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Category: Prevention

Medical Health History. How do I write mine?

Medical Health History. How do I write mine?

To create a detailed health history you should include:

•Individual contact information for each of your physician practices ie.. orthopedic, arthritis, gynecology, cardiac, internal medicine, neurology etc.
•Each section should include test results that have been done in the past such as any lab test, blood work, EKG, scans, MRI’s.
•Highlight past complications to surgeries and include anesthesia difficulties.
•Document activities you are currently doing to focus on a healthy lifestyle.
•Encourage to give a real account of daily alcohol and drug use.
•Specifically document if they are ½ dosing of medications
•Give specific drug sensitivities and allergies
•Be as specific as possible on family past medical history including age and cause of death.

12 Point Medication Check List

12 Point Medication Check List

12 Point Medication Check List
1.Learn Before you start taking any new prescription or OTC/herbal supplement by speaking with your pharmacist. Before taking ANY new drug OR supplement have your pharmacist review the impact on the other meds you are taking. Medications and supplements can counteract each other & therefore should be taken at different times of the day, some with food only, some on empty stomach. Do not expect pills to do what they are prescribed for if you take them incorrectly.
2.If you forget to take a single dose medication it is most often OK to take it within the current 24 hours. Do not take two the next day. If you accidentally take a prescription that is NOT yours call a pharmacist with the medication and dosage and follow their instructions. They may suggest that you call the Poison Control Center 1800-222 1222
3.If you take more than one (1) medication or supplement invest in a 7/day a week pill container. If you take meds more than one time a day get an AM / PM container. NOTE: most pill containers are not child proof so keep out of reach of children.
4.Single sourcing of medications can be a life saver. If you get online medications and other prescriptions from local pharmacy(s) make sure that you have one Go-To Pharmacist that has ALL your prescriptions and OTC /herbal supplement listed and use that pharmacist as a control source for questions before filling a new prescription or adding a OTC supplement.
5.Read the warning labels. It is always best to check with your pharmacist to find an OTC that is not contraindicated with your prescriptions.
6.Take meditations only as directed. Always take medications until the prescription is finished. DO not stop taking once you feel better and save the rest for later!
7.If the cost of medications has you taking half or partial dose let your doctor know as many come in larger doses, for the same amount, that can be divided to give you the clinical support your need.
8.Read the ingredients on the label. If you are taking more than one OTC do NOT take 2 that include “acetaminophen” for instance, that is double doses.
9.Annually review expiration date on all household prescriptions and supplement, yep they do expire! Dispose of medications by bagging and dropping at any police station. DO NOT flush down the toilet or toss in trash.
10.Do not share prescriptions. Your prescription may cause another person to have life-threatening results to a similar diagnosis.
11.Always ask for a “starter “2-week supply of new meds before you invest in the money saving 90-day supply, that way you can be assured that the prescription will work appropriately.
12.If you have any allergic reaction to a medication immediately add to your list of contraindicated meds. TELL your pharmacist. Often there are whole classes of meds that may contraindicated for you and you can prevent future problems by making sure it is on your documentation and that both physician, pharmacist know.

Staying Healthy When Traveling Abroad

Staying Healthy When Traveling Abroad

Staying Healthy When Traveling Abroad

Many of us who are lucky enough to live in Sun City Carolina Lakes have many opportunities to travel in retirement. I have heard many very scary stories that perhaps could have been avoided. It is important to remember that you are responsible for your own health and wellbeing when you are traveling. Be Prepared. It’s a great way to make sure you have a good time and stay healthy to enjoy your trip.

Before you leave
•Make sure are that you are current on all your required vaccinations, as well as medications for mosquito borne viruses.
•Find out the contact information for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to where you are to travel.
•Apply for a passport at least three months before you travel. If you already have one, be sure to check the passport’s expiration date as well as any entry requirements for the countries you will be visiting.
•Understand the financial system and know the currency rates at your travel destination. Tell your bank and/or credit card company of your travel plans so that its security measures do not freeze your account.

What to bring
•Plan to bring the smallest roll-aboard suitcase you can manage. A second bag should stack neatly on top of your wheeled bag. Packing light is important for seniors.
•Bring along a magnifying glass to help you read detailed maps and small-print schedules, and a small notebook to jot down facts and reminders.
•Bring a copy of your Living Will with you. You should keep a copy in your glove compartment and travel suitcase, as well.
•Bring an updated copy of all of your current medications (both prescription and over-the-counter).
•Bring emergency contact information about your family in the United States with you when you travel. Also, be sure to pencil this information into the emergency contact information section of your passport.
•Bring travelers checks and one or two major credit cards. Many credit cards and travel and tourism companies offer cancellation protection for an additional fee.
•Purchase from a bank and bring with you local currency for taxi fares, tips and minor expenditures in the foreign country.

What to leave
•Leave your itinerary, your emergency contact information, and a copy of your passport’s biographic data page with family and/or trusted friends.
•Notify you nearest neighbors that you are traveling and to keep look out on your property.

