Improving Your Health

Bathroom Upgrades And Your Elderly Parents: Which Improvements Can You Tackle Yourself?

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, AARP, a reported 4.6 million elderly parents were living with their adult children, in 2011. If your elderly mother or father is planning to live in your spare bedroom, there are a lot of adjustments you will need to make to your lifestyle and home – including your bathroom. Upgrading the safety features of your bathroom is a great way to ensure your elderly parent doesn’t suffer an unnecessary accident. Before you attempt to tackle a project in order to save money, it is important to know which jobs you can probably handle, and which you should leave to the professionals: Jobs You Can Tackle On Your Own Whether this is your first DIY project or you’ve been tackling jobs around your home for years, there are several upgrades you can handle on your own. Here are a few upgrades that will make your parent’s bathroom much safer and easier to use: Grab bars and safety rails – Installing safety rails and grab bars strategically throughout your bathroom will make using the toilet and taking a shower much easier. Installing bars next to the toilet and in the shower will take only a few minutes and can be accomplished with a kit, which is available at home improvement stores, and a screwdriver. Comfort height toilet – Swapping out your existing toilet for a comfort height toilet can be accomplished in a single afternoon. Comfort height toilets are a few inches higher than standard toilets found in most bathrooms, which makes it easier for your parent to stand up from a seated position. Bigger door knobs and handles – If your parents are suffering from arthritis, or if they simply have trouble gripping smaller handles and door knobs, installing larger models will make their lives much easier and pain free. Ask your parent to visit the home improvement store with you and pick out knobs and handles they can easily use. Motion sensors – Finally, if your parents visit the bathroom several times a night, installing motion detecting sensors on the light fixtures is a great way to prevent an injury. These sensors are inexpensive and can easily be installed by the homeowner. In addition to these above-mentioned ideas, there are other low cost ways to make your parent’s bathroom safer. For example, replace your existing rubs with rubber mats, which will help […]

The 3 Best Treatment Options for Osteoporosis

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you might be worried about how this will affect your future. While there really isn’t a way to reverse osteoporosis, there are steps you can take that can help stop or slow down the effects of this condition. Without proper treatment, you will continue to lose bone mass for the rest of your life, and this will lead to very weak and frail bones. Here are three of the best types of treatment you should start now to help you stop osteoporosis from causing any more damage to your body. Use Medication There are many types of medications used to treat osteoporosis, and most of the medications are designed to help your bones stay strong. The bones in the body are constantly breaking down all throughout your life, but they are also constantly rebuilding themselves. This process keeps your bones strong throughout your life—unless osteoporosis sets in. With osteoporosis, your bones break down but do not rebuild themselves. This means you will slowly lose bone mass, and this leads to weakness of bones. When bones are weak, they are prone to breaking more easily, and weak bones can also lead to mobility issues and other problems. The medications available today are able to help with osteoporosis by helping to slow down the process of bone deterioration. These medications do not necessarily help the bones rebuild themselves, but they can slow down the process of losing bone mass. Start Exercising If you are not currently exercising on a regular basis, you should start. Most experts believe that working out for 30 minutes five days a week is sufficient for good health, and exercising can actually make a big difference in the progression of osteoporosis. The three main types of exercises you should focus on are weight-bearing, resistance, and flexibility exercises. Each of these types is designed to help your body in different ways, and all three can help slow down the negative effects of osteoporosis. Exercising is important because it builds muscle. If you have strong, healthy muscles in place, they will protect your bones. Thin, weak muscles do not offer a lot of bone protection. If you can focus on building your muscles through exercise, you will have healthier bones, increased balance, and many other benefits. Take the Right Supplements The third thing you should do is start taking supplements, and there are […]

