Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Join an Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that steals from both the sufferer and his or her family. Loved ones and caregivers often feel helpless as they watch Alzheimer's ravage the memory of the sufferer, plunging its victim into confusion and robbing them of a beloved father, mother or grandparent.

But there is something you can do to help. The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk helps to raise public awareness of Alzheimer's as well as raising money to fund research and support. Volunteers are needed to participate in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Memory Walks are being held in over 600 communities, you can check for one near you at the Alzheimer's Association website. Walks are generally 2-3 miles long and held on during a weekend in the fall. By walking for Alzheimer's you can help - you can join those who are working to find the key to Alzheimer's, working towards prevention, treatment and perhaps someday, a cure. Join a team in your community or form your own team and walk with a purpose.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

Know The 5 Steps to Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a loss in the bone mineral density (BMD). This means that the sufferer is more susceptible to bone fractures. Osteoporosis can affect both men and women, but is most common in post-menopausal women.

One of the most important health concerns for women approaching menopause is to maintain bone health and prevent or treat osteoporosis.

To this end, The National Osteoporosis Foundation wants you to know the 5 steps to bone health.


Get your daily recommended amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D.

Engage in regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health.

Have a bone density test and take medication when appropriate.

You can get more information on osteoporosis at the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s website, www.nof.org/.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Preventing Never Events

In a hospital or medical care facility, there are some things that should just not happen to patients. In medical terms these are called Never Events. Many insurers, including Medicare have announced that they will not pay for Never Events and many hospitals are pledging not to charge for services related to Never Events. There are 28 Never Events recognized by the National Quality Forum.

One example of a Never Event would be Pressure Ulcers. Pressure ulcers, often called bedsores, occur when skin is compressed between bone and hard surfaces for long periods of time without shifting the body's weight. These areas of skin break down and can become ulcerated or necrotic. Hospitals and medical facilities can and do use any number of devices and cushions designed to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers.

Another Never Event that can prove very dangerous for a patient is an Elopement which is when a patient wanders away from a medical facility, or disappears. There are numerous approaches to preventing elopements and depend upon the patient's mobility and mental status. Large and highly visible signs advising the patient not to exit doors or enter other areas may be effective in some cases. Other types of prevention may include the use of door alarms or personal alarms and systems that will help locate a patient who has eloped.

These types of Never Events could occur in a home care setting as well. If you are a caregiver,products used in the prevention of such Never Events can be purchased and used in a home setting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Give Me 5 Stroke Check

To increase awareness amongst Americans of the symptoms of stroke, the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have introduced The Give Me 5 for Stroke Collaborative.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.

The Give Me 5 quick stroke check:

WALK (Is their balance off?)
TALK (Is their speech slurred?)
REACH (Is one side weak or numb?)
SEE (Is their vision all or partly lost?)
FEEL (Is their headache severe?)

You can read about the 5 signs of stroke in more detail at The Give Me 5 for Stroke Collaborative website. If you see even just one of these symptoms, even if it goes away, it could signal a stroke. Do not delay. If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering a stroke, call 9-1-1 and get to the emergency department for immediate medical attention.

Low Levels of HDL Increase Risk of Dementia, Memory Loss

A new study suggests that low levels of good cholesterol (HDL or high density lipoproteins) may increase the risk of memory loss by age 60 and lead to dementia later in life.

The study found that:

• At age 55, participants with low HDL cholesterol showed a 27 percent increased risk of memory loss when compared to those with high HDL.
• At age 60, participants with low HDL had a 53 percent increased risk of memory loss compared to the high HDL group.
• During the five years between phases 5 and 7, study members with decreasing HDL had a 61 percent increased risk of decline in their ability to remember words versus those with high HDL.
• Men and women did not differ significantly in the link between lipids and memory loss, so researchers combined data from both sexes for analysis.
• Total cholesterol and triglycerides did not show a link with memory decline.
• Using statin drugs to raise HDL and/or lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) showed no association with memory loss.

