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Coughing? Bring a Healthy Dose of Sick-Etiquette to Work

(BPT) – Being considerate of others when you’re sick is one of the first steps to good sick etiquette.

For example, you may think you’re going to score points for showing up at work despite feeling under the weather. However, if you were to run this by an etiquette expert like Diane Gottsman, she would probably tell you the reverse is true.

“A recent survey found that half of Americans feel anxious about getting sick when others cough around them,” Gottsman says. “So when you cough, your co-workers are likely going to be thinking of themselves and may not sympathize with you.”

That’s why Gottsman says the best thing you can do is steer clear of the office. If working remotely isn’t an option, it is best to take a sick day.

“When you’re sick, it’s so important to take precautions to keep your germs from infecting others, which should always include staying home from work or other activities until symptoms have subsided,” says Gottsman. “I understand that sometimes life seems too busy to get sick or a workplace may not offer enough paid time off. So staying home and putting work on the back burner until you’re well is not an option for everyone. Still, productivity will decline when you are sick and you may prolong your illness by overexerting yourself.”

With that, Gottsman says the name of the game is keeping those germs to yourself. Don’t be afraid to be demonstrative about that so you send a clear signal that you care and you don’t want to infect anyone — it will put your friends and colleagues at ease. Here are Gottsman’s sick etiquette tips:

Telecommute: If it is physically possible for you to complete a day’s work at home, that is probably the second most ideal solution to taking a sick day. If that’s not a typical arrangement at your place of employment, though, frame it as being beneficial to your boss and your fellow employees. For example: “I understand we have this important deadline coming up, which is why I would prefer not to spread this bug to others. What if I worked on the project from my home office today instead of coming in? If you sent me the call-in information, I could still join the conference call later. Of course, if you need anything at all, I’m just a phone call or email away.”

Touch no one: If a friend moves in for a hug or a handshake, kindly warn them that you are recovering from a cold and would prefer to “play it safe” before extending your hand or leaning in for a hug.

Keep a sickness arsenal: Keep your desk well stocked to help you treat your symptoms and keep common areas germ-free. For your kit, consider items like tissues, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, as well as relief for sick symptoms, like pain relievers and a cough syrup like Robitussin.

Avoid shared surfaces: Cold viruses can survive several hours on surfaces, transferring easily to your colleagues. Germs can be hard to contain and avoid, but you can do your part by wiping down shared areas like a table or chair with a disinfecting wipe when you are finished using them.

Cover your mouth wisely: Coughs and sneezes give germs and viruses a nice little vehicle to get around and infect others nearby. When you must cough or sneeze, use a tissue or cough into your arm or elbow — never your hand, because the hands help spread the germs around. When using a tissue, promptly dispose of it and sanitize your hands.

Minimize coughing: When people hear someone cough in a crowded space, 26 percent feel annoyed, and 46 percent feel anxious about getting sick themselves, according to a recent online survey conducted by the Harris Poll. Keeping the medicine cabinet stocked with a powerful cough reliever is one effective way to suppress your cough. One product Gottsman recommends is Robitussin 12 Hour Cough Relief, because the long-lasting formula gets you through the whole work day by providing soothing relief from the hacking coughing. (You’ll also be much quieter, which is a bonus.)

It’s not always possible or practical to stay home for several days when you come down with a cold, but practicing good sick etiquette can help keep viruses from spreading to those around you.

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90% child bone mass acquired by age 20 – nutrient packed foods can help

(BPT) – Most people associate bone density and skeletal concerns with advanced age. However, healthy bones form during childhood with the majority of bone density established before kids reach their 20s. Is it time to shift the focus to the early years rather than the later?

Up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. What’s more, bone mass peaks by the late 20s for most people, which means at this point bones have reached their maximum strength and density.

Bone is a living tissue and childhood is a critical time to focus on bone health and establish good habits that support skeletal wellness throughout life. Some factors effecting bone mass cannot be controlled, such as gender, race and hormones. Nutrition, on the other hand, can be controlled and is one of the best ways to increase your child’s bone health while teaching them positive eating habits.

Nutrition ideas to boost bone health

Studies show an increase in childhood bone fractures over the past four decades. Experts agree adequate levels of vitamin D and calcium decrease the risk of developing fractures by supporting bone strength. During the winter months, many children are not getting enough vitamin D — an essential vitamin needed for the body to absorb calcium — so it’s an important concern with decreased daylight hours.