What You’ll Want to Know About Breastfeeding and Over-the-Counter Medicines

Breast milk contains all of the nutrients and natural antibodies your baby needs in just the right amounts. If you’re taking over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, however, the ingredients found in those medications could also end up in your breast milk. As a new mother, you may have plenty of concerns about the potential risk that OTC medicines can pose to your nursing child. If you need to take OTC medicines for sinus congestion, cough, or cold, the following explains what you can do to keep your baby safe. Consult Your Doctor First You should always check with your doctor before taking any type of medication while breastfeeding, including common OTC medicines. Even the most benign of OTC medicines can have unexpected effects on nursing mothers and children they breastfeed. Although it’s best to get your doctor’s opinion on an OTC medicine, you can also ask your pharmacist if you can’t get a hold of your doctor. In addition to asking questions about the medicine you’re interested in, you should also inform your pharmacist about any other medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you might also be taking. Some OTC medicines can interact negatively with other medications, leading to unforeseen complications that could impact you and your baby’s health and well-being. Always Check for the Active Ingredient It’s important to check your OTC medication’s list of ingredients, as it could contain an active ingredient that could prove unsafe for breastfeeding. For instance, certain OTC cold and sinus medications containing ibuprofen could also contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine as the active ingredient. The former can induce irritability in nursing babies and reduce breast milk production, and the latter’s effects remain unknown. Avoid “Extra-Strength” and Multi-Symptom Formulas So-called “extra-strength” and “long-acting” formula medicines have higher-than-normal dosages, making these medicines more potent than you’re probably used to. Stronger dosages also increase the likelihood of the medicine remaining in your bloodstream for longer periods. This also increases the chance of the medicine lingering in your milk supply. Instead of using extra-strength or long-acting OTC medications, you should stick with the lowest effective dose. This way, the medicine will remain in your bloodstream for a shorter period, thereby reducing the likelihood of it being passed on while you are breastfeeding. You should also avoid OTC medication formulas that are designed to treat multiple symptoms at once, as these formulas contain multiple ingredients that can linger within the bloodstream for […]

Symptoms Of ADHD In Adults

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can affect anyone; however, many children outgrow it as they age. But there are adults that still suffer from ADHD, and it can affect their lives in many different ways. If you are an adult and have never been diagnosed with ADHD, you may want to consider getting evaluated if you believe that you might have this condition. Here are some of the top signs of ADHD in adults. If you can relate to any of these, you should consider visiting a doctor that specializes in ADHD for adults. You Find It Hard To Finish Tasks One common trait of people with ADHD is the inability to stay focused. People with ADHD will often start doing one thing and end up doing another thing. They may try to finish the first thing, but they get so distracted that they never end up doing that. While this trait is a trait that people without ADHD can have, people who have ADHD tend to have severe problems with this. You Make Reckless Decisions When children have ADHD, they may have angry outbursts and do things that are questionable, and these are also things that can happen when adults suffer from ADHD. Unfortunately, when adults have ADHD, the reckless decisions tend to be more destructive to their lives. Adults with this condition may have difficulties with relationships, especially marriage. They may have trouble holding jobs because they show up late or don’t show up at all. In addition, ADHD can cause some adults to do things that may appear abnormal, such as getting in trouble with the law or acting in ways that are overly compulsive. You Forget To Do A Lot Of Things ADHD makes it hard to focus on things in life, and this can prevent a person from staying organized and remembering things. If you are starting to forget to do normal things you should be doing, it is a sign of ADHD. For example, if you have forgotten to pick your kids up from school several times in the last week, it could be a sign of some type of issue. You might also forget to do normal things like take the garbage out or shut the coffee pot off when you leave for work. You Are Suffering From Emotional Issues Emotional issues are also common with adults who struggle […]

Signs Your Poison-Ivy Rash Has Become Infected—And What to Do About It

Poison-ivy rashes can be itchy and annoying, but things get a lot worse if your poison-ivy rash becomes infected. Secondary bacterial infections of skin affected by poison ivy are not uncommon, so it’s important to know how to recognize whether you’ve developed this issue and how to act if you do. Here’s a look. How do you know the difference between a standard poison-ivy rash and one that’s become infected? The rash caused by poison ivy looks like reddish, pinkish streaks or scratches with raised bumps. The skin around the streaks and bumps is not overly red. Though the rash is itchy, it should not be painful. A little clear oozing may occur during the first few days, but after that, the rash should dry out. If these symptoms are all you’re experiencing, then you just have a standard case of poison ivy. Treat it with over-the-counter cortisone creams; a visit to the doctor is only necessary if the rash covers a large portion of your body or is present on a sensitive area like your genitals or face. If you notice any of these symptoms, your poison-ivy rash may be infected with bacteria: Extreme redness, not only of the rash-covered skin, but also of the skin around it. Pain when you touch the area. Swelling of the affected area. A fever or the chills. Appearance of white or yellow pus on the rash. Poison-ivy rashes often get infected during the first few days of the rash when the skin is at its most vulnerable. Once the rash dries out and starts healing, the chance of infection goes down. How is an infected poison-ivy rash treated? If you think your poison-ivy rash is infected, call your doctor promptly. If it’s after hours or the weekend, go to urgent care. You do not want to risk the infection spreading past your skin and into blood or other tissues. Your doctor may take a swab of your rash to determine which type of bacteria is causing your rash. This will enable them to prescribe the best antibiotic for fighting that specific bacterial species. Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium commonly found in small numbers even on healthy skin, often causes infections when the skin is damaged—as in with the poison-ivy infection. Sometimes skin infections are caused by Streptococcus species. Common antibiotics your doctor may prescribe include: Amoxicillin Doxycycline Metronidazole You should experience relief from […]

