Best tips to stay on your medication and stay healthy

Nonadherence to medication regimens is a major public health problem. Strategies to solve it include finding more affordable medications and implementing ways to remember to take them. Computers, smartphones, and other gadgets can also help improve medication adherence. Consumers, can choose from such devices as automatic pill dispensers that pop out the right pills at the right times; pillboxes with timers and alarms; and electronic caps that fit on prescription vials and beep when it’s time to take a medication, then record when the cap was removed, indicating that a pill was taken. (Locked) More »

Feeling young at heart may help you live longer

Feeling younger psychologically might lead to better health. When people feel younger psychologically, they’re more likely to pursue physical exercise, even if it’s challenging. If people feel young, they may have more of a futuristic orientation that leads them to eat with future health in mind. People who report feeling older than they are may be suffering from depression, which, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease. They may also simply have an accurate assessment of their state of health. (Locked) More »

Can you put off that knee surgery?

Surgery is not always necessary to relieve knee pain. The first line of treatment is three months of physical therapy. Physical therapy can be complemented with other means of pain relief. Shedding pounds reduces the pressure placed on the knee. Corticosteroid injections can temporarily reduce pain and swelling, which can make it less painful to take part in physical therapy. Acupuncture is helpful to some people. Some people find that chondroitin and glucosamine supplements relieve pain. More »

In search of a milk alternative

People who are unable to or don’t want to drink cow’s milk have alternatives. Lactose-free milk has an enzyme added to it that helps break down lactose into more easily digested sugars. Soy milk is the fluid that’s strained from a mixture of ground soybeans and water. Nut milks are the fluids from a mixture of water and ground almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts. Grain and seed milks are the fluids from a mixture of water and ground rice, oats, quinoa, or hemp. Nut, grain, and seed milks don’t have as much protein as soy milk unless they are fortified. More »

Could that leg pain be peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is marked by leg pain or fatigue that develops after a person has been walking or climbing stairs for a few minutes. It develops when atherosclerosis has narrowed the arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood to the leg muscles. People who have PAD must quit smoking, as well as get high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes under control. Treatment for PAD is often as simple as a walking program but may include surgery to improve blood flow. (Locked) More »

New thinking about beta blockers

For people with high blood pressure, beta blockers are no longer a first line of defense. Research has shown that other medications are more effective at reducing blood pressure—particularly angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium-channel blockers, and diuretics. However, beta blockers are still commonly prescribed to people who’ve had a heart attack, and to people with heart failure or an irregular heartbeat. Beta blocker use may result in side effects such as fatigue and erectile dysfunction. (Locked) More »