Milk is an obvious source of vitamin D and calcium, but for kids with lactose sensitivities or those who don’t like drinking milk, there are other options. In fact, there are many foods that are a good source of both vitamin D and calcium.

Eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs come from hens fed an all-vegetarian diet consisting of healthy grains, canola oil and supplements like alfalfa and vitamin E. As a result, each EB egg has five times more vitamin D, plus three times more vitamin B12, two times more omega-3s, 10 times more vitamin E and 38 percent more lutein compared to ordinary eggs.

Kale: Just one cup of kale has 10 percent of your daily calcium and 133 percent of both your vitamin A and vitamin C needs for the day. If you struggle to get your kids to eat veggies, simply blend kale in a fruit smoothie, make kale chips by baking with garlic and olive oil, or mix cooked kale into spaghetti sauce or an egg frittata mixture to make it a seamless addition.

Figs: Five medium fresh figs have around 90 milligrams of calcium and other bone-healthy nutrients like potassium and magnesium, according to WebMD. Dried figs are a good option also, plus are a great natural sweetener for bakery items like cookies. A half cup of dried figs have 120 milligrams of calcium.

Almond butter: Want a bone-boosting alternative to peanut butter for your little one’s toast and PB&Js? Try almond butter! In addition to being a good source of protein, two tablespoons contains an estimated 112 milligrams of calcium and 240 milligrams of potassium.

Tofu: Soft enough that even tots can safely eat it, tofu is considered by some to be a modern superfood. Packed with nutrients, calcium-enriched tofu contains more than 400 milligrams of calcium. Cut into small pieces, saute and add to your kids’ favorite dishes such as macaroni and cheese or scrambled eggs.

“Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient when it comes to good bone health, but it’s also difficult to get the necessary amount through food,” said Tammy Lakatos, a registered dietitian. “That’s why we love Eggland’s Best eggs — they have five times more Vitamin D than ordinary eggs, plus, they’re easy to integrate into your diet, whether in omelets, salads, wraps, casseroles or desserts.”

Want a bone-healthy recipe that both kids and adults will enjoy? Try out this recipe and find more meal inspiration at www.egglandsbest.com.

Easy Pizza with Sauteed Greens, Garlic and Eggs

Ingredients:

4 Eggland’s Best Eggs (large)
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
10 ounces baby spinach, about 10 cups
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) bag refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Coat a large round baking or pizza pan with cooking spray. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and cook until starting to brown, about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Add the spinach, tossing with kitchen tongs, and cook until wilted, 3 minutes; season with the salt and pepper. Transfer to a sieve or colander set over a bowl and let drain 5 minutes; discard liquid.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 15-inch circle and transfer to the prepared pan. Spread the ricotta evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Top evenly with the spinach then sprinkle with the mozzarella and Romano cheeses. Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 20-22 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook until the whites are just set, about 3 minutes. With a spatula, gently flip the eggs over and cook 30 seconds longer. Top the pizza with the eggs. Cut through the eggs into 8 slices.

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Safe food techniques every home cook should know

(BPT) – Good hosts want positive experiences around the dishes they prepare for the holidays — great conversation and good memories.

What’s a sure way to mar the feast? Not being consistent in following safe food handling techniques that every home cook should know. Each year, one in six people experiences food poisoning, affecting some 48 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Sometimes, the causes of food poisoning are beyond our control, in spite of regulations and best practices by farmers and food companies. While ready-to-eat foods and restaurants are often highlighted in the fight against food poisoning, we often overlook that home cooks are important partners in reducing the risk of foodborne illness,” said Mike Robach, vice president of food safety at Cargill.

“The most common foodborne pathogens, like salmonella and campylobacter, can cause serious illness, particularly in young children, the elderly, pregnant women and other immune-compromised people,” said Shelley Feist, executive director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education. “Consistently practicing good hand hygiene and safe food handling at home is important to protect your family from these microorganisms and the serious illness they can cause.”

Each year, foodborne illnesses lead to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the CDC, as they can lead to serious conditions such as sepsis and kidney failure.

Like any skilled chef, you are best prepared to create a memorable feast when you keep these safe food handling practices top-of-mind. They are just as necessary to a great meal as sharp knives, high-quality cookware, fresh ingredients and the right appliances.

