This time of year people are faced with two afflictions; spring cleaning the home and allergies. Most do not realize that the two are often connected. The house dust mite is the most common source of indoor allergens. Most mites are found in your bed. The combination of dead skin, moisture from sweating, and heat from your body make your bed the best breeding ground! Not only do dust mites cause allergies and skin irritation, but they also poop in your bedding!
Most people do not know how often they should wash or replace their bedding. Now that I have creeped you out, here is some help for you:
I don’t know about you, but when I have muscle soreness after a workout I usually reach for a heating pad. I know that ice works well with swelling and inflammation, but for me the heat is better at relaxing my sore muscles.
That’s why I was surprised when I read a study by Petrofsky (2015) in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. It looked at both treatment options after a workout and found the cold therapy works much better. It did not matter if the cold pack was applied immediately after a workout, or 24 hours later. Either way there was less muscle soreness than when using a heat wrap. It should be pointed out, though, that the heat treatment also provided some relief. It just wasn’t as much as when using a cold pack.
The takeaway for me is to apply a cold pack for 20 minutes after a workout. Then if I’m sore later, I will still break out my trusty heating pad. A girl’s gotta have some comfort, man!
As the weather gets colder we all are at risk of catching the flu. There is a lot of debate as to why this occurs. Some scientists believe it has to do with being cooped up inside with each other. Others believe it has to do with the decreasing amounts of sunlight. This can lower our Vitamin D levels and make us more susceptible. Liza wrote about Vitamin D and I urge you to read her article if you haven't already done so.
The good news is there are some things you can do to prevent the flu. Of utmost importance is washing your hands often. At a minimum you should wash them before each meal and after every visit to the bathroom. It also helps if you can keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you have to sneeze or cough, use a tissue or the crook of your arm. Better yet, if you're sick try to stay home so that you don't infect other people.
I mentioned Vitamin D earlier. Make sure your levels are good (by getting a simple blood test). If not your doctor will likely have you supplement with a D3 pill. Good nutrition goes beyond Vitamin D, though, and includes consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean fats. Try to avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol as much as possible.
One of my favorite ways to fight the flu is to get plenty of rest. Who doesn't want some of that? Try to bag at least 8 hours of sleep a night to give your immune system a fighting chance. Light, daily exercise has also been proven to boost immunity so try to get in a workout or walk whenever you can.
Of course, you also have the option of getting a flu shot. There is a lot of debate over whether or not these work. Scientists have to predict what strains of flu will come each fall and winter and then make the flu vaccine accordingly. Sometimes they get it wrong. Talk to your doctor and see if getting a flu shot is a good idea for you.
By taking these simple measures you will hopefully stay healthy this autumn and winter season!
Medication compliance means taking a medication as ordered by a licensed provider. I work in the medical field, so this is a common topic in my world. I was surprised to see a statistic that as many as 25 % of prescriptions are never filled. I am even more surprised when patients take themselves off of essential medications without discussing it with their provider.
Today, medicine is geared toward PREVENTATIVE medicine. This means that we are trying to prevent serious, debilitating and even fatal diseases and illnesses. Medications are prescribed to prevent further progression of illnesses to more serious illnesses. For example, anti-hypertensive medications (blood pressure medication) is prescribed to keep your blood pressure controlled to prevent stroke, peripheral vascular disease, cardiac disease and eye disease. It is essential that you have a good understanding of why a provider orders a medication for you, what the side effects are, and know how long you should take this medication.
Please do NOT just stop medications. Some medications have rebound effects. For example stopping a beta-blocker that is meant to lower heart rate and blood pressure, may actually result in a very high heart rate and blood pressure. Other medications can cause withdraw symptoms. For example, gabapentin is often prescribed for neurological pain, but when stopped suddenly, it can cause confusion, agitation, headache, nausea, tremors and anxiety. If you are not happy with how you feel on a medication, please talk to your provider about how to safely stop it and alternative treatment options.
Even worse, many people stop taking their antibiotics before they are finished because their infection looks better or they feel better. Not completing the entire course of antibiotics may not only cause the infection to come back, but it may also an antibiotic resistance that may be difficult to treat. This often requires hospital admission for IV antibiotics and specialist to treat a now very complex infection.
All medications should be taken very seriously. You should sit down with your provider and discuss all medications that you are on, both over-the-counter and prescribed. You should know why you are taking it, when to take it and how long to take it. You should also see if there are any testing that needs to be done while you are on that medication (blood tests to see if doses are appropriate). You should know common side effects of the medications you are on. You should keep an accurate list of your medications with their doses and timing in your wallet for medical providers to review at all appointments and emergency visits. If you feel you no longer need a medication, have a discussion with your provider.
My husband loves golf. Every Tuesday night, like clockwork, he heads to the course to join his friends in 18 holes of pure bliss. When he arrives home he is always in a great mood. Unfortunately, he is almost always in pain as well.
You wouldn't think it, but golf is a high-injury sport. It requires quite a bit of coordination, strength, and flexibility throughout your body. Proper technique is the key but unfortunately, most amateurs don't have good technique. If you are continuously injuring yourself when golfing, you might want to seek out a professional to assess your golf swing.
The number one complaint of avid golfers is lower back pain. You might also suffer from elbow, wrist or shoulder injuries. To combat these you can do the following things:
Hopefully you stay healthy this summer and can golf to your heart's content. Fore!!!
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