5 steps to adapt your home as you age

Adapting a home to suit an older person’s needs can help him live there longer. This can be done with renovations, such hiring a contractor to widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, or lowering countertops and cabinets in the kitchen. It can also be done with simple fixes, such as switching round doorknobs to lever door handles that require only a push downward; rearranging a pantry so that food and cooking utensils are on lower shelves; or adding non-slip treads to bathroom floors and shower stalls. More »

Boost your thinking skills with exercise

Exercise boosts memory and thinking skills. It does this by reducing insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, and stimulating the production of growth factors, which are chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Exercise may also help increase the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory. Exercise can also improve memory and thinking indirectly by improving mood, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving sleep. Problems in each of these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. More »

Relief dos and dont's for that nagging neck pain

Most neck pain comes from preventable causes such as poor posture, stress and anxiety, and sitting in prolonged positions with the neck bent for too long. As a result, many people tend to have imbalances in their neck muscles, and that causes the deeper muscles that attach one vertebrae to another to become weak and overstretched. To combat neck pain, people are advised to maintain good posture, keep a computer at eye level, and keep from holding the neck in a bent position for more than 10 minutes at a time. (Locked) More »

Caffeine IQ: How much is too much?

A safe amount of caffeine intake each day is 200 to 300 milligrams (mg). More than 500-600 mg per day may increase the risk of negative side effects. Such side effects include insomnia, jitters, nervousness, dehydration, and irritability.  Stopping caffeine intake suddenly can cause headaches, which can be cured by another jolt of caffeine, but may result in a dependence on the compound. But not everyone is affected by caffeine the same way. There is a broad range for an individual’s limit of caffeine due to built-up tolerance as well as genetic differences in ability to break down caffeine. (Locked) More »

Are you losing your sense of smell?

Smell loss that lasts longer than a few weeks should be evaluated by a doctor. This can be done with a simple smell test, with a patient sniffing various scents. A more thorough evaluation includes a detailed medical history (duration, rapidity of onset, history of trauma, other associated sinus or nasal symptoms, and neurologic symptoms) and a thorough head and neck exam, including an office nasal endoscopy (fiberoptic scope) under local anesthesia. Your doctor may also order a CT scan of your sinuses or a brain MRI.  (Locked) More »

Fast way to improve heart and muscle fitness

Stair climbing is an exercise that can be done at home, at a gym, or in public. It has many physiological benefits. It burns twice as many calories as walking, and it engages muscles in the legs, arms, buttocks, and shoulders. It’s also an effective aerobic exercise, which is good for heart and lung health. Stair climbing is not appropriate for people with balance problems or pain and weakness in the shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, or feet. It may not be right for people with heart and lung disease. (Locked) More »

Erectile dysfunction and the drugs to treat it

Erectile dysfunction is diagnosed when a man has difficulty attaining and sustaining an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Prescription medications are the first line of treatment. All of the drugs need to be taken about an hour before activity, on an empty stomach. Some drugs may work in half an hour or less. Excessive alcohol use may reduce the effect of the drug. (Locked) More »

Mind your own health after the death of a partner

It appears that the risk of heart attack or stroke is increased in the first 30 days after a partner’s death, possibly due to short-term changes in blood pressure, higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and changes in heart rate. (Locked) More »

Blood pressure drugs associated with fall risk

It appears that exposure to moderate or high doses of any medication to treat high blood pressure is associated with a 30% to 40% increased risk of falls with serious injury, compared with no use of the medications. (Locked) More »