Tips for Staying Independent as a Senior with Reduced Mobility

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Topical Medical Articles

You may always intend to live on your own. Independent living typically refers to being able to eat, bathe, dress yourself and perform other necessary daily tasks. If you have reduced mobility but wish to remain independent in your home, discuss your wishes with your doctors and closest family members. You should also follow these tips for staying independent and enjoying your own home.

Sleep Apnea and CPAP Do’s and Don’ts

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Topical Medical Articles

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you’re not alone. An estimated 18 million people also suffer from this issue that can exacerbate other medical conditions, including high blood pressure and asthma. One of the best ways to combat sleep apnea is by using a device called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

Being diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP machine to help you breathe easier in the night can seem like a life-altering experience. Help ensure you effectively treat your sleep apnea by keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind.

Stroke Prevention

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

CDC

Preventing Stroke: Healthy Living

Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

You can help prevent stroke by making healthy lifestyle choices. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Getting enough exercise.
  • Not smoking.
  • Limiting alcohol use.

Healthy Diet

Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you avoid stroke and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.

For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program Web site.

Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for stroke. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure excess body fat.

Physical Activity

Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.

For more information, see CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Web site.

No Smoking

Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for stroke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for stroke. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.

For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site.

Limited Alcohol

Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1. For more information, visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health W

 

9 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

Pain, fever, shortness of breath — when are these a temporary bother or something much worse?

By  Beth Howard

You wake up one morning with a fever. Or maybe you have a really bad neck ache. How do you know if a symptom is serious or not? “The things that we doctors are most concerned about are new symptoms that develop quickly, rather than things that develop over a long period of time,” says Keith L. Black, M.D., chair of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Another warning sign? That uh-oh feeling that tells you something’s not quite right. “You know your body best,” says Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society. “When you see or feel something different or just feel ‘off,’ pay attention; don’t dismiss it.”

Here are nine symptoms and what they might mean.

  1. Sudden Intense Headache

The big worries: If you experience head pain unlike any you’ve had before, especially if it peaks in seconds to minutes in any part of the head, it could signal a ruptured aneurysm, a blood vessel in your brain that suddenly bursts, requiring immediate attention.

In addition, your doctor will want to rule out three other conditions:

  1. Cardiac cephalgia: A rare disorder in which reduced blood supply to the heart manifests as a headache and can also cause chest pain and exhaustion with exertion.
  2. Meningitis: A headache often accompanied by a stiff neck, fever and confusion or other changes in mental status.
  3. Temporal Arteritis: A rare illness in which a person’s immune cells invade the walls of the arteries that carry blood to the head, causing headache, low-grade fever or pain upon speaking or chewing. “The reason temporal arteritis is such a concern is that it can result in the temporary or permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes,” says Brian Grosberg, M.D., codirector of the Montefiore Headache Center in the Bronx, New York. Steroids usually take care of the problem if treatment is prompt.

What else it might be: Shingles can cause pain in the forehead before the notorious skin reaction (shingles is a painful flare-up of the herpes zoster virus that lies dormant in anyone who’s had chicken pox). Contrary to common belief, sudden severe headaches are unlikely to be a sign of a brain tumor. Rather, research shows that two-thirds of patients diagnosed with a brain tumor experienced tension headaches — dull, achy or pressure-like pain — that steadily worsened over a period of weeks to months.

  1. Chest Pain

The big worries: Any intense discomfort, heaviness or pressure — like an elephant sitting on your chest — could spell heart attack. It may be combined with pain radiating down an arm, nausea and vomiting, sweating, and shortness of breath. Women can experience more subtle symptoms, like fatigue, a burning sensation or upper abdominal pain. In any case, call 911. “If it is a heart attack, a delay could cause the heart muscle to be damaged,” says Eric Topol, M.D., a cardiologist at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. If these symptoms occur only during exertion, it could also be angina, which happens when the heart muscle temporarily doesn’t get enough blood.

Sudden severe chest or upper-back pain (often described as a ripping sensation) can be caused by a tear in the aorta, known as aortic dissection, which requires immediate attention. Fortunately, this life-threatening condition occurs in only about three out of 100,000 people.

What else it might be: “Perhaps 10 to 20 percent of cases of intense chest pain are due not to heart trouble but to gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD],” says Topol. Rarely, it could also signal esophageal spasm, an abnormal contraction of the muscles in the esophagus, which carries food from the throat to the stomach. Both conditions can be treated with medications, but it’s always wise to go to the ER: “It’s a heart attack or angina until proven otherwise,” Topol says.

