tell the doctor about their falls. But that could add insult to injury because one fall may lead to another.3

Don’t keep it a secret. Be upfront with your doctor—and with me. Provide details about when, where, and how you fell. We can help you pinpoint the problem and suggest changes you can make. For starters, falling might be due to:

  • A chronic health condition

  • An infection

  • A balance disorder

  • Vision problems

  • Muscle weakness

  • Medications2,3,4

Stay healthy. Fortunately, falls needn’t be a fait accompli. Even simple lifestyle changes can...

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No Pressure…. But Let’s Lower your Blood Pressure!

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your heart is working overtime. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure not only raises the risk of heart disease. It also increases risks to your arteries, brain, kidneys, and eyes.1

Blood pressure measurements give you two readings: the top number is the pressure in your arteries when your heart pumps blood. The bottom number is the pressure in arteries between beats.2

If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, it’s time to find out. Bottom line? High blood pressure can be a silent killer. 1

What increases blood pressure? As usual, certain risks are outside your control. That includes genetics, age, and a family history of hypertension. In some cases, certain medications can raise blood pressure. Let me look over a list of your medications to make sure that’s not true for you.3

In most cases, though, doctors don’t know the exact cause. What they do know is that making lifestyle changes can make a big difference.3

Here...

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Diabetes by the Numbers

Do you pay attention to health news? If so, you may know that the diabetes epidemic is enormous! But there could be a surprise or two for you in the numbers below.

Nearly 1 in 10. That’s how many people have diabetes in the United States.1

5.4 percent. Fortunately, the number of new diabetes cases fell an average of 5.4 percent between 2008 and 2012. Researchers think some of this success is due to overall declines in obesity rates.2

Double trouble. Some racial and ethnic groups, though, are still seeing a rise in diabetes rates. Native Americans have twice the rate of diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks don’t fare much better.1

Perhaps most humbling of all? Researchers predict that half of black women and Hispanic men and women will develop type 2 diabetes during their lifetime.3

8.1 million. Could you be one of the 8.1 million Americans who has diabetes but doesn’t know it?1

Diabetes may sneak up on you in the form of prediabetes. It causes high blood sugar and an increased...

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Ways to Improve Your Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance in your blood. It increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and other problems. Many things may put you at risk for high cholesterol. You can’t control some of these risks such as your age, gender, or family history. Fortunately, the list of things you can control is longer: It includes your weight, diet, exercise, blood sugar, and smoking.1

Let’s take a look at what this might mean for you.

Maybe you’ve put on a few (or more than a few) pounds in the last couple of years. Or your recent New Year’s resolution was short-lived, making that gym membership a bit of a waste! Don’t scold yourself. Just start over.

The good news is some changes may give you a “twofer.” For example, eating healthy foods can reduce the amount of cholesterol you are taking into your body. It can also help you lose weight, which lowers LDL (bad cholesterol).2

Try eating:

  • More fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods high in fiber such as whole grains and...

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