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Senate Passes Bill for the Sale of Over the Counter Hearing Aids

Health News 13 hours ago

Aging is a complex and often difficut transition. We find that we need reading glasses when we used to have perfect vision. There are also traumas that can cause health issues that affect our living; not just the aging process. Hearing is one of those issues, when we begin to notice that we don’t hear as well and clearly as we used to. A hearing aid used to be prescribed by a doctor and often required approval from insurance companies. Now things are getting a bit easier for those who are dealing with hearing loss. The senate has passed a bill so that hearing aids can now be purchased over the counter to those in need.

There are many things that will make this process easier and more accessible, one, being money. Now that you can purchase hearing aids without a prescription, there can be competition that will allow one to choose which brand and style of hearing aid is best for their budget. When a prescription eas needed there was no room for competition, it was like a medicine, Big Pharma had its grip on the product and could really charge any price they choose to. Now those with smaller budgets and no insurance can still help thier hearing loss by purchasing their own, over the counter.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, over 48 million people suffer from some form of hearing loss and 80 per cent of those who truly need the devices are not using them due to lack of co-pays and insurance costs. Budget is a huge issue when it comes to health problems that otherwise could be more esily solved. Particularly, in the U.S. there are too many people dealing with health problems that have simple solutions but instead are extremely complex and expensive.

The average cost of a hearing aid device is $2300, which is why most people who need them don’t have them. Medicare and many insurance companies will not even cover the cost of most hearing devices. One can see how two thousand dollars can be an out-of-reach price tag for many people who are in need of a hearing aid. The price almost turns the device into a luxury item only for the wealthy who could afford the hearing device with out-of-pocket money. Something that affects so many people due to trauma and aging, should not be a luxury but should be available in some form to all who need it. This bill hopes to make that situation possible.

Source: The Senate Passes a Bill for Over the Counter Hearing Aids

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The Benefits of Silent Meditation

Health News November 21, 2017

Meditation. The word itself carries with it a wide variety of  emotions. And fear as well. The idea of sitting in silence for even just 15 minutes scares a lot of people. Why? Most of us have brains that just don’t understand how to quiet themselves. Our thoughts run rampant and we live in the future of to-do lists, and in the past of “Why didn’t I?” Living in the Now can be a difficult exercise. But  it can be such a life saver for many of us.

 

Meditation can come in many forms. There are guided meditations, candle meditations, walking meditations. You can use household chores as opportunities to meditate. Things like sweeping and doing the dishes are perfect times to meditate. But it is the silent meditation that is the most challenging and the most beneficial.

 

Doing just about anything in silence can be a meditation. Clearing the mind and just being aware of your surroundings can bring a focus that helps to quiet the mind, lower your blood pressure, enhance creativity, and heighten your intuitive brain. Many people use focusing on their breathing to begin this process.

 

Being still in silent meditation is the epitome of being in the Now. It is how you can truly free your brain from all those tapes that play on and on in your mind and really let go of the thinking brain. You get in touch with yourself on a deeper level, and gain clarity. You can relax into the silence and feel the workings of your body and grow in self-awareness.

 

If you are still wary of silent meditation start small. Just do 5 minutes and focus on the breath. Do it on a short walk. And when thoughts intrude, re-focus on your breath. Feel your feet on the ground, be aware of the land you are on, of the sounds around you. Be in the moment. There is no past, no future, only the present. Your breathing should slow down and deepen. You should feel yourself truly in your body. All your senses get sharper, more clear.

 

After your 5 minutes go back and journal about how it felt on every level. Do you feel more relaxed? Have the thoughts in your mind slowed down? Are you feeling refreshed? Energized? All these benefits come with silent meditation. If you can take your blood pressure, take it before and after your meditation experience. You may find that it has slowed  down.

 

Silent meditation can lead to much greater self awareness and make you much more present in your life. So give it a try. And like I said, start small so as not to overwhelm yourself.

 

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Foods Diabetics Should Avoid

Health News November 21, 2017

9 per cent of Americans alone are diagnosed with some form of diabetes. The numbers throughout the globe are becoming alarming. Diabetes is now like an epidemic and the disease in many ways, is preventable and can also be reversed if it is in its early stages. You can change your everyday eating and exercising habits to promote a healthier system that will fight off this debilitating disease. Food is most important. We know that eating more vegetables and lighter lower calorie meals will help but what foods should diabetics avoid?