  1. Unexplained Weight Loss

The big worries: Losing more than 5 percent of your body weight — without trying — over a period of six months could mean cancer: Weight loss is a symptom in up to 36 percent of cancers in older people. “If you or a family member is suddenly losing weight after trying 400 times before, you have to ask, ‘Why is this time the charm?’ ” says Lichtenfeld.

What else it might be: Endocrine disorders are a common cause of unintentional weight loss. Of those with an endocrine disorder (especially hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid), up to 11 percent experience weight loss. The condition also triggers restlessness, sweating, increased appetite and difficulty concentrating.

If your weight loss is accompanied by extreme thirst or hunger, fatigue and frequent urination, it could be a sign of diabetes.

Gastrointestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease cause weight loss as well — in addition to symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Depression and other psychiatric conditions could be to blame, too. “Decreased appetite and weight loss are very common symptoms of depression,” says Susan G. Kornstein, M.D., professor of psychiatry and obstetrics/gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University. “But patients with unexplained weight loss should undergo a workup to rule out general medical causes.”

  1. Unusual Bleeding

The big worries: Ulcers and colon cancer can cause rectal bleeding or black or tarry stools, says Andres Pardo-Agila, M.D., a family medicine physician at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. If you haven’t had a colonoscopy recently, talk to your physician. Vaginal bleeding can be linked to gynecologic cancers. Bloody vomit can result from stomach or esophageal cancer, and people with lung cancer can cough up blood. “Whenever you see blood where it shouldn’t be, see a doctor,” says Lichtenfeld.

What else it might be: Blood in the stool may be due to hemorrhoids, while blood in the urine may be the result of a bladder or kidney infection. Vaginal bleeding long after menopause may be due to the growth of benign polyps or fibroids. Vomiting blood can result from a tear in the blood vessels or an ulcer in the stomach or esophagus. And coughing up blood can happen with noncancerous conditions, like bronchitis, pneumonia or tuberculosis. “There are many common reasons for seeing blood where you don’t expect it, but it still has to be checked out and treated,” Lichtenfeld advises.

  1. High or Persistent Fever

The big worries: Fever is your body’s way of fighting infection. But “fever of 103 degrees and higher warrants a trip to the doctor — period,” says David Bronson, M.D., president of the American College of Physicians. It may indicate a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart chambers and valves) or meningitis, which may require antibiotics to clear up. A persistent low-grade fever — for several weeks — with no obvious cause is characteristic of some infections, including a sinus infection, and some cancers, like lymphoma and leukemia. “Cancer is on the list of things we think about, but it is usually not the first thing,” says Ronan Factora, M.D., a geriatrician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

What else it might be: Fever can be triggered by a virus, which, depending on your health and other symptoms, may require hospitalization.

  1. Shortness of Breath

The big worries: Sudden shortness of breath can indicate a pulmonary embolism — when a blood clot forms in the body’s deep veins (usually in the legs), travels to the lungs and gets lodged in the lung’s blood vessels. Suspect an embolism if you’ve recently traveled, have undergone surgery or have been immobile, and/or your shortness of breath is accompanied by chest pain and coughing up blood. If you find yourself gasping after climbing two or three stairs or getting tired sooner than you used to, doctors will want to rule out chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially if it’s accompanied by a cough and fatigue and you have a history of smoking. Irregular heart rhythm, congestive heart failure and other types of heart disease are additional possibilities. When organs aren’t getting enough oxygen, breathlessness can result. See a doctor — stat.

What else it might be: Shortness of breath can occur with asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia. You can also experience shortness of breath, sometimes with heart palpitations, if you are under extreme emotional distress or anxiety. Regardless, patients should go to the doctor. “I don’t jump to a psychological issue unless there is nothing else going on,” says Factora. “But we don’t want to miss those few cases where survival is at stake.”

  1. Sudden Confusion

The big worries: If you’re experiencing sudden confusion, personality changes, aggression or an inability to concentrate, it’s important to see a doctor right away. “The mortality rate for severe confusion is pretty high. You have to figure out what’s going on,” says Bronson. In the worst case, a brain tumor or bleeding in the brain could be behind the delirium. If you’re also experiencing slurred speech, difficulty finding the right words, or numbness or weakness in the face, hand or leg, stroke is a strong possibility. “You have a window of about two to three hours to get to the hospital,” says Cedars-Sinai’s Black. Beyond that, brain loss may be irreversible.

What else it might be: Medicines and drug-alcohol interactions can also affect your mental state. Plus, confusion can signal an infection, abnormal blood pressure, low blood sugar or dehydration, each of which should be ruled out by a physician.