You Are Not Alone: A Healthcare Agency Can Help Provide In-Home Care

If you or a family member are in need of home-health care, you may be tempted to allow these services to be provided by another trusted family member or to hire an aide outright. While this arrangement may work and may be the less expensive option, it is usually not the most ideal situation. Not only could this make you liable for any accidents or injuries that take place in your home, but it really may not be the cheapest option. When you hire help through a home-care agency, you will not have to worry about the stress of finding a qualified provider. They will do that as well as offer you many other benefits.  Home-Care Agencies Are Often Covered by Long-Term Care Insurance The average annual cost of a full-time home-health aide is approximately $46,000. This could be more or less depending on where you live as well as how many hours of care you or your loved one will be requiring. Even if a friend or qualified family member agrees to provide you with a discounted rate of $15 per hour if you are willing to pay them in cash or under the table, a year at 40 hours per week will still run you more than $31,200. Unfortunately, if you agree to their terms and are not issuing a check, you will usually have to pay this out of pocket without any type of reimbursement.  Anytime you need help with more than two of your activities of daily living, or ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, transferring, walking, and so forth, you qualify for long-term care. If you have invested in a long-term care policy and hire a home healthcare agency, you may be able to be reimbursed for some or all of the care provided by the agency. Although the total cost that you are able to file will depend on the terms, conditions, and coverage amounts contained within your policy, this potential reimbursement may make the cost you are paying the agency less expensive.   Home-Health Agencies Will Do the Hiring for You You can never be too careful about who you bring into your home. Unfortunately, not everyone has your best interests in mind. Statistics suggest that as many as 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has suffered some type of elder abuse, and many have suffered this abuse at the hands of […]

Are You Considering Having Tummy-Tuck Surgery? Learn What Activities Can Alter the Look of Your Surgery

If you have a flabby stomach that you cannot tighten with exercise or diet, or if you have loose skin due to losing a lot of weight, you may be considering having a tummy tuck done. A tummy tuck cuts away loose skin, removes fat stores that you can’t get rid of, and tightens up the stomach muscles, leaving you with a tight and firm stomach. However, if you are considering having this type of procedure done, you need to realize that choices you make after the surgery could affect the look of your surgery. These choices can alter your body and cause the problems to come back. Here are three future choices that can affect a tummy tuck. Diet and Exercise If you decide to go through with a tummy-tuck procedure, it is important to note that your diet and exercise routine can affect the appearance of your tummy in the future, regardless of the surgery. If you gain weight, stomach flab and fat will emerge. The surgery will not keep this at bay or prevent this from reoccurring. Likewise, if you were to lose a significant amount of weight again, your stretched-out skin can redevelop as well. As such, if you are considering undergoing tummy-tuck surgery, it is recommended that you be at your ideal weight and have maintained that weight for some time. If you are a yo-yo dieter and your weight bounces around, you may find yourself displeased with the tummy-tuck surgery, as the results may not be maintained due to your exercise and eating habits. Pregnancy Another choice you can make that can drastically alter the effects of your tummy-tuck surgery is getting pregnant. Many women have tummy-tuck surgery after having a child. They find they have loose skin and a fat pouch they can’t seem to get rid of. However, if you were to get pregnant again, all of these issues would reemerge. And they would not simply disappear after having a child. Your stomach muscles that were tightened during the procedure may stretch apart and become weak again, and your skin may become loose and flabby again. Therefore, it is highly recommended that women hold off on having a tummy-tuck procedure until they are done having children. However, if you thought you were done and find yourself pregnant again, a miniature tummy tuck may be done after the pregnancy to tighten things back […]