High levels of LDLs or the "bad cholesterol" have been previously associated with increased risk of artherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. This new study indicates that health practitioners should also be monitoring a patient's levels of good cholesterol as an indicator of future cogitive health.

A combination of diet and lifestyle changes along with cholesterol-lowering statins may be recommended by a health practitioner to bring a patient's cholesterol levels into a healthy range.

To raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends exercising regularly; eliminating trans fats from the diet; reducing the intake of all fats, especially saturated fats; and consuming monounsaturated fats, such as olive, canola and peanut oils. Statins can also improve HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, when they pose a heart risk.

You can read more about the study at The American Heart Association website.

Wigs Boost Self Esteem for Women with Hair Loss

Wigs can be worn for fun or fashion. It's always exciting to change your look entirely and experience life in new style. You can use hair extensions and hair volumizers to add length and fullness to your own hair as well. But looking stylish is not the only reason that women might choose to wear Wigs.

Some women may suffer from thinning hair as a result of heredity, medication side-effects, even poor nutrition. Although baldness is less common in women than men, the emotional effects for women are much more keenly felt. For women who want to conceal hair loss, Human Hair Wigs are an excellent choice.

Those women who have suffered hair loss due to cancer treatments may be ready to return to work or just re-enter society long before their natural locks have had a chance to regrow. A sense of pride in appearance is of inestimable value to a womans self-esteem. While waiting for her hair to grow in enough to style, she may benefit from wearing Real Hair Wigs in styles and shades that match her own hair.

Wigs can fulfill many needs in a woman's life, and today's wigs are realistic, beautiful and come in a wide array of styles. Whether for fun, fashion or due to hair thinning or hair loss, a wig can boost a woman's self-esteem by giving her an exciting new look. To shop for and order affordable wigs, discreetly and from a wide selection of famous-name styles, voguewigs.com is an excellent resource.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FDA Cracks Down on Fake Cancer Cures

The Internet is an amazing resource full of important news and information. But it can also be used by scammers to prey on the vulnerable, and for some, staying clear of health scams can mean the difference between life and death.

The FDA has recently sent out warning letters to 23 companies in the US and two foreign individuals, advising them to stop marketing fake "cancer cures" on the internet.

These fake cures contain various herbs, mushrooms and some animal products that have not been approved for their labeled use.

"Although promotions of bogus cancer 'cures' have always been a problem, the Internet has provided a mechanism for them to flourish," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "These warning letters are an important step to ensure that consumers do not become the victim of false 'cures' that may cause greater harm to their health."

Examples of fraudulent claims for these products include:

* "Treats all forms of cancer"
* "Causes cancer cells to commit suicide!"
* "80% more effective than the world's number one cancer drug"
* "Skin cancers disappear"
* "Target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone"
* "Shrinks malignant tumors"
* "Avoid painful surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or other conventional treatments"

You can see a complete list of the fake cancer 'cure' products and their manufacturers along with a consumer article on health scams here, http://www.fda.gov/cder/news/fakecancercures.htm.

Natural Care Latex Mattress

A good night's sleep is the foundation for good health, but sleeping on a poor foundation won't produce the restful sleep your body needs. The best mattress is that supports your body in comfort without uncomfortable pressure points.

And now that comfort can be environmentally friendly as well with the new Natural Care Bed by Danny Seo. Danny, the author of the popular Simply Green and a well-known environmentalist, has teamed with Simmons to produce an all-natural Latex Mattress that provides supreme support and restful sleep.

What's different about the Simmons Natural Care mattress? Many things that are kind to both the sleeper and the environment. These Latex Mattresses are made from natural rubber tree latex which supports you fully, eliminating pressure points. Another natural material, soy is added to the base foam. It's mold and mildew resistant as well as being naturally resistant to dust mites. It's also hypoallergenic. More health benefits! And all the materials used come from renewable, natural sources, including the wood used in the foundation. You can feel good about the environmental impact of your mattress purchase.