  1. Swelling in the Legs

The big worries: An accumulation of fluid (called edema) in the extremities can be caused by a number of conditions, but the one that most concerns doctors is heart failure, when the heart cannot pump as much blood as the body needs. When that happens, blood backs up in the veins, causing fluid to accumulate in the body’s tissues. “Swelling of the legs, especially if it is persistent, should never be ignored,” says Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., director of the division of cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Heart failure is suspected when both legs are affected and the patient also has shortness of breath, fatigue and chest tightness.

What else it might be: A vein problem known as venous insufficiency can also cause swelling. Normally, valves in the leg veins keep blood flowing back to the heart, but in those with venous insufficiency, these valves are weakened, causing a backup of blood. “If valves are the problem, swelling usually goes away when you lie down,” Tomaselli says. Compression stockings can help. Swelling can also result from hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone).

  1. Sudden or severe abdominal pain

The big worries: Sudden abdominal pain could signal that an aortic aneurysm — a bulge that develops in the aorta, frequently in the abdominal area — has ruptured. “If the aneurysm ruptures, the pain tends to be sudden and severe and typically centralized around the belly button,” says Richard Desi, M.D., a gastroenterologist with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Alternatively, sudden pain can indicate a perforated viscus (a hole in the stomach, intestine or other hollow organ), often due to an ulcer. Intestinal ischemia, which happens when blood flow to the intestines slows or stops, starving tissues of oxygen, can be a culprit, too. “It’s more common in older, sicker patients who have heart failure or atrial fibrillation,” says Brian Putka, M.D., a gastroenterologist with the Cleveland Clinic. Each of these conditions is life threatening, requiring emergency surgery.

What else it might be: Abdominal pain is frequently due to gallstones, which are hard, pebblelike deposits that get lodged in a gallbladder duct, resulting in sharp pain as well as nausea and vomiting. Diverticulitis — inflammation or infection in small pouches of the large intestine — can be another cause of sudden, severe pain, along with changes in bowel habits, fever and nausea. Although irritable bowel syndrome can trigger painful spasms in the colon, the pain tends to come and go over time and may also cause constipation, diarrhea or alternating bouts of both. Appendicitis is a less likely candidate for sudden abdominal pain in those over 50, as the condition is less common with age. When it does occur, however, expect gradually worsening pain in the right-lower quadrant of the abdomen.

 

Heat and exercise: Keeping cool in hot weather

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

Stay safe during hot-weather exercise by drinking enough fluids, wearing proper clothing and timing your workout to avoid extreme heat.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Whether you’re running, playing a pickup game of basketball or going for a power walk, take care when the temperatures rise. If you exercise outdoors in hot weather, use these common-sense precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses.

How heat affects your body

Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. If you don’t take care when exercising in the heat, you risk serious illness. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature increase your core body temperature.

To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate. If the humidity also is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin. That pushes your body temperature even higher.

Heat-related illness

Under normal conditions, your skin, blood vessels and perspiration level adjust to the heat. But these natural cooling systems may fail if you’re exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long, you sweat heavily, and you don’t drink enough fluids.

The result may be a heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses occur along a spectrum, starting out mild but worsening if left untreated. Heat illnesses include:

  • Heat cramps.Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions. Affected muscles may feel firm to the touch. Your body temperature may be normal.
  • Heat syncope and exercise-associated collapse.Heat syncope is a feeling of lightheadedness or fainting caused by high temperatures, often occurring after standing for a long period of time, or standing quickly after sitting for a long period of time. Exercise-associated collapse is feeling lightheaded or fainting immediately after exercising, such as after a race.
  • Heat exhaustion.With heat exhaustion, your body temperature rises as high as 104 F (40 C), and you may experience signs and symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, and cold, clammy skin. If left untreated, this can lead to heatstroke.
  • Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency condition that occurs when your body temperature is greater than 104 F (40 C). Your skin may be hot, but your body may stop sweating to help cool itself. If your heatstroke occurs during exercise in hot, humid weather, you may continue to sweat for a short time after exercising.

You may develop signs and symptoms including confusion, irritability, heart rhythm problems, dizziness, nausea, visual problems and fatigue. You need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage, organ failure or even death.

Pay attention to warning signs

During hot-weather exercise, watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you ignore these symptoms, your condition can worsen, resulting in a medical emergency. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sweating extensively
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Visual problems

If you develop any of these symptoms, you must lower your body temperature and get hydrated. Stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat. If possible, have someone stay with you who can help monitor your condition.