Nachos and other high-calorie Tex Mex Foods

The reason for avoiding most restaurant style Tex Mex dishes is the high calorie and high sodium count in these types of prepared foods. Stay away from the canned versions in the market as well, they are also full of salt, oftentimes, sugar, and high in empty calories.

Pre-packages Sausages

Most pre-packaged sausages are high in fat and sodium. It is very unlikely that many households make their own sausage, so we are not aware of what all the ingredients are. Turkey or chicken sausage would be better as long as you check the fat, cholesterol, and sodium count.

Fried Foods

Avoid fried foods like battered fish and chicken because normally they contain too much sodium and many batters contain sugars that also of course need to be avoided. Bake or roast your fish and chicken in olive oil and eat with fresh vegetables.

Fruit Juice Beverages

Stay away from fruit juices unless you make them at home and you know exactly  them. Fruit juice beverages from the market and in restaurants are usually filled with excess sugar to magnify the taste of the fruit. They are not good for diabetics or those trying to prevent the disease

Most Chinese Take-Out

You will see a trend here in all of these foods. It is wise to avoid salt and sugar laden foods that are fried or cooked in fatty unhealthy oils. The best way to treat your diabetes is to cook most of your own foods and eat clean and fresh without a bunch of condiments and sodium filled sauces. Avoid fatty foods like most take-out dishes and eat fresh vegetables as your side or main dish whenever you can.

Source: Diabetic Living Online

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The Prevention of Lung Disease

Health News November 20, 2017

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no sure and certain way to prevent lung disease. Some people smoke all of their lives and still have longevity with no disease, while others may not smoke at all or are affected by second-hand smoke of others and experience lung cancer. You can never truly tell if someone is prone to lung disease besides genetics and their overall health condition. Though you cannot be certain that these methods will prevent lung disease, there are things you can do that can make experiencing lung disease more unlikely.

If you have never smoked, it is wise to continue being a non-smoker. Why raise your risk of lung cancer by starting? And do your best to stay away from second-hand smoke of friends and loved ones. Sometimes this is hard to control, but simply move away from smokers if they are engaging in the act.

If you are a smoker, then stop. Do what it takes to break this habit. There are people who can, as they say, go cold turkey and stop on their own, however, if that is not you, get some help from your physician as to what would be the best way for you to break the habit.

Get your home tested for radon. Radon has been known to be a culprit of lung cancer and other lung diseases. There is plenty of information out there about radon poisoning and it’s become very simple to get your home tested.

Take care of your overall health by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables avoiding foods filled with preservatives and ingredients you cannot pronounce. Eat as healthily and clean as you possibly can.

Try to avoid carcinogens at your workplace. Speak with those in charge about your work environment and ask plenty of questions so you know what you’re being exposed to.

Develop a daily exercise routine at least 3-5 times a week. This will keep your body healthy and strong and more able to fight off diseases.

Source: About COPD 

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6 Reasons Why Asparagus Should Be on Your Dinner Table

Health News November 19, 2017

Those long bright green, sometimes white, stalks, called asparagus are vegetables many people neglect. Some have only had them boiled, like many cooks do with vegetables and in that way, they may be stringy and not so tasty, but roasted in olive oil or baked on a sheet in the oven, can help keep their brilliant color and enhance their delicious flavor. So if you haven’t tried asparagus since you were a kid, it’s time to try these yummy and healthy vegetables in a new way. They are also great roasted and on top of a salad.

There are many reasons to eat asparagus besides their delicious taste. These stalks are very good for the body and can add a new way of getting your “greens” into your diet. Here are 6 reasons to pick up that bundle of asparagus from your local market or farmer’s market and serve them to yourself and your family.

1.They are loaded with fiber and folate, along with vitamins A,C,E, and K. Asparagus are also great for pregnant women because of the amount of folate that assists in prevention of some birth defects.

2. Asparagus may help the body to fight certain cancers. These beautiful vegetables are packed with gluthethione which helps to detoxify and break down carcinogens like free radicals. These compounds can help prevent bone, breast, lung and larynx cancers.