Two Things You Can Do To Prepare For Your Allergy Skin Test

Around 50 million people suffer from seasonal or nasal allergies. If you have recently started sneezing, wheezing, and caring for a runny nose during the warm weather months, then you may have started to form an allergy issue yourself. If so, it is best to understand exactly what you are allergic to. This can be difficult for you to determine alone since there are typically 30 to 49 pollen grains per cubic meter of air on a moderately high pollen count day. This means you are likely exposed to hundreds of pollen particles a day from all types of flowers, weeds, trees, and grasses. Asking your allergist for an allergy test to find out what you are allergic to can help you to understand your condition a bit better. Skin prick tests are commonly completed and there are a few things you can do to prepare for the test. Keep reading to find out.  Do Not Take Your Antihistamine Most allergy sufferers will take an oral antihistamine. These medications stop the body from releasing a compound called histamine. Histamine causes the swelling of your nasal passages, sinuses, and lung tissues and it also forces fluid to move through the nasal passages so mucous can be secreted. While antihistamines are a great addition to your allergy control regimen, they will keep your allergist from understanding exactly what you are allergic to. When the prick or skin test is started, the physician will place some histamine on the skin. The skin will react and you will see a red patch that starts to spread around the area where the fluid was placed. Since histamine causes swelling and redness when an allergen is present, the same type of reaction will occur when an allergen is placed on the skin. Reactions to allergens used during the skin prick test can then be compared to the histamine reaction.  If you do not take an antihistamine the day of the allergy test, then the initial histamine reaction and the reactions to the allergens placed on the skin will be normal. However, if you take the medicine, swelling and redness will be minimal. This can make it appear as though you are not allergic to any of the substances placed on your skin. Poor allergy testing results can create false negatives. New testing will likely need to be scheduled, so do not take your allergy medicine on the day […]

Understanding Some Of The Causes Of Foot Numbness

Whether you’re an athlete in training or just use various sports to help you stay fit, suffering problems with your feet can be serious. For example, numbness that persists over the course of weeks or months should never be taken lightly. Sometimes, it can be caused by a pinched nerve that needs relief, but prolonged numbness is often a more serious concern. When you work with a podiatric sports medicine specialist, he or she can not only help you identify the underlying cause but also determine how best to preserve your training routine. Here are a few of the most common causes for persistent numbness in the feet to help you understand what to expect. Circulation Struggles If the numbness is limited to one foot, it may be caused by problems with circulation. For example, peripheral artery disease is a common condition that can interfere with your circulation. It is known to occur most often in older adults because the arteries can narrow as you age and due to poor diet. Prolonged exposure to severely cold temperatures can also lead to circulation issues. Frostbite can occur, which can lead to long-term damage to your feet including significant circulation problems and other skin tissue issues. Deep vein thrombosis is another common cause of circulation problems in the feet. It can even cause blood clots to form in your body, so you need to talk with a podiatrist right away if you’re concerned about a condition like this. He or she can evaluate your feet, look at the areas affected by the numbness and help you determine if circulatory issues are the cause. Orthopedic Issues Some numbness issues in the feet are caused by orthopedic issues. Conditions like sciatica, spinal stenosis and even herniated discs in your back can cause pain to radiate to your legs and feet. Sometimes, injuries to your spine can lead to nerve damage. The nerve damage can disrupt feeling in your legs and your feet. Another common problem is conditions like osteoporosis. Even if it’s in its early stages, active participation in sports can make weakening bone more apparent and can lead to increasing nerve issues and numbness. If you visit a podiatric sports medicine specialist and he or she is unable to find a problem specifically with your feet, it may be time to look into more widespread issues like these. Neurological Problems Neurological issues can […]

5 Tips for Preparing Your Home if Receiving Outpatient Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa

If you suffer from anorexia nervosa or another eating disorder, there are several types of treatment available to you. Depending on the mental and physical symptoms you suffer due to your condition, you may be eligible for outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment means that you will be able to stay at home and continue with most of your daily activities. However, you will regularly meet with a doctor, psychologist, or nutritionist to monitor your progress and make sure your condition does not get worse. If you are planning to enroll in an outpatient treatment program, there are several things you can do to help get your home ready for your treatment.  Get Rid of Your Scale  Many patients with anorexia nervosa use scales obsessively to check their weight and make sure that they are not gaining weight or are continuing to lose weight. If this applies to you, a scale can become a daily temptation that can prevent you from making progress with your disorder. During daily or weekly check-ins, your health care provider will weigh you and make sure that you are gaining an appropriate amount of weight.  It is a good idea to remove it during the beginning stages of treatment. Eventually, your health care provider may suggest having a scale in your home to help you see that some of your fears regarding the amount of weight you gain from a single meal are unfounded. Reduce the Number of Mirrors in Your Home  Many patients with anorexia nervosa have a distorted view of their body. You may find that you often stare into a mirror and focus on negative aspects of your weight or appearance. Get rid of mirrors in your home or cover them with fabric to reduce the amount of time you focus on your appearance each day. Your health care provider may suggest that you utilize photography as opposed to mirrors to help build a more realistic self-image.  You do not have to get rid of all of your mirrors, but consider covering your full-length mirrors during the beginning of your treatment.  Stock Your Home With Nutritious Food  You may find it difficult to eat during some parts of your treatment. It can be even more difficult when you have to go out and purchase food. To make sure you get started right, have someone go shopping for you and fill your home with nutritious foods. […]