Clean hands and surfaces often

Before you begin cooking, start by making sure your work area and tools are clean. Wash all preparation surfaces, including cutting boards, with hot, soapy water. If any tools or containers you will need are dirty, either run the dishwasher cycle or hand-wash the items in a sink of hot, soapy water. Finally, wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables

Depending on what you are using, some foods will require rinsing. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating or using. Firm-skinned produce like cucumbers and apples should be rubbed under running tap water by hand or with a clean brush. You should also rinse any produce that will be peeled, because microorganisms on the surface can be easily transferred to the flesh with a peeler or knife blade. Blot fresh fruits and vegetables dry with paper towels.

There is no need to rinse raw meat or poultry, at least, not in the name of food safety. All that will accomplish is potentially spreading bacteria in your sink and beyond. Raw meat and poultry must be cooked to a safe internal temperature.

Safely handle meat and poultry

The best home cooks know it’s important to safely handle raw meat and poultry. To start with, do not thaw frozen meat and poultry at room temperature — to do so gives harmful bacteria an ideal environment to multiply and spread.

There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, submerged in cold water, and in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.

Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods, and use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat and poultry.

And it is worth a reminder — never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw or undercooked meat or poultry.

Cook to safe temperatures

Here is a compelling reason to cook food to a safe temperature: Even a professional chef cannot say with precision if a food item is cooked to a safe internal temperature. Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause illness. Get a food thermometer and use it consistently. For a list of safe internal temperatures, visit the Partnership for Food Safety Education website at fightbac.org.

Safe leftovers

Proper storing of leftovers in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below helps reduce the risk of food poisoning. Keep leftovers in shallow containers so they cool off more quickly. When reheating leftovers, make sure they reach a safe temperature of 165 F degrees as measured with a food thermometer. Consume or freeze refrigerated leftovers within three to four days.

For more tips to build your skills and expertise in food safety, visit StoryofYourDinner.org. Check out an animated video, as well as fun items such as kid-friendly placemats to download, and a collection of delicious side dish recipes that incorporate home food safety tips.

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Want a memory boost? Try a hearing test

(BPT) – Intrigued by all the brain-training products out there to keep your mind sharp and spirits young? You may want to consider something else: A hearing test.

That’s right. Mounting evidence links untreated hearing loss to impaired memory and diminished cognitive function. What that means is, if you keep brushing off that suspected hearing loss of yours, your cognition may pay.

Researchers have found that when people with unaddressed hearing loss strain to hear, they tend to do more poorly on memory tests. They may figure out what is being said, but because so much effort goes into just hearing it, their ability to remember what they heard often suffers.

Experts believe this has to do with what they call “cognitive load.” That is, in order to compensate for the hearing loss and make out the words, people with untreated hearing loss may draw on cognitive resources they’d normally use to remember what they’ve heard. Experts say that untreated hearing loss may even interfere with the person’s ability to accurately process and make sense of what was said or heard.

In fact, research shows that people with poorer hearing have less gray matter in the auditory cortex, a region of the brain needed to support speech comprehension.

Other research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia. One Johns Hopkins study found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. Another found that hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. And a third revealed a link between hearing loss and accelerated brain tissue loss.

Some experts believe that interventions, like professionally fitted hearing aids, could potentially help.

The bottom line is we actually “hear” with our brain, not with our ears.

So if you think you may have hearing loss, do something about it. Make an appointment with a hearing health care professional, and get a hearing test.

After all, research suggests that treating hearing loss may be one of the best things you can actually do to help protect your memory and cognitive function.

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) offers a free, confidential online hearing check where people can determine if they need a more comprehensive hearing test by a hearing health care professional. Access the BHI Hearing Check at www.BetterHearing.org.

Follow BHI on Twitter @better_hearing. Like BHI on Facebook at www.facebook.com/betterhearinginstitute.

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Tips to feel financially empowered when living with a chronic disease

(BPT) – For most people, planning for a financially secure future is complicated. It’s difficult to balance how much money you should be saving with what you need to live on now. When you add a chronic illness – such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – into the mix, managing finances becomes even more complex and critical.

An estimated 1.6 million Americans have RA,[i],[ii] an autoimmune disease that causes a range of symptoms including pain and swelling in the joints.[iii] Living with RA could lead to continuous management of symptoms and lifestyle changes – and could also mean added expenses. While RA can impose a substantial burden of cost on people with the condition,[iv] many people may not think about the financial impact of RA at the time they are diagnosed, which can add more stress down the road. It’s important to think about finances as early as possible and seek out resources that can help reduce the stress.