3. Asparagus may also help to slow down the aging process because they are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants may also assist in breaking down free radicals, the cause of certain cancers and other illnesses associated with aging.

4. The folate which works well with B12, also found in fish and poultry, can help to boost brain power which is also a help during the aging process when brain functions tend to slow down.

5. Asparagus is a natural diuretic that helps remove excess fluids and salt from the body, making us healthier and feel lighter and less bloated.

6. You can eat asparagus in a myriad of ways; raw, roasted, baked, dried, on salads, as a side dish, or in casseroles in place of broccoli or other greens. They are a highly versatile vegetable.

So the next time you consider passing asparagus by in the market, think about all the ways you can cook it and how many health benefits asparagus can add to your daily diet. You can cook them in so many ways, it is difficult to tire of these delightful stalks, that also come in white, which makes them a bit tougher and purple, which are sweeter in taste.

Source: Eating Well Magazine 

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Understanding Your Lupus Symptoms

Health News November 18, 2017

Lupus is still a mysterious disease. More is known now than a couple of decades ago, but there are still signs and symptoms of Lupus that are hard to either identify or understand. Lupus symptoms are widespread and are able to affect any and multiple organs within the body. This disease is unpredictable because you never know when symptoms will flare up or the length of those flare ups. This stress is often very difficult for Lupus patients and only adds to the harshness of those symptoms. Stress may not only cause a flare up but cause them to last longer than usual.

This is why it is crucial that Lupus patients keep track of thier flare ups, symptoms, when they happen and how long they last. This information is extremely helpful to the physician that is treating the Lupus patient. There may be a pattern that can be found from keeping records that makes it easier for Lupus symptoms to be treated or prevented.

These are some of the most common Lupus symptoms, but certainly not the complete list.

Fatigue that is of an extreme nature and is not helped by getting lots of rest.

Stiffness and swelling in various joints. You will usually know it is a Lupus symptom because the discomfort will affect multiple joints, not just one set of joints.

Muscle pains that won’t go away with over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

Hair loss is another well known sign of Lupus. It does not affect every Lupus patient but it does affect many suffering from this mysterious disease.

Sores in the nose and mouth that are surprisingly painless. Notify your doctor right away.

Fevers over 100F are very common among Lupus patients. If you have no other symptoms, such as the flu or a bad cold, check with your doctor asap.

Skin rashes can occur, particularly after spending too much time in the sun. If this is a common thing that happens to you, it is still wise to visit your physician if it happens too often.

There are Lupus sites on the internet that will assist you in tracking your disease and explaining your symptoms in more depth. The most important thing is that you contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, whether you are already diagnosed or wondering if you do have Lupus.

Source: Confused By Your Lupus Symptoms?

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How to Properly Care for Your Feet

Health News November 18, 2017

Whether we are athletes or working in a retail store, our feet take a beating. It is not something we think about a lot until something happens. Often we find that our feet get sore and tired or blistered and we just keep going without proper care. It is vital to take time out to treat our feet to some great treatments and massages. Continuous care for your feet can keep you from having problems later on in life as you age. We must also think about our overall health when it comes to our foot health. Certain illnesses and diseases can wreak habit on the health of our feet, such as diabetes and issues with the health of our liver. So a physical each year is quite helpful in this process.

When it is time for your yearly physical, visit a podiatrist as well to check on the health of your feet and tell your main doctor if you have been having unsual soreness or sores and blisters on your feet so that he or she can check for certain illnesses or diseases that may be causing these problems. Your main doctor will give you the word if you need to see a podiatrist right away. Just don’t take your foot health for granted.

Here are a few ways we can keep our feet healthy at home.

Cleanliness

Keep your feet clean just as you would any other part of your body. There are special soaps and lotions out there specifically made for your feet that will help keep the skin healthy and moist.

Exfoliation

Exfoliating your feet at least once a week is also a great idea. This will help you to pay attention to anything disturbing the feel and comfort of your feet. Exfoliating keeps your feet smooth and helps to keep your feet clear of tough skin and warts on your toes and underneath your feet.

