Are You Reaching for the Right Pain Medication?

03.20.2015

(StatePoint) The use of opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin is on the rise and this trend is taking its toll. Opioids account for 46 deaths each day in the United States — more than any other drug. Is your pain medication the best option for you? Depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, and the duration of your expected treatment, the answer may be “no.” “Surprisingly, opioids are not very effective pain medications, and they can also have serious side effects,” says Dr. Donald Teater, M.D., medical advisor to the National Safety Council. Acute pain includes dental pain, back pain, renal colic pain (kidney stones), sprains and fractures. What may be surprising to some is that studies show a combination of over-the-counter acetaminophen and ibuprofen is more effective at relieving acute pain than opioids. Not only are opioids less effective than NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) in particular …

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Eating Between Meals May Help You Live Longer—If You Do It rRght

03.04.2015

You probably think of your afternoon snack as an indulgence, one that adds pounds, not benefits. But not if you make smart choices. Studies suggest that some between-meal bites may actually extend your life and help you maintain a healthy weight. For most people, snacking contributes about 25 percent of your daily calories. That’s why you want to make every bite count. A study from Auburn University in Alabama found that older adults who snacked twice per day got 18 percent more vitamin C, 16 percent more beta carotene, and 10 percent more vitamin E than those who didn’t. They also got slightly more magnesium and potassium. What makes a healthy snack? Small portions of nutrient-packed, unprocessed foods. Allow yourself two snacks per day. Each should include at least two food groups and have 150 to 200 calories. Consumer Reports’ food experts say a 6-ounce container of low-fat yogurt with …

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9 Smart Ways to Save on Health Care

02.18.2015

How to get more bang from your out-of-pocket buck 1. Don’t pay for care you don’t need. If you are sick and need to see a doctor but your doctor can’t see you because he or she has no openings, go to Boca Regional Urgent Care (BRUC) and avoid the expense of going to the E.R. Of course there are times that and E.R. visit is necessary but if it isn’t you can save a lot on copays and out of pocket costs by going to BRUC. The Clinic is open every day from 9am-9pm. Walk right in, no appointment is needed. Pre-registration is available online at BocaRegionalUrgentCare.com 2. Find out the price ahead of time. Obviously this tactic works only for non-emergency situations. But did you know that the price of a routine MRI might vary four-fold among imaging centers that participate in your health plan? Or that an …

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9 Smart Ways to Save on Health Care

02.18.2015

How to get more bang from your out-of-pocket buck 1. Don’t pay for care you don’t need. If you are sick and need to see a doctor but your doctor can’t see you because he or she has no openings, go to Boca Regional Urgent Care (BRUC) and avoid the expense of going to the E.R. Of course there are times that and E.R. visit is necessary but if it isn’t you can save a lot on copays and out of pocket costs by going to BRUC. The Clinic is open every day from 9am-9pm. Walk right in, no appointment is needed. Pre-registration is available online at BocaRegionalUrgentCare.com 2. Find out the price ahead of time. Obviously this tactic works only for non-emergency situations. But did you know that the price of a routine MRI might vary four-fold among imaging centers that participate in your health plan? Or that an …

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What’s Wrong With Herbal Remedies

02.09.2015

They might not contain what they claim—and probably don’t work, either The millions of Americans who regularly take herbal supplements like echinacea, garlic, ginkgo biloba, and saw palmetto were likely shocked earlier this week by news that several popular products sold in major retail stores like GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens might not contain what they claim. The supplement industry responded, predictably, by criticizing the tests, and several independent experts have also raised concerns about the methodology used by New York state regulators. But the argument over whether the tests were accurate obscures a basic problem with most dietary supplements: there’s very little evidence that they work in the first place. “The idea that dietary supplements cure the common cold, restore prostate health, sharpen your mind, or have any other health benefit is dubious at best,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., chief medical adviser for Consumer Reports. And that may …

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Tips to Manage Pain from Arthritis Naturally

02.04.2015

(StatePoint) One in five adults in the United States now reports having doctor-diagnosed arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For those living with the chronic pain of this disease, learning how to manage arthritis is crucial to the health and happiness of millions of Americans. With that in mind, here are several natural ways to reduce complications and pain associated with arthritis: • Those who are overweight or obese are diagnosed with an arthritis symptom more often than those with a lower body mass index, according to CDC statistics. Take a load off your joints by maintaining a healthy weight. Weight loss has also been linked to less pain from arthritis, especially in the knees, which bear the brunt of excess pounds. • Evidence indicates that both endurance and resistance exercise can provide significant benefits to those with osteoarthritis, according to the U.S. Department of …

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Safety Tips For Teen Drivers

01.23.2015

One of the most important milestone’s in a teenager’s life is when they are finally able to drive on their own. Being able to drive opens up a multitude of opportunities; however, if your teenager is not careful, driving can also be the gateway to significant danger. To ensure that your teenager is being a safe driver make sure that they are considering the cardinal rules of driving: 1. Eyes on the Road: No matter what. Before they enter the car, the teen should remove their cell phone from their pocket, and put it in silent mode. The phone should placed somewhere in the car where it will not be tempting to reach out and check it. If they need to make an emergency phone call, they should pull into the nearest parking lot. 2. Never Drive Under the Influence: 31% of the traffic deaths in 2013 were due to …

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5 reasons to skip taking vitamin C for colds

01.05.2015

It won’t make your sniffles disappear Sniffles, sneezes and an achy head are a good indicator that you’ve caught a cold—and nobody wants to be sick during the holidays. But unfortunately, chomping on megadoses of vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, or sipping yet another glass of vitamin C mix won’t make your illness magically disappear. In fact, it could add to your woes. “Nothing, including vitamin C, has ever been shown to shorten the course of a common cold, which usually lasts 7 to 10 days,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser. Here are five reasons vitamin C is not much better than a tincture of time. 1. It’s probably too late While research suggests that taking a daily dose of C on a regular basis while you’re still healthy might shorten your cold by a day or so, the same studies show that blasting your …

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Will A Gluten-Free Diet Really Make You Healthier?

11.29.2014

The biggest trend in the food world shows no signs of slowing down. Here are the six realities behind the labels. Eighteen months ago, Ahmed Yearwood decided to go gluten-free. “A few years earlier, I’d given up processed foods and felt great,” the 41-year-old business owner recalls. “I figured cutting out gluten would make me feel even better. Everyone told me I’d have more energy and lose weight.” He lasted less than a month. “Everything was rice this and rice that—it was way too restrictive,” he says. “And I didn’t feel any different healthwise than I did before.” Yearwood reverted to his former eating habits. “Some of the grains I eat have gluten, but I still feel amazing.” Just as fat was vilified in the 1990s and carbs have been scorned more recently, gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye—has become the latest dietary villain, blamed for everything from …

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A Doctor Explains Why Cruise Ships Should Be Banned

11.19.2014

By Kent Sepkowitz M.D. More than 150 passengers on a California cruise ship came down with norovirus, continuing a trend that happens every year. From a medical standpoint, it’s time to call it quits on cruises. As an infectious-disease specialist, I still surprise friends and family with my unworried attitude regarding my risk of catching most infectious diseases. I have cared for patients with highly resistant TB without a pause; I have weathered anthrax and flu and Ebola-is-going-to-kill-us-all-within-the-hour panics with a bored shrug. As infants, my kids ate food right off the floor without washing or boiling. I don’t carry Purell and can’t imagine why any sane person would consider it. But there is one thing that scares me to death, a single place so threatening, so teeming with contagious organisms that I can’t believe that it is a $36 billion worldwide industry—a place people pay to spend time. Cruise …

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