Insurance
•Make sure you get travel insurance and read the fine print. Don’t leave home without it. It is best if you speak with a travel agent or a general insurance agent, and go through “worst case “scenarios of needing major medical care in a foreign country. Most important is confirming transportation all the way to your home healthcare center, and not just to the nearest stateside hospital.
•Always purchase trip cancellation, travel health, and medical evacuation insurance. Consider purchasing luggage insurance.

Medications
•Bring an updated copy of your current medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), and enough for the whole trip plus a few extra days. Keep your medications with you, not in your checked luggage.
•Before every meal of foreign foods, it is helpful to take a bismuth subsalicylate product (e.g., Pepto-Bismol or Pepcid AC) to help prevent abdominal issues.
•It is best to bring your own supply of anti-diarrhea medication (e.g., Lomotil or Imodium).
•You should have a Z Pak ( steroids) for infections, check to see if you can get a prescription from your physician.
•Consider carrying a small typed card in your wallet that has your blood type, allergies to foods or medications, and list of all medications you take, including over the counter meds.

Food and Drink
•Remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water before eating.
•Consume only bottled water, even for brushing your teeth, and keep your mouth closed in the shower
•There is no guarantee against food-borne illness, but be vigilant and never eat under cooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs.

While traveling
•Move …blood clots are possible on long trips, so get up and move every hour or so when flying. Check with your doctor to see if support hose may be suggested during a long flight.

Here is hoping that we all can be prepared so we can travel safely and enjoy each and every day of our trip and return with just great memories.

Questions on Lyme Disease

Questions on Lyme Disease

Questions about LYME Disease?
1.. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick, and the disease is very prevalent across the United States and throughout the world.
2. Lyme disease (DRG 867) is a clinical diagnosis and may cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms and should be used as a differential diagnosis in rheumatologic and neurologic conditions, with symptoms similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Somatization Disorder, and any difficult-to-diagnose multi-system illness.
3. Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite or the “bull’s-eye” rash that is considered classic.
4. Many screening test can be unreliable. By definition, a screening test should have at least 95% in sensitivity as a result.
5. A vaccine for Lyme disease is currently unavailable.
6. When used as part of a diagnostic evaluation for Lyme disease, a “western blot” test should be performed by a special laboratory that is specifically known to read and report on Lyme results.
7. There are 5 subspecies of the Lyme spirochete (Borrelia Burgdorferi), over 100 other strains are known in the USA with 300 strains worldwide.
8. There has never been a study supporting that a 30 day antibiotic treatment would cure chronic Lyme disease. Short treatment courses (30 days) often have upwards of a 40% relapse rate.
9. Chronic Lyme disease requires prolonged treatment until the patient is symptom-free. Relapses may occur and often retreatment is required.
10. Lyme disease has been called “the great imitator” and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of many patients with symptoms of rheumatologic and neurologic conditions.
BEST ADVICE: Be your own best advocate and be open and persistent with your doctor regarding your symptoms. Keep a detailed written record that includes prescribed treatments and their effects.

Importance of Protein ( 50-70 grams a day)

Importance of Protein ( 50-70 grams a day)

✔Evidence indicates that protein intake of 50-70 grams a day  can improve muscle mass, strength, and function.

✔Frailty  as we age is closely connected to decreased muscle mass and strength known as sarcopenia.

✔Not only do the older progressively lose muscle with age, but their physiology resists building new muscle.

✔Pair inactivity with low protein intake, and continued muscle loss with age becomes  inevitable.

✔Animal sources of protein (highest quality) generally provide the most leucine, the essential amino acid that is key to synthesis of muscle tissue.

✔Whey protein ( found in most protein powder supplements has been found to be especially high in leucine.

✔Some experts believe equally distributing protein intake over three meals a day is as important as getting enough protein.

✔To help older (>65 years) people maintain and regain lean body mass and function, the PROT-AGE Study Group recommends a range of 1.0 to 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.

✔Sarcopenia is insidious but its progression may be accelerated by physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

✔Aging does not impair the ability to increase muscle protein synthesis following ingestion of 30 grams (≈4oz) of high quality protein (i.e. lean beef, chicken, or fish) at a meal.

 

✔Animal sources of protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, pork, shellfish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese) contain complete protein.  Complete protein is necessary to build and repair muscle.

✔By combining foods from two or more plant categories in a meal, those foods compliment each other and provide all necessary amino acids to create complete protein.  Example: serve cooked dried beans (legume) and rice  (grain) together.

 

Ways to Increase Protein

 

Make a high protein smoothie by blending, milk, nonfat dry milk, yogurt, and/or whey protein powder.  Two tbsp. peanut butter will add an extra eight grams of protein.

Prepare custards, puddings, and quiches that are packed with protein from milk products and eggs.

Purchase whole grain breads with seeds to increase protein and fiber.

Prepare a hearty stew or soup with lean beef or turkey and add dried beans as well.

Eat ½ cup cottage cheese with fruit and/or yogurt, plus nuts if desired.

Consume Greek yogurt (more protein than regular) with 12 to 15 grams of protein per 3.5 oz. cup.

Source Diana Robenstein

Can You Pass This Balance Test

Can You Pass This Balance Test

Can You Pass This Balance Test?