Massage

Masssage your feet on a regular basis, particularly if you work a job that keep you on your feet all day. A good massage at the end of the day is a way to keep your feel feeling in top condition and ready for more work the next day.

Soaking

Soaking your feet is a wonderful treatment that helps get rid of dead tough skin caused by overuse or a lack of exfoliation and moisturizing. It is also a relaxing process for the entire body that may be overworked and exhausted. Many people have jobs in which they count on their feet to withstand the pressure of standing all day. Treat your feet well and you won’t feel so sore and tired at the end of your day.

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The Top Wellness Trends of 2017!

Health News November 7, 2017

Every year there are health and wellness trends that stand out above the rest. For many reasons there are trends that fall into the top 10, but it happens mostly because they work and work well. 2017 was a stressful year for some people and the best medicine for stress is taking care of oneself. It looks as though there were a lot of trends and we would like to share some of them with you. Just because they are on the 2017 list doesn’t mean you can’t try them next year if they work for you.

Trend #10

Athletics in the Workplace

Designers are now focusing on making clothing that can go from the office to the gym. In natural fabrics that give when you move, you can wear that little black dress to the office meeting with a blazer and take the blazer off for yoga class. It gives more people an incentive to exercise daily if it’s easy to transition from work to workout.

Trend #9

Inflammation Fighting Foods

We have learned through research over the last decade that inflammation in the body is one of the main causes of many illnesses. We are now finding natural ways to help these inflamed areas of the body and in turn live healthier lives. Some examples are: Turmeric and ginger are at the top of the anti-inflammatory list and are easy to find in any decent market.

Trend #8

Wellness Retreats

Wellness retreats are all the rage this year. People are traveling all over the world to get into shape and to help themselves develop healthier eating habits. These are both healthy habits that they can bring home with them to have an even healthier year in 2018.

Trend #7

Menstrual Realness

No longer are the days when you would see menstrual ads where ladies were encouraged to wear white and say, “see, no leakage”, when real women were not having that experience. Now there are real products for heavy menstrual bleeding and even underwear made for that special time of the month that keeps menstrual pads in place and provides extra protection for tampon users. No leakage, for real this time.

Trend #6

Plant Protein Becomes a Star

In years past it was thought that animal protein was the only real protein, but plant protein is moving to the forefront as a viable source of quality protein. This is good news for those thinking about becoming vegetarian. Some examples of good plant protein are beans, chick peas, all sorts of pea and hemp protein.

Trend #5

Airy Fairy Wellness Goes Mainstream

Things like energy healing and crystals for health are now not just for New-Agers, a lot of other people are getting into the act of using crystals and stones to assist in healing illness and fatigue. There are even salons offering crystal and hot stone treatments for bodily ailments.

Trend #4

Staying at Home is the New “Going Out”

Rest has taken on an all-time high as being the way to go after work and on weekends. Many busy people are no longer trying to play as hard as they work. People are beginning to understand the importance of rest for the body, mind, and spirit, and are creating rituals around nesting at home.

Trend #3

Healthy Beverages

Beverages with pomagranate and dragon fruit filled with protein powders are what’s hapenning today. These healthy beverages are taking the place of sugary teas and soft drinks and placing themselves on the market shelves as another alternative to the cocktail.

Trend #2

Ditching Makeup for the Natural Look

It seems that even stars are getting into the act of ditching their makeup for the natural look. Even stars like Kim Kardashian are getting into the act and she has a makeup line, go figure. Many women today are tiring of the amount of time and money spent on makeup and just want to go natural and learn to love their naked, natural faces.

Trend #1

Cannabis Goes Commercial

Yes, cannabis, the plant that is still illegal in many states in certain forms of the plant, has gone commercial with food and drink products containing amounts of cannibis for rest and relaxation and many say that cannibis also has a pain relieving affect. There are cannibis cookies, chips, tea drinks, crispy snacks and more this year. Yes, 2017 ends as the year of cannibis going mainstream and legal in smoking form, in many states. So, yay, for cannibus.