This mattress, besides being bio-degradable and environmentally-friendly, comes with a 20 year guarantee. It's one way to be kind to the environment and yourself - you can live green and sleep peacefully.

FDA Approves Genetic Test for Breast Cancer Patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a novel genetic test for determining whether patients with breast cancer are good candidates for treatment with the drug Herceptin (trastuzumab).

The SPOT-Light HER2 CISH kit is a test that measures the number of copies of the HER2 gene in tumor tissue. This gene regulates the growth of cancer cells.

A healthy breast cell has two copies of the HER2 gene, which sends a signal to cells, telling them when to grow, divide and make repairs. Patients with breast cancer may have more copies of this HER2 gene, prompting them to overproduce HER2 protein so that more signals are sent to breast cells. As a result, the cells grow and divide much too quickly.

“When used with other clinical information and laboratory tests, this test can provide health care professionals with additional insight on treatment decisions for patients with breast cancer,” said Daniel Schultz, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

The SPOT-Light test counts the number of HER2 genes in a small sample of removed tumor. The removed piece is stained with a chemical that causes any HER2 genes in the sample to change color. This color change can be visualized under a standard microscope, eliminating the need for the more expensive and complex fluorescent microscopes required to read assays already on the market. Unlike existing tests, the SPOT-Light allows labs to store the tissue for future reference.

Patients who over-produce HER2 protein are typically treated with the drug Herceptin, which targets HER2 protein production. This helps to stop the growth of HER2 cancer cells.

The FDA based its approval of the SPOT-Light test on a study using tumor samples from patients with breast cancer in the United States and Finland. These studies confirmed that the test was effective in determining how many HER2 genes were in these patients.

SPOT-Light is manufactured by Invitrogen Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif. Herceptin is manufactured by Genentech, of San Francisco, Calif.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Storing Stem Cells Could Ensure Future Health for Women

Stem cell research has opened up new possibilities in the treatment of many diseases and conditions. For today's woman there is now the exciting opportunity to save her own stem cells for use in later life should she or her children face life-threatening diseases such as such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. An article at CNNmoney.com further explains the technology that makes this possible.

The process involves a method of collecting and storing the stem cells found in a woman's monthly menstrual fluid and is a service of C'elle. The non-invasive collection process allows menstrual cells to be processed and cryo-preserved (stored at a very low temperature) for potential cellular therapies that may be used in the future.

For a personal view, watch a real
C'elle Client Testimonial.

This incredible technology could empower women to take control of their future health and potentially that of their families.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.

Sleep Difficulties Increase During Menopause

Are you going through perimenopause or menopause and having difficulty sleeping? According to a new study from Rush University, sleep disorders are more prevalent amongst women going through menopause, with 16% of postmenopausal women reporting difficulty falling asleep and 41% who reported waking up frequently during the night.

Caucasian women reported more difficulty staying asleep than other ethnic groups. Hispanic women were less likely to wake several times a night or to report waking early.

If you are having sleep difficulties, talk to your doctor about it. Sleep is an essential function and having too little can pose other health concerns.

Women should feel comfortable discussing their sleep problems with their healthcare providers to sort out the many potential contributing factors,” said Howard Kravitz, DO, MPH, associate professor of psychiatry and preventive medicine at Rush University Medical Center and a principal investigator of the study. “Undiagnosed and untreated sleep disturbances can contribute to decreased well-being and functioning in family, social and occupational roles.”

The study was published in the July issue of SLEEP.

Read the press release.

Medical Careers: Medical Assistant

Careers in the medical field are exciting and fulfilling, and training for one can be a lot easier than you think. Training for a career as a medical assistant can be done online in as little as 6-8 weeks at a medical assistant school.

Medical assistants work in doctors' offices and closely with patients, assisting in various tasks that allow the doctors and nurses more quality time with each patient. Working with patients can be a rewarding experience and a medical assistant works in a professional atmosphere with medical professionals.

If you are interested in one of the fastest-growing medical careers and want to learn more about training online to be a medical assistant, St Augustine's Educational Systems has a home study program that is both accredited and affordable.