Remove extra clothing or sports equipment. If possible, fan your body or wet down your body with cool water. You may place cool, wet towels or ice packs on your neck, forehead and under your arms, spray yourself with water from a hose or shower, or sit in a tub filled with cold water. Drink fluids — water or a sports drink.

If you don’t feel better within 30 minutes, contact your doctor. If you have signs of heatstroke, seek immediate medical help.

Once you’ve had heatstroke, you’re at a higher risk of getting a heat illness again. Get cleared by your doctor before you return to exercise if you’ve had heatstroke.

How to avoid heat-related illnesses

When you exercise in hot weather, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Watch the temperature.Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat alerts. Know what the temperature is expected to be for the duration of your planned outdoor activity.
  • Get acclimated.If you’re used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first when you exercise in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
  • Know your fitness level.If you’re unfit or new to exercise, be extra cautious when working out in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Reduce your exercise intensity and take frequent breaks.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well-hydrated with water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink fluids.

If you plan to exercise intensely, consider a sports drink instead of water. Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride and potassium you lose through sweating. Avoid alcoholic drinks because they can actually promote fluid loss.

  • Dress appropriately.Lightweight, loosefitting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid midday sun.Exercise in the morning or evening, when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors. If possible, exercise in shady areas — or do a water workout in a pool.
  • Wear sunscreen.A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself and increases the risk of skin cancer.
  • Have a backup plan.If you’re concerned about the heat or humidity, stay indoors. Work out at the gym, walk laps inside the mall or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building.
  • Understand your medical risks.Certain medical conditions or medications can increase your risk of a heat-related illness. If you plan to exercise in the heat, talk to your doctor about precautions.

Heat-related illnesses are largely preventable. By taking some basic precautions, your exercise routine doesn’t have to be sidelined when the heat is on.

 

Number One Hospital In America, Mayo Clinic, Offers Top Ten CPAP Tips

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

January 14, 2015 14:01

Even ardent CPAP supporters admit that compliance requires education and commitment. The #1 hospital in America (Mayo Clinic), as ranked by U.S. News and World Report magazine, recently underscored the importance of proper CPAP preparation with a list of “10 common CPAP problems and what you can do about them.”

As outlined at www.mayoclinic.org, the top 10 problems/solutions were as follows:

1) The wrong size or style CPAP mask

Work closely with your doctor and CPAP supplier to make sure you have a CPAP mask that suits your needs and fits you. Everyone has different needs and face shapes, so the right style and size mask for someone else may not work for you.

2) Trouble getting used to wearing the CPAP device

To start, it may help to practice wearing just the CPAP mask for short periods of time while you’re awake, for example, while watching TV. Then try wearing the mask and hose with the air pressure on, still during the daytime, while you’re awake.

3) Difficulty tolerating forced air

You may be able to overcome this by using a “ramp” feature on the machine. This feature allows you to start with low air pressure, followed by an automatic, gradual increase in the pressure to your prescribed setting as you fall asleep. The rate of this ramp feature can be adjusted by your doctor.

4) Dry, stuffy nose

A CPAP device that features a heated humidifier, which attaches to the air pressure machine, can help. The level of humidification is adjustable. Using a nasal saline spray at bedtime also can help. Your doctor may prescribe a nasal steroid spray if your dryness doesn’t respond to heated humidity. It’s also important that your mask fit well. A leaky mask can dry out your nose.

5) Feeling claustrophobic

While you’re awake, practice by first just holding the mask up to your face without any of the other parts. Once you’re comfortable with that, try wearing the mask with the straps.

6) Leaky mask, skin irritation or pressure sores

A leaky or an ill-fitting mask means you’re not getting the full air pressure you need, and you may be irritating your skin. It can also release air into your eyes, causing them to become dry or teary.

7) Difficulty falling asleep

This is a normal, temporary problem. Wearing the mask alone for some time during the day may help you get accustomed to how it feels.

8) Dry mouth

If you breathe through your mouth at night or sleep with your mouth open, some CPAP devices may worsen dry mouth. A chin strap may help keep your mouth closed and reduce the air leak if you wear a nasal mask.

9) Unintentionally removing the CPAP device during the night

It’s normal to sometimes wake up to find you’ve removed the mask in your sleep. If you move a lot in your sleep, you may find that a full face mask will stay on your face better.

10) Annoyed by the noise

Most new models of CPAP devices are almost silent. But if you find a device’s noise is bothersome, first check to make sure the device air filter is clean and unblocked. Something in its way may be contributing to noise.

 

Water: How much should you drink every day?

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

From www.mayoclinic.org

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.