Source: Health and Wellness Trends of 2017

 

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7 Ways to Get More Water in Your Life

Health News November 6, 2017

Staying hydrated is a health issue. If you don’t get enough water into your system, the dehydration can cause many health problems, from migraines to sepsis, which is an infection that travels through the blood stream to your brain, if left untreated. Fatigue is one of the most common signs of dehydration and one of the smallest but common signs is hunger. Often when we think we are hungry, we are really thirsty.

If you are not in the habit of drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, it can be difficult to start. However, there are creative ways to get into the habit and here are just a few ways to make drinking water more interesting and more of a priority.

1. Add lemon

Fresh lemon can make water taste more refreshing and thirst quenching. It’s easy to slice a lemon, drop it into your water botttle before you leave for work, school, or a workout.

2. Set a goal

Buy a calendar or planner and add water to your to-do list. If you are able to look at something written, it gives you more of an incentive to keep the goals you set. Put a reminder on your phone to drink a glass of water every couple of hours. You will feel quenched, healthier, and good about yourself.

3. Buy a water thermos

A water bottle or thermos is a reminder to drink more water throughout your day. Keep one at home and one in the car if necessary, to act as a gentle reminder to fill it up and hydrate.

4. Try different waters

Today we have the option of sugarless fruit-flavored water, sparkling water and spring waters. Try a variety of waters and keep a couple of bottles in your backpack or vehicle so that you are never without it. With a bit of variety, you will be more interested in making water a part of your daily diet.

5. Green tea

Many experts say that you can replace one or two glasses of water with decaffeinated green tea. Yes, green tea counts in your water count, so find a brand you like and keep a few bags around. In the summer, it’s great to drop a green tea bag in your water thermos. It’s refreshing and healthy at the same time.

6. Join a friend

Ask a good friend to help keep you stay on track when it comes to your water intake. Text or a quick call is enough to check on one another and see if you’ve been drinking the recommended amount of daily water. Teamwork is extremely helpful at times.

7. Make water a social drink

When out for cocktails after work, order a glass of water with your drink. This is a great and healthy idea because alcohol dehydrates you. You can still have fun at happy hour but you’ll drink less alcohol if you keep drinking water in between. Water also fills you up so you’ll take in less empty calories as well.

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5 Surprising Migraine Triggers

Health News October 19, 2017

Migraines cause a lot of suffering for many people plagued with this health issue. The amount and severity of migraines can differ from person to person but the suffering remains debilitating. Migraines are not your average headache. It isn’t even like your painful average headaches. Migraine sufferers are in a world of their own and unfortunately feel alone in their suffering at times. There are certain triggers for these terrible excruiating headaches and many are well-known. For some, it could be chocolate, for others wine. But there are some triggers that are lesser known and it may be helpful to know what these surprising triggers are.

1. Sleeping Late

It may sound strange but if your body is on a strict time clock and all of a sudden you change that schedule, a migraine can be triggered. Sometimes this is called the “weekend headache”, that many migraine sufferers get from sleeping in on the weekends. It is best to try to stick with the same schedule of waking up everyday, and if you are off from work or school, take a nap in the afternoon instead.

2. Sex or intense exercise

Yes, unfortunately, sex can be a migraine trigger, particularly if the sex is more active than usual. This is why intense exercise that you may not be used to, can also trigger a migraine. So what can we say. If it’s worth it to you, these two activities can cause migraine sufferers to have to take to the bed, and not for any fun.

3. Wine and Cheese

Another downer, is that two favorites for many people that are often enjoyed together, wine and cheese, both contain a compound call tyramine, naturally provided by nature. So the combo is one of the worst things a migraine sufferer can indulge in.

4. Perfume or Other Strong Scents

Migraine sufferers who are sensitive to strong scents are usually triggered by perfume, especially big bold scents like nighttime fragrances that are usually heavier. These same migraine sufferers are also usually triggered by loud or repetitive noises.

5. The Weather

The weather, particularly, sudden changes in the weather, can trigger a migraine. The barometric pressure which usually changes as the nighttime rolls in, is another trigger for migraine sufferers. Bright sunlight, heavy humidity, are also culprits.

The best thing you can do is to experiment and keep a log showing when your migraines start and end. This is a way to find out what your specific triggers may be. Once you find your specific triggers, you can more easily avoid migraine episodes.

Source: 5 Surprising Migraine Triggers Excedrin.com

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