The good news is there are steps people living with RA can take from the time of diagnosis and throughout their RA journey to keep finances on track. Knowing where to start can be the hardest part.

Below are some tips that can help you set yourself up for financial success:

  • OVERCOME GUILT AND STIGMA — The first hurdle when tackling tough issues like finances is overcoming the guilt and stigma associated with money. Many people may feel guilty if medical bills compete with other financial priorities and prevent you from spending on other items for yourself and your family. You may also feel ashamed when talking about the financial burden of RA with others who don’t have a chronic illness. However, it’s important to take care of yourself and not skip recommended treatments or appointments – a healthier you now could mean less medical-related expenses later.
  • DEVELOP YOUR FINANCIAL FOUNDATION — Typical budgeting templates may not account for costs associated with RA, but it’s important to consider them as part of your reoccurring monthly expenses. Find an affordable planner or service that will help you to consider the expected (and unexpected!) expenses associated with your condition, along with future lifestyle and financial goals that are tailored to your needs.
  • MASTER BUDGETING — Financial planners recommend using the 50/20/30 rule to budget – set aside 50 percent of your monthly income on fixed expenses (i.e., rent or mortgage, car payments, gym memberships, and recurring medical bills), 20 percent toward your financial goals and savings (i.e., paying off debt, retirement and building an emergency fund) and 30 percent on non-essentials (i.e., shopping and entertainment).
  • REDUCE CREDIT CARD DEBT AND IMPROVE CREDIT SCORES Every credit card opened under your name affects your credit score, which can impact your ability to borrow money in the future. Consolidate accounts, organize records and set up automated deposits or online payments on credit cards, utilities and medical bills. Expert tip: Close only one credit card per year to avoid negatively affecting your credit score.
  • FIND PROGRAMS TO HELP WITH TREATMENT COSTS — Many companies also have services that can help you get access to treatments at lower costs. If you’re on Medicare, review your Part D prescription drug or Advantage plan, taking into account how your RA may change over time.

After you’ve put an initial financial plan in place, review it annually to make sure it’s keeping up with the way your life and health are changing. Having RA can make finances difficult, but there are steps you can take to help make managing them easier.

Don’t let RA keep you from feeling financially empowered. Visit www.Arthritis.com for even more tips from financial expert and founder of LearnVest, Alexa von Tobel.

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[i] Sacks J, Lou Y, Helmick C. Prevalence of specific types of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the ambulatory health care system in the United States 2001-2005. Arthritis Care Res. 2010;62(4):460-464.

[ii] Howden L, Meyer J. U.S. Census Bureau results — U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1. 2010.

[iii] Lee DM, Weinblatt ME. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 2001;358:903-911.

[iv] Birnbaum H, Pike C, Kaufman R, Marynchenko M, Kidolezi Y. Societal cost of rheumatoid arthritis patients in the US. Curr Med Res Opin. 2010;26:77-90.

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Using technology to empower people with diabetes

(BPT) – Technology has influenced virtually every aspect of our lives. Arguably one of the biggest areas of change is in health care. From advanced surgical tools to early disease testing, every day new technology emerges in an effort to help people stay healthy and live longer. Wearable technology now puts information directly in the hands of the patient, helping people do everything from tracking steps to counting calories. Now, smartphone apps are getting even smarter, allowing physicians, patients and their loved ones if they choose, in-depth access to important health information in just a few finger taps.

Those in the diabetes community are embracing this new mobile technology enthusiastically to better manage their condition.  Keeping a written logbook can be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating for patients. Now, critical diabetes information is easier to manage and understand with the Accu-Chek Connect(R) Diabetes Management System.

With test results automatically sent from the Accu-Chek Aviva Connect meter to an app on your smartphone and an online portal, people with diabetes are able to log, view and share data anytime, anywhere, without ever writing in a logbook. Thus, never worrying about forgetting to bring this information to their physicians for important visits. Rarely do we forget our phones. They can be lifelines in more ways than one.

“The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect helps to create a sense of confidence for the person who is trying to self-manage their condition,” says Dr. David Robertson, MD of Atlanta Diabetes Associates. “It can help demystify diabetes and bring a sense of order to a very complex condition that is a constant burden to patients.”  