According to STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries) more than 27,000 people over 65, die as a result of falls, which is 74 every day all year long. Only 1 in 4 reports falls to their doctors during any appointment.  It is very important to let your doctor know if you are slipping, unsteady or falling, even occasionally.  There may be many reasons for falls but ALL are important, as part of your health history.  They may mean more to your doctor than you think, as part of your total healthcare picture. Slips and fall may be the symptom of many things including, medication interaction, poor eyesight, and a neurological imbalance, and inner ear infection, loss of sensation in your feet and legs or even poor shoe selection.

Thanks to Dr. Steve Morris, for sharing the following. Gait Test with us at his Life Long Learning presentation. So, dig out a pencil and answer the following questions. You get a point for every YES answer.   Zero is the BEST score!…..Now be HONEST

    1. Have I had a slip or fall in the past 12 months?

 

    1. It has been suggested I use a cane or walker at any time.

 

    1. I sometimes feel unsteady when I walk.

 

    1. A family member says they are worried I might fall.

 

    1. I need to push on arms of a chair to stand up

 

    1. I have trouble judging the depths of curbs.

 

    1. I often need to get to the bathroom very quickly.

 

    1. I have lost sensation in my feet.

 

    1. Family has been asking me to “stand up straight”.

 

    1. Some of my medicines make me feel light headed.

 

    1. I take medicine to help me sleep.

 

    1. I don’t swing my arms when I walk.

Now if you are able to honestly able to all these questions and can get a ZERO your chances of a slip or fall in the next year are very low.  However, if your score is 4 or more you need to let your MD know and start a personal campaign to improve.  According to a study done by Reuters Health, step training focused on improving gait and balance may help prevent falls among the elderly. In this study the analysis of seven previous studies, with a combined total of 660 older adults, found that interventions to improve stepping skills cut the rate of falls roughly in half.  The best fall prevention, suggests that older adults would benefit from exercises designed to help maintain balance during everyday activities like getting out of a chair or avoiding obstacles on a sidewalk, said senior study author Stephen Lord of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, a leading expert in fall prevention. Check into classes or workouts (many easy to follow and available online) that improve your ability to recover when balance is lost.  That way trips or slips don’t turn into falls. Strength and balance are most important for physical functioning. So as we are finding, in many things in our lives Prevention is best.  So, first step is to put down your test and stand up without holding on to your chair and Step Lively.

Brain Gain Made Easy ……….7 Steps

Brain Gain Made Easy ……….7 Steps

Brain Gain Made Easy ……….in 7 Steps

  1. Step it up, physical exercise helps prevent illnesses that can lead to memory loss by releasing a protein needed by the brain for healthy nerve cells.
  2. Try a Mediterranean diet that has shown a 20 decrease in memory problems, as it has lots of fruits, vegetables, and fish and uses good olive oil.
  3. Engage your brain just like good physical exercise; mentally challenging activities will keep your mind sharper.
  4. Stay social, stay engaged in your life. Studies prove that the more social connections someone has in their life the better they are at enhancing and preserving mental acuity.
  5. Sleep better. If your sleep is restless (causing lower concentration) here are few ways to help: no big meals, caffeine, alcohol 3 hours prior to bedtime and try to get into and out of bed at regular times.
  6. Lower your stress. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, prevents the brain from moving data out of the “memory bank” Add yoga, meditation and maybe even massage to your routine..
  7. STOP smoking. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor and may cause small stokes in the brain, so  keep looking into all available  quitting solutions until you find one that works. 
8 Tips For You To Charge Your Immune System

8 Tips For You To Charge Your Immune System

                 8 Tips For You To Charge Your Immune System

The following are suggestions for being a better you ………..every day!

  • Get vaccinated: vaccines initiate infection prompting your body to fight the disease
  • Work up a sweat: like brisk walking helps immune system fight respiratory viruses.
  • Get enough sleep: If you get less than 6 hours of sleep your are 4 times more likely to get a cold.
  • Clean Up your diet: Eat a daily diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains
  • Load up on Vitamin D: Sunshine ( remember sunscreen) and 600 units of vitamin D.
  • Keep check on cocktail count: too much alcohol preventing your immune system doing its job.
  • Don’t Smoke:……… Period
  • Practice a Hobby: Research has proved that mind stimulating activities increase levels of cytokines your immune system protein.

Try ‘Em ……….Feel better ……….Feel Strong………..Be the Best You!!

Kill Pollen = Put Pillow in Dryer!!

Kill Pollen = Put Pillow in Dryer!!

                               PUT YOUR PILLOW IN THE DRYER!

A suggestion for any morning that you wake up with a runny nose, a cough or a stuffy head.   Put your entire pillow in the dryer. Yep!

We all drool and cough into our pillow(s)  at night.   We take medicines during the day when we are feeling badly and then  go back to sleep on a pillow where the germs have been a play and multiplying all day, right!?

So, put pillow (s) in dryer 15 minutes on High as soon as you wake up and before you make the bed.  Plan to routinely put pillow(s) in dryer whenever you wash your sheets, especially during the winter months.

Killing the germs will give YOU the edge on getting better faster…………a  Health Share Promise.