How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

Functions of water in the body

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?

Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total.

Factors that influence water needs

You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.
  • Intense exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you’re finished exercising.
  • Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. You may also need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters ) of fluids a day.

Beyond the tap: Other sources of water

You don’t need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are 90 percent or more water by weight.

In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Staying safely hydrated

Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow — and measures about 6.3 cups (1.5 liters) or more a day if you were to keep track — your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you’re concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that’s right for you.

To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s also a good idea to:

  • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise

Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

10 Winter Skin Care Tips

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

The weather outside may be unsightly, but your skin doesn’t have to be. How to banish dry skin and give your winter skin care regimen a boost.

By Susan Davis

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

WebMD Feature

For many people, the cold clear days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. They also bring uncomfortable dryness to the skin of the face, hands, and feet. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling: They get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed).

“As soon as you turn the heat on indoors, the skin starts to dry out,” Bonnie LaPlante, an esthetician with the Canyon Ranch resort in Lenox, Mass., tells WebMD. “It doesn’t matter if you heat your home using oil, wood, or electricity. The skin gets dry.”

Sound familiar? Read on to get WebMD’s top 10 tips for boosting your winter skin care regimen, so that your skin stays moist and healthy through the winter months.

Seek a Specialist

If you go to your local drugstore, you’ll be hard put to find a salesperson who can give you good advice. That’s why going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment. Such a specialist can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck buying high-end products. “Inexpensive products work just as well as high-end ones,” says David Voron, MD, a dermatologist in Arcadia, Calif. “In fact, the extra price you pay for the expensive stuff is often just for packaging and marketing. What’s most important is how your skin responds to the product — and how you like its feel, not how much money you paid for it.”

Moisturize More

You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer. But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine. Find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. (Hint: Many lotions labeled as “night creams” are oil-based.)

But choose your oils with care because not all oils are appropriate for the face. Instead, look for “nonclogging” oils, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. Shea oil — or butter — is controversial, because it can clog facial pores. And vegetable shortening, LaPlante says, is a really bad idea. “It would just sit on the skin,” she says. “And it would be really greasy.”

You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin.

Slather on the Sunscreen

No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.

Give Your Hands a Hand

The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.

Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks

Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.

Hook Up the Humidifier

Central heating systems (as well as space heaters) blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home; they help disperse the moisture more evenly.

Hydrate for Your Health, Not for Your Skin

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Drinking water helps your skin stay young looking. In fact, it’s a myth. Water is good for your overall health and “the skin of someone who is severely dehydrated will benefit from fluids. But the average person’s skin does not reflect the amount of water being drunk,” Kenneth Bielinski, MD, a dermatologist in Oak Lawn, Ill., tells WebMD “It’s a very common misconception.”

LaPlante agrees. “I see clients at the spa who drink their 10 to 12 glasses of water a day and still have superdry skin. It just doesn’t do that much.”

Grease Up Your Feet

Yes, those minty foot lotions are lovely in the hot summer months, but during the winter, your feet need stronger stuff. Try finding lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine instead. And use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically; that helps any moisturizers you use to sink in faster and deeper.

Pace the Peels

If your facial skin is uncomfortably dry, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are “deeply hydrating,” rather than clay-based, which tends to draw moisture out of the face. And use them a little less often.

Ban Superhot Baths

Sure, soaking in a burning-hot bath feels great after frolicking out in the cold. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. “You’re better off with just warm water,” LaPlante advises, “and staying in the water a shorter amount of time.”

A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy, Bielinski notes. So, too, can periodically reapplying your moisturizer. If those techniques don’t work, go see a dermatologist. “You may need a prescription lotion to combat the dry skin,” Bielinski says. “Or you may have a condition that isn’t simply dry skin and that requires different treatment.”

ESSENTIAL OUTDOOR SUN SAFETY TIPS FOR WINTER

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

From the Skin Cancer Foundation

Winter sports enthusiasts are at increased risk for overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The combination of higher altitude and UV rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage, and ultimately skin cancer. More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.

“It’s easy to associate winter with frostbite and windburn, but most people are unaware that UV rays can be every bit as damaging on the slopes as on the beach,” said Perry Robins, MD, President, The Skin Cancer Foundation. “With the winter sports season ahead of us, it’s more important than ever to take proper precautions on the slopes.”

Higher altitude means increased risk of sun-induced skin damage, since UV radiation exposure increases 4 to 5 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45 percent more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice. This only increases the risk for damage.