The system allows users to have text results sent automatically, plus you can attach meal photos, view trends and even use the app’s insulin calculator. Considering 91 percent of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach, it’s simple to track important information quickly and efficiently.

Beyond patient empowerment, technology like this better facilitates the patient-doctor relationship. Because the system loads all information into an online portal stored in the cloud, it can be accessed at any time by the physician if the patient chooses. This means a snapshot of the bigger picture is always available, whether in-person at an appointment or while the patient is on the other side of the world.

What’s more, the doctor can activate an insulin calculator in the app, the Accu-Chek Bolus Advisor, which makes it simple for patients to calculate how much insulin is needed at each meal. That means patients can enjoy their meals without worrying about the math.

“Perhaps no community is better suited for this type of advanced technology than the diabetes community,” says Dr. Robertson. “Knowledge is power. This detailed information is incredibly helpful to physicians so we can spot trends and make informed decisions along with the patient. Technology here is the tool to success.”

Learn more about how technology is transforming the diabetes community by visiting accu-chek.com/connect. Accu-Chek Connect is available at Walgreens, Rite Aid and select Kroger locations.

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7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kiwifruit

(BPT) – When it comes to fruit, kiwis are often overlooked. But that’s a shame, because these tiny orbs pack big nutritional, culinary and palate-pleasing surprises.

Here are seven little-known facts about kiwifruit:

1. There’s no need to peel kiwifruit.

Kiwifruit is the perfect portable snack because it is easy to eat. Just cut in half with a knife and scoop with a spoon. That’s it — just cut, scoop, and enjoy. But before you cut, make sure it’s ripe. Hold a kiwifruit in the palm of your hand and squeeze gently. A ripe kiwifruit will give to slight pressure. Once kiwifruit is ripe, you can pop it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (assuming you can resist eating it on the spot).

2. Not all kiwifruit is green and hairy.

Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit has a smooth, hairless skin and a juicy, yellow flesh — quite different than the fuzzy green kiwifruit to which most Americans are accustomed. Their taste is tropical-sweet, like a cross between a mango and a strawberry.  

3. Kiwifruit can help stabilize blood sugar.

The glycemic index, or GI, measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar. Fruits with a glycemic index (GI) less than 55 are considered low GI, meaning they produce a gradual rise in blood sugar levels that’s easy on the body. Kiwifruit’s low GI scores (green kiwifruit is 39 and SunGold is 38) and high fiber content allow for a slower rise in blood sugar levels than other fruits, providing energy and helping to fend off blood sugar spikes and crashes.

4. Kiwifruit can ease digestive discomfort.

Feeling a bit backed up? Kiwifruit can aid digestive concerns in several ways. For constipation, researchers believe the soluble and insoluble fibers in kiwifruit can promote laxation. For bloating, both green and SunGold have actinidin, an enzyme unique to kiwifruit that helps break down protein and streamline digestion.

5. Kiwifruit is good for your gut.

Kiwifruit provides prebiotic “food” for probiotics, the good bacteria that live in our digestive systems. So when you consume kiwifruit, you’re also feeding the 100 trillion little helpers in your gut, which support immunity, mood regulation and metabolism. Give yourself a perfect pairing of probiotics and prebiotics by enjoying yogurt topped with chopped kiwifruit.

6. Kiwifruit = delicious source of nutrients.

Kiwifruit is tasty, but that’s not all. A serving of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit has three times more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a medium banana, and a serving of green is high in fiber and a good source of folate.

7. Kiwifruit makes a mean meat tenderizer.

The actinidin in kiwifruit that can help beat your bloat also makes the fruit a great meat tenderizer. Make your own marinade with two green kiwifruit, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Simply marinade for 10-15 minutes before tossing your beef, chicken or fish on the grill.

Not all kiwifruit is created equal. With Zespri, growers put a focus on quality, and you can really taste the difference. Interested in trying Zespri Kiwifruit? Hurry to your local retailer as both Zespri Green and SunGold kiwifruit are in stores now through October.

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Four facts about artery health

(BPT) – Did you know that you could be slowly getting sicker with artery blockage, even if you are symptom free and not diagnosed with heart disease?

Your gender, age and whether you have diabetes all affect the prevalence of certain kinds of peripheral vascular disease, which is a condition that affects the blood vessels, according to a new study led by researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center. This study analyzed data from 3.6 million patients who were screened by Life Line Screening.

This insight could help doctors have a better understanding of who is at risk for which diseases.

Younger women: Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral artery disease is a narrowing of the blood vessels to the limbs, especially the lower limbs, caused by an increase of fatty deposits in the arterial walls. Most patients describe numbness or pain in the calf, hip, thigh or buttock, but up to 40 percent of people who are diagnosed do not feel any symptoms. Though often associated with older age groups, the NYU study found a distinction in younger age groups: The disease is actually more prevalent in younger women than younger men to a dramatic degree. Screening for peripheral artery disease can be as simple as comparing blood pressure in your ankle as your arm, known as an ankle brachial index.

Older men: Carotid artery stenosis
A narrowing of the arteries that carries blood to the brain is known as carotid artery stenosis, usually caused by an increase of fatty deposits. Most commonly, symptoms are not apparent until the patient has a stroke. The NYU study found a more pronounced and higher prevalence of this blockage in older men than in older women. If a patient does opt for screening, a non-invasive method is recommended, such as one offered by Life Line Screening, which uses ultrasound to visualize the arteries.

Men and women: Abdominal aortic aneurysms
The aorta is a major blood supply line to your body, running from your heart to your abdomen. When an aneurysm occurs, an area in this vital artery become enlarged and could eventually grow and rupture. These ruptures are serious, as they are life threatening and difficult to operate on. Causes are not known, but researchers have found a correlation with tobacco use, a hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure. Most people are unaware of having this condition, but a major symptom is a feeling of pulsation from the navel. According to the NYU study, prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysms was similar across all age groups. Annual screening can be done with a simple ultrasound.

Diabetes patients: Peripheral vascular disease
Patients with diabetes are often screened for heart disease, just because of the great risk factors present in these patients. But the NYU study results indicate that doctors might want to consider the onset of peripheral vascular disease in their diabetes patients as well. Patients with diabetes were at a very high risk of developing peripheral vascular disease in the lower extremities or the carotid artery — even if they were not diagnosed with heart disease, according to the study.

Future study is needed to see if screening could lead to better health for diabetes patients, says senior investigator Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger, an associate professor in the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology at NYU Langone.

“We know that if you have carotid artery stenosis, you’re at an increased risk for stroke, and we know that if you have lower extremity arterial disease, you’re at increased risk for significant impairment in your daily activities like walking, and even amputation,” he says. “What these studies show is the power of large data sets to provide insight into the prevalence of and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

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Why you need vitamin E – and how to get your daily dose

(BPT) – You get your fill of vitamins C and D by eating oranges and soaking in a little sun each day, which is good for your body and mind. Small habits like these can have a big impact on your overall health and help you feel your best each day. However, vitamins C and D aren’t the only vitamins your body needs to thrive. Take vitamin E, for example. This overlooked vitamin is essential to our well-being and yet, many people don’t know anything about it. Let’s take a moment to learn about the super vitamin, and what you can do to get your daily intake.

What are the benefits of vitamin E?

Vitamin E, like vitamin C, is an antioxidant and therefore helps improve immunity levels. Here are the possible benefits of vitamin E, and how it can specifically enhance your health. 

* Fights summer colds: Winter isn’t the only time you can catch a cold. In the summer, vitamin E can boost your immunity to prevent sickness during the warmer months. 

* Extends cell life: What’s the secret to aging well? While there are many factors that can influence aging, vitamin E can extend cell life to keep skin in great shape for years. 

* Repairs damaged cells: With vitamin E oil, you can also repair damaged cells. Specifically, vitamin E can be used to treat sunburns and scars. 

* May reduce risk of heart disease and cancer: There’s still much to be discovered about vitamin E. Currently, doctors and scientists are testing whether vitamin E can reduce the risk of serious health conditions, like heart disease and cancer. 

* Reduces risk of cataracts and other eye issues: Maintain eye health and prevent serious eye diseases by getting your daily intake of vitamin E. 

* May slow down cognitive decline: Studies have found that a higher intake of vitamin E in older individuals can reduce cognitive decline and can even slow down the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

How can I get more vitamin E in my diet?

