Top 6 ways to get the most out of your doctor visit

In order to get the most out of a doctor’s visit, it’s best to prepare in advance. One should write down questions, then be sure to ask them during the visit. It helps to bring a friend along who can write down information and act as a second set of ears. Other tips include bringing a list of all medications one is taking and getting a recap of information before the doctor visit is over. More »

Ask the doctor: Tips to reduce neuropathy pain

Neuropathy is a common problem in the nerves that causes burning and numbness, especially in the feet, calves, and thighs. There are several types of neuropathy, and the most common is called axonal neuropathy. Causes include diabetes, alcohol abuse, an underactive thyroid gland, and some types of cancer chemotherapy. Treatment starts with addressing the underlying cause. For example, people with diabetes should lower blood sugar. There are many medicines that may help, but they don’t help everyone (Locked) More »

Best ways to manage stress

Stress takes a toll on physical and emotional health. Managing stress is a matter of avoiding stress triggers and practicing techniques to reduce stress. Activities such as meditation, guided imagery, yoga, and deep breathing exercises trigger the relaxation response, a physiological change that can help lower blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and oxygen consumption. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help identify negative thinking and replace it with healthy or positive thoughts. Goal setting helps develop a positive sense of commitment and control. More »

Does better gum health protect your heart?

Proper care for the teeth and gums may help lower the risk for developing heart disease. Good dental care helps prevent gum disease. Gum disease leads to inflammation—the immune system’s attempt to heal injury. The chemicals produced by inflammation of the gums get into the blood. When they reach the heart, those chemicals may increase inflammation inside plaques of atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart—thereby increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. (Locked) More »

Quick start strength training program

It takes very little exercise equipment to get a good strength-training workout at home or at the office. That’s because many exercises, such as wall push-ups, use the body’s own weight to create resistance. Inexpensive equipment, such as resistance bands or small dumbbells, can also add to a strength-training routine. It’s best to work with a physical therapist to develop a personal strength-training regimen. A regimen will include exercises such as squats, heel raises, and leg lifts. (Locked) More »

Fight inflammation with food

To help lower inflammation in the body, dietitians recommend increasing dietary fiber, good fats, whole grains, and omega-3s. Fiber helps keep blood sugar stable, lowers cholesterol, and helps prevent the formation of small blood clots. Unsaturated fats help lower inflammation and cholesterol and stabilize the heartbeat. Whole grains are good at reducing inflammation because they also contain other inflammation-fighting substances—vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for many aspects of health, including reducing inflammation throughout the body. (Locked) More »

Is that noise pollution, or are you hard of hearing?

If background noise is making it hard for someone to hear conversations, a visit to the doctor may be in order. The doctor may find a simple problem, like earwax buildup, and remove the blockage. He or she will also look for less common but more serious causes: infection, tumor, or abnormal bone growth. If the doctor believes a person has hearing loss, the person may need to see an audiologist to determine the type and severity of loss.  (Locked) More »

Staying healthy while using PPIs

Long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) carries some risks. PPIs can interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin B12 from food. PPIs can also interfere with calcium absorption in the body, which in turn means weaker bones. Using the medications for more than a year or taking higher doses of PPIs increases the chances of a fracture. Using PPIs may also make one susceptible to an infection with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) bacteria. (Locked) More »