Both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions. To protect your skin from the bitter cold, heavy winds and winter sun, follow these important sun protection tips:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher whenever you spend extended time outdoors. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes. Be aware that the sun’s reflection off the snow is strong even on cloudy days. (Up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds.)
  • Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin – most skiers and snowboarders do not use enough. You should apply at least a teaspoon to the face.
  • Use a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin or glycerin. Winter conditions can be particularly harsh on the skin.
  • Be sure to cover often-missed spots: the lips, ears, around the eyes, and on the neck, the underside of chin, scalp and hands.
  • Reapply every two hours, and immediately after heavy sweating.
  • Always wear a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher – lips are very sensitive.
  • Carry a travel-sized sunscreen and lip balm with you on the slopes. Reapply on the chairlift, especially after a long, snow-blown run.

Cover Up

  • Cover your head – it will protect your scalp and help keep you warm.
  • Wear items like ski masks, which will leave very little skin exposed to the wind and sun.
  • Sunglasses or goggles that offer 99 percent or greater UV protection and have wraparound or large frames will protect your eyes, eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes, which are common sites for skin cancers and sun-induced aging. The sun’s glare can make you squint, so it’s important to wear sunglasses or goggles to clearly see the terrain. Plus, it will increase your enjoyment and may even improve your performance while skiing!


Be Mindful of Time Spent in the Sun, Regardless of the Season

  • If possible, ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10 AM and after 4 PM. This decreases the amount of time spent outdoors in the most intense sunlight and helps you avoid long lines.
  • If you are on the slopes for most of the day, take a few breaks indoors to reapply sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Enjoy the winter season, but be sure to take care of your skin to avoid the damage the cold season can cause.

 

FLU SEASON Q & A

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

What sort of flu season is expected this year?

It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season usually varies from one season to another.

Will new flu viruses circulate this season?

Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. For more information about how flu viruses change, visit How the Flu Virus Can Change(http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/viruses/change.htm).

When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?

The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

What should I do to prepare for this flu season?

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine(http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/index.htm) for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions(http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm) like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even by some schools.

Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or work.

Visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate where you can get a flu vaccine.

 

Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

You’re not doomed to toss and turn every night. Consider simple tips for better sleep, from setting a sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

mayoclinic.org

 

Feeling crabby lately? Or simply worn out? Perhaps the solution is better sleep.

Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep — from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues or illnesses. It’s no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.

Although you might not be able to control all of the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple sleep tips.

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. There’s a caveat, though. If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to nod off.

  1. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Don’t go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet.

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

  1. Create a bedtime ritual

Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.

Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.

  1. Get comfortable

Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you. If you share your bed, make sure there’s enough room for two. If you have children or pets, try to set limits on how often they sleep with you — or insist on separate sleeping quarters.

  1. Limit daytime naps

Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep — especially if you’re struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon.

If you work nights, you’ll need to make an exception to the rules about daytime sleeping. In this case, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight — which adjusts your internal clock — doesn’t interrupt your daytime sleep.

  1. Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.

  1. Manage stress

When you have too much to do — and too much to think about — your sleep is likely to suffer. To help restore peace, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Share a good laugh with an old friend. Before bed, jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Know when to contact your doctor Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.

 

Advice for treating and managing COPD symptoms during the winter

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

Blog1

Advice for treating and managing COPD symptoms during the winter

Blog2

Scott Cerreta, BS, RRT Director of Education for the COPD FoundationCOPD Foundation

Blog3

Many people who live with COPD face greater challenges than frigid temperatures and icy sidewalks during the winter months. Researchers who studied 7,000 people with COPD for one year found that COPD-related exacerbations occur twice as often in winter than in summer. The same study found that although hospitalization rates are constant throughout the year, COPD triggers are more life-threatening in winter.

Signs of a flare-up are a worsening of whatever your usual COPD symptoms are. These may include:

Low grade fever that doesn’t go away

Increased use of rescue medications

A change in the color, thickness, odor or amount of mucus

Tiredness that lasts more than one day

New or increased ankle swelling

You should always seek prompt medical evaluation for signs of a COPD exacerbation flare. Without treatment, people may experience life-threatening breathing problems.

You should always seek prompt medical evaluation for signs of a COPD exacerbation flare. Without treatment, people may experience life-threatening breathing problems.

Individuals can take steps to help prevent exacerbations and keep their lungs working at peak levels. Besides the usual means for preventing exacerbations, such as taking your medicines and using antibiotics and other medicines for infections or sinus problems, winter requires extra vigilance.