The US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E in individuals 14 years and older is 15 mg. Instead of taking supplements to get the recommended daily dosage, however, save your money and add vitamin-rich foods to your diet. “The simplest way to increase your vitamin E intake is to follow a healthy diet that focuses on eating vitamin E-rich vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and lean forms of protein,” says Lyssie Lakatos, a registered dietitian. Lakatos lists these five foods as examples of what you can include in your vitamin E-rich meal plan.

* Pistachios: A protein-packed snack, pistachios are also a rich source of vitamin E you can take on-the-go. 

* Spinach: When preparing salads, toss some spinach into the mix. This dark, leafy green is also high in calcium. 

* Eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs contain 10 times more vitamin E than ordinary eggs, which is equal to 25 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin E. They are also packed with omega-3s, vitamins like B12 and D, and contain 25 percent less saturated fat than other eggs. 

* Avocados: Add an avocado to your salad or make guacamole to get the benefits of this healthy, vitamin E-rich fruit. 

* Olives: Whether you like to eat olives as a snack or use olive oil when cooking, you can expect to increase your vitamin E intake by including olives in your diet. 

Making Vitamin-E focused meals is simple and delicious. Here’s one recipe you can try at home today!

EBLT Bowl

Ingredients:

*2 Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs

*1 bag spinach

*½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

*6 pieces of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped

*1 avocado, sliced

*salt & pepper to taste

*½ cup whole grain croutons (optional)

Dressing:

*1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt)

*1 tablespoon water

*1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

*Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

*In a large bowl combine spinach, onion and tomatoes. 

*Place all of your salad dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake until completely combined.

*Top spinach mixture with two hard-cooked eggs per bowl, sliced avocado and croutons. 

*Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

All vitamins, from vitamin C to vitamin E, are essential to your overall health. Visit Eggland’s Best to learn more about the nutritional benefits of vitamin E. 

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summer-excitement

Summer Excitement

(BPT) – By Sarah H., Living With Psoriasis

For most people, summer means warm weather, blossoming trees, and vacation. But as a young college student living with psoriasis, it brings on a whole different set of experiences and challenges. Even though it affects approximately 7.5 million Americans, many people do not know what psoriasis is. 

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation, redness, and itching of the skin, and is usually found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. So for me, warmer weather, short sleeves, and light dresses means my skin is more exposed than during the winter when I am buried under layers 

Psoriasis is a disease that causes an overproduction of cells that appear on the skin’s surface. These cells form thick scales on the skin, which can be dry, cracked, and red – and can be itchy and painful. Psoriasis doesn’t just “go away” – it is a chronic skin condition. 

Although there isn’t a cure for psoriasis, I have learned from my doctor that there are many ways to manage the skin symptoms. Lifestyle adjustments may also offer some relief, such as maintaining a healthy weight, minimizing stress, and following a healthy diet.  

In addition to making lifestyle changes, I’ve always worked closely with my doctor to find a treatment plan that works for me. Over the years, I’ve tried different medications, but never stuck to them for one reason or another. Eventually, my doctor and I decided I try Otezla® (apremilast; 30 mg tablets), a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate. Otezla is a pill – not a cream or an injection. Otezla was something that could fit into my daily routine. Based on my medical history, my doctor told me that the Prescribing Information for Otezla had no requirement for routine lab monitoring. As a busy college student, this was helpful! 

My doctor also made it clear that it may take some time to see if Otezla works for me. After four months, I saw an improvement in my plaque psoriasis symptoms and was glad that we decided to try Otezla. 

Otezla may not work for everyone. Before I started taking Otezla, my doctor had also discussed with me potential side effects. According to my doctor, people who are allergic to any of its components should not take Otezla. Otezla is associated with serious side effects like depression, weight decrease, and interacting with other medicines that can make Otezla less effective. The most common side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache. My doctor also told me to read additional information in a brochure I received about Otezla, which also had the Important Safety Information and Full Prescribing Information for Otezla. 

While my psoriasis certainly presents me with challenges, I do my best not to let it keep me from doing the things that I love. My advice for others living with plaque psoriasis is to educate yourself about the disease and work with a doctor to develop a management plan that works for you. Summer is a welcomed time, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it! 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION 

You must not take Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla 

Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression and suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.  

Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla 

Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.  

Side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache.  

These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.  

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.  

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088. 

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information. 

Otezla® is a registered trademark of Celgene Corporation. 

© 2016 Celgene Corporation 08/16 USII-APR160044(1) 

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