Do

Blog4

keep up with COPD treatment

get flu and pneumonia shots

know your Alpha-1 Antitrypsin status

avoid sick people

wash your hands

Don’t

Blog5

assume dressing for the cold is good enough

forget to clean your heating system

neglect drinking plenty of water

smoke

throw another log on the fire


Do

Do keep up with COPD treatment

If your COPD is well managed, you will be better able to avoid and mitigate the severity of exacerbation even if you get a cold or the flu. There are several medications approved for reducing the frequency of flare-ups for those who are prone to exacerbations. Ask your doctor about these.

Do get flu and pneumonia shots

While there does not seem to be a connection between exacerbations and specific strains of the flu, the flu can be dangerous for those with COPD. Therefore, getting your flu shot as early as possible in the flu season is important. Consult with your physician about getting a pneumonia vaccination to reduce your risk of infection.

Do know your Alpha-1 Antitrypsin status

If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, ask your doctor to be tested for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin, a condition in which the body does not make enough of a protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage deficiency, and a risk factor for developing COPD. If you have Alpha-1 but are not being treated specifically for this condition, you’re more likely to have an exacerbation, according to research conducted at the University of Chicago.

Do avoid sick people

Use common sense when it comes to interacting with friends and family during the winter. For instance, if a friend has cold, wait until they’ve gotten over it before getting together for lunch, and you might want to skip visiting a friend in the hospital. Send a “Get Well” card instead.

Do wash your hands

A high standard of hygiene is the best defense against germs. Only touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you have just washed or cleaned your hands with an antimicrobial hand sanitizer, especially when you are in a public place.


Don’t

Do not assume dressing for the cold is good enough

Cold air irritates the lungs. While covering your mouth and nose with a scarf enables you to keep the air moist in your lungs, it is better still to avoid being in the cold altogether. While inside, keep the air as warm and humid as possible.

Do not forget to clean your heating system

It’s easy to let this slide, but it’s important to keep your central heating system functioning at its optimal level in order to keep moisture in the air and prevent mold – another lung irritant. You should have the system inspected at the beginning of winter.

Do not neglect drinking plenty of water

Becoming dehydrated is easy to do in the winter months. Drinking lots of water can make it easier to breathe, especially if you have a respiratory infection. Keep in mind: you lose water with every breath.

Do not smoke

If you smoke, quitting smoking will result in an enormous reduction of exacerbations and an overall benefit in how you feel every day. Discuss with your doctor how to find the right medications, tools and resources that will help you quit.

Do not throw another log on the fire

Heating your home during the winter can generate lung irritants, especially wood smoke from the fireplace, kerosene, scented candles and incense. Also, because we’re less likely to open the windows in the winter, cleaning products can aggravate your COPD.


Summary

Blog6

Severe COPD exacerbations require treatment in the hospital for a few days, while others can be safely treated at home. In some severe cases, people with COPD exacerbations may need to be on a ventilator, or breathing machine, until their flare-up resolves.

The worse your underlying COPD, the more often you will have exacerbations. While acute exacerbations cannot be totally prevented, during the winter you can decrease how often you have them and how bad they are if you manage your care well and follow a few important guidelines.

Photo Credits: © Creativa – Fotolia.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas – Fotolia.

Scott Cerreta, BS, RRT is Director of Education for the COPD Foundation. He has been instrumental in developing multiple programs for COPD and tobacco prevention education, including the COPD Specialist Course, the Brief Tobacco Intervention Ski…

 

 

Q&As on Ebola Transmission (From The Centers for Disease Control)

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

What are body fluids?

Ebola has been detected in blood and many body fluids. Body fluids include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.

Can Ebola spread by coughing? By sneezing?

Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease. Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

What does “direct contact” mean?

Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

How long does Ebola live outside the body?

Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola dried on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

Are patients who recover from Ebola immune for life? Can they get it again – the same or a different strain?

Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and a patient’s immune response. Available evidence shows that people who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, possibly longer.

We don’t know if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola.

If someone survives Ebola, can he or she still spread the virus?

Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. Abstinence from sex (including oral sex) is recommended for at least 3 months. If abstinence is not possible, condoms may help prevent the spread of disease.

Can Ebola be spread through mosquitos?

There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus.

 

Respiratory Care Week 2014

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

October 19–25
Join with the AARC and its members in the spirit of celebration and community services that has come to signify Respiratory Care Week, an annual event that recognizes the respiratory care profession and promotes awareness of lung health issues and practices.
Corner Medical would like to recognize our Respiratory Care Practitioners: Russ, Chris, Julese, Susan, Dustin, Tracy, Suzanne, Marketa and Jerry!

Living with COPD

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a complex disease and comes with many limitations. It can be discouraging and isolating.

Having a good supply of resources will help with managing the disease, while staying engaged in and enjoying your life. Online resources can help you to feel connected with others who are facing the same issues.

One excellent resource we have found is COPD, Learning More Together, www.COPD.com. It is jam packed with information from understanding COPD, to testimonials from COPD patients, to traveling with oxygen, and a variety of other useful tips.

 

Electronic Cigarettes – Where Do You Stand?

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) both weighed in recently on e-cigarettes.

The cardiologists of the AHA spoke out Monday, August 25th and urged that e-cigarettes be subject to the same laws that currently apply to tobacco products. Their recommendations included a government ban on the sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to young people.

One day later, the WHO recommended banning their use indoors until is “vaping” proven harmless to bystanders. To that end, it cited the need for regulation, in order to collect data and establish the effects of their use. The WHO also said the public needs to be protected and aware of their potential risks and benefits.

Both organizations fear serious health consequences for a whole new generation if regulation of e-cigarettes isn’t mandated soon.

Source: HealthDay, News for Healthier Living

Eat Less Sodium: Quick tips

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Respiratory Health Articles - Corner Medical Blog

Respiratory Image From the Respiratory Staff at Corner Medical

We hear it all the time- too much sodium in our diets is not healthy for us; but for people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), it is especially detrimental because salt can cause a buildup of fluid, making it harder to breathe.

We found this article www.Healthfinder.gov and wanted to share it, because it really simplifies ways to reduce the amount of sodium in our diets.

Eat Less Sodium: Quick tips

Nine out of 10 Americans eat much more sodium (salt) than they need. Too much sodium increases your risk for health problems like high blood pressure. Use these tips to help lower the sodium in your diet.

Know your sodium limit.

  • Healthy teens and adults need to limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).
  • Some people, including children, adults age 51 and older, and those with high blood pressure, need to keep their sodium intake even lower (no more than 1,500 mg a day).
  • Ask your doctor how much sodium is okay for you.

To eat less sodium, you don’t have to make lots of changes at once. If you slowly reduce the amount of sodium in your foods, your taste for salt will change with time.

Check the label.

  • Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the amount of sodium in foods. Try to choose products with 5% Daily Value (DV) or less. A sodium content of 20% DV or more is high.
  • Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

Shop for low sodium foods.

  • Load up on vegetables, fruits, beans, and peas, which are naturally low in sodium. Fresh, frozen, and dried options are all good choices.
  • When you buy canned fruit, look for options packed in 100% juice or water.
  • When you buy canned vegetables and beans, choose ones with labels that say “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
  • Compare the sodium in foods like bread, soup, and frozen meals. Choose the ones with less sodium.
  • Limit processed foods – especially foods that are salted, smoked, or cured, like hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats.

Prepare your meals with less sodium.

  • If you buy canned foods (like vegetables, beans, or fish), choose low sodium varieties.
  • If you use canned foods that aren’t low sodium, rinse them before eating to wash away some of the salt.
  • Use unsalted butter or soft margarine.
  • Don’t add salt to the water when you cook pasta or rice.
  • Try different herbs and spices to flavor your food, like ginger or garlic.

Add more potassium to your diet.

Eating more potassium can help lower your blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include potatoes, cantaloupe, bananas, beans, and yogurt.

5 Tips for Healthier Living

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Topical Medical Articles

We all have ways we can improve our lives on. Whether it is eating healthier, exercising more, or having a better attitude about life, every person can stand to improve in one area or another. Here are a few ways to start:

  1. Indulge in nature. Although all exercise is good, there have been studies showing that fresh air does more wonders for your body and mood than even doing that same exercise in an inside track at the gym or at the mall. In fact, get a companion such as a friend or your dog to go with you. Motivation and encouragement help immensely when there is more than one person or creature (in the case of your dog) involved.
  2. Drink lots of water. Although we all love our sodas and energy drinks, water still remains the healthiest and most replenishing liquid nutrient around. And the more you drink of it, the better off you will be.
  3. Mix up your meals. Aim for a little of everything in your daily meals. Instead of just consuming poultry, grains, or fruit, combine them all together. Say you have spaghetti for dinner. Add a little fruit such as apple slices or peaches to your meal. Make a salad. Drink milk instead of your usual soda.
  4. Sweating is good. Sweating is a sign of exertion and exercise. Don’t be afraid of it. Also, indulge yourself sometimes in sitting in a sauna. Your body will do better for it!
  5. Get your beauty rest. Sleep deprivation will harm you in the long run. Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning!