March is National Nutrition Month. We acknowledge that it is also Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month and Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month among other things, but have chosen to focus on nutrition this year during the month of March since it affects all patients regardless of their condition.
We loved this list of 27 Health and Nutrition Tips based on science, and encourage you to read it for the great advice and explanations. The list recommends things like: eating nuts, minimizing your intake of added sugars, using extra virgin olive oil, remembering to do cardio, avoiding bright lights before sleep, not overcooking/burning your meat, drinking water before meals, eating fatty fish, etc. etc.
At FOSRX/FAST, we encourage everyone to set nutritional goal that they can make steps to achieve this month through healthy eating. Share your goal with us on social media @fosrxfast!EatRightWithMyPlate 3-18
February is American Heart Month. Not only should we focus on those we hold close to our hearts during the month of love, but also focus on loving ourselves by taking good care of our actual non-metaphorical hearts. Simply put, taking care of yourself can lead to a longer, healthier life.
There are seven simple steps that research has shown can make a difference. Each involves making good choices and require some discipline, but all are doable. Dubbed “Life’s Simple 7” by the American Heart Association, they involve:
- Eating better, which can stave off chronic disease. Steps include increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
- Maintaining a healthy weight because this can reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and bones.
- Exercising, which can help with your cholesterol levels, weight and muscle tone.
- Quitting cigarettes because even one can hurt you.
- Managing blood pressure. Unhealthy ranges strain the heart, arteries and kidneys.
- Controlling cholesterol to give your arteries the best chance to stay clear of fatty blockages that reduce blood flow.
- Reducing blood sugar. This can lower the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better right now, but may also protect your health longterm. In one study, researchers examined the association between “positive affect” — feelings like happiness, joy, contentment and enthusiasm — and the development of coronary heart disease over a decade. They found that for every one-point increase in positive affect on a five-point scale, the rate of heart disease dropped by 22 percent.
While the study doesn’t prove that increasing positive affect decreases cardiovascular risks, the researchers recommend boosting your positive affect by making a little time for enjoyable activities every day. Other strategies for reducing stress include:
• Identify what’s causing stress. Monitor your state of mind throughout the day. If you feel stressed, write down the cause, your thoughts and your mood. Once you know what’s bothering you, develop a plan for addressing it.
• Build strong relationships. Relationships can be a source of stress. Research has found that negative, hostile reactions with your spouse cause immediate changes in stress-sensitive hormones, for example.
• Walk away when you’re angry. Before you react, take time to regroup by counting to 10. Then reconsider. Walking or other physical activities can also help you work off steam. Plus, exercise increases the production of endorphins, your body’s natural mood-booster. Commit to a daily walk or other form of exercise — a small step that can make a big difference in reducing stress levels.
• Rest your mind. According to APA’s 2012 Stress in America™ survey, stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults lying awake at night. To help ensure you get the recommended seven or eight hours of shut-eye, cut back on caffeine, remove distractions such as television or computers from your bedroom, and go to bed at the same time each night. Research shows that activities like yoga and relaxation exercises not only help reduce stress, but also boost immune functioning.
• Get help. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, consult with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional who can help you learn how to manage stress effectively.Stress Handout
If You Fall
- Try to land on your buttocks to prevent more serious injuries.
- Don’t rush to get up. Make sure you are not injured before trying to get up or letting others help you get up.
- Don’t let the fear of falling again prevent you from being active. Inactivity creates an even greater risk of falling.
Anyone can fall. But as we age, our risk of falling becomes greater. That’s the bad news. The good news is that falls can be prevented. The first step to avoiding falls is to understand what causes them. For example, poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in and around your home can increase your chance of falling. Staying safe and on your feet is a matter of taking some steps to protect yourself.
You can prevent falls by making the needed adjustments to your home and lifestyle, and by making sure you eat well, stay fit, and use whatever devices will facilitate your daily life while keeping you safe. Your independence and well-being are at stake. Take action!
- Ensure that you have non-slip surfaces in the tub or shower.
- Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand. Make sure they are well anchored.
- Use a raised toilet seat, and a bath seat in the shower, if you need them.
- Wipe up moisture or spills immediately.
Living Room and Bedroom
- Reduce clutter! Get rid of loose wires and cords as well as any other obstacles.
- Consider using a cordless phone to avoid rushing to answer.
- Have good lighting throughout the house and install night lights.
- Make sure the path is clear between the bedroom and bathroom.
- Scatter mats are tripping hazards. Get rid of them or make sure they are non-slip.
- Move slowly out of your bed or chair. Getting up suddenly can make you dizzy.
- Store kitchen supplies and pots and pans in easy-to-reach locations.
- Store heavy items in lower cupboards.
- Use a stable step stool with a safety rail for reaching high places.
- Always wipe up any spills immediately to prevent slipping.
- If you use floor wax, use the non-skid kind.
- Ask for help with tasks that you feel you can’t do safely.
- Make sure your stairs are well lit.
- Have solid handrails on both sides of the stairway.
- Remove your reading glasses when you go up or down the stairs.
- Never rush up or down the stairs. It’s a major cause of falls.
- Keep front steps and walkway in good repair and free of snow, ice and leaves.
- Keep front entrance well lit.
- Put gardening implements such as hoses and rakes away when not using them.
Eat Healthy Meals
- Nutritious meals keep up strength, resistance and balance. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
- Don’t skip meals. It can cause weakness and dizziness.
- Engage in physical activity every day. It’s your best defence against falls.
- Walk. Try Tai Chi. Do what you can to maintain your flexibility and balance.
- Build your muscle and bone strength by doing “resistance” activities or exercises (such as weight lifting). Consult your doctor before you embark on an exercise program.
- Have your hearing and vision checked regularly.
Use Medication Wisely
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects of prescription or over-the-counter medication.
- Read directions carefully so you’re aware of potential reactions with other medications.
- If your medication causes dizziness or sleepiness, adjust your activities so you aren’t at risk of falling.
- Don’t mix alcohol and medications. Alone or in combination with drugs, alcohol can cause falls.
Use Safety Aids
- Don’t be embarrassed to use aids to daily living – they can keep you safe and active.
- Wear your glasses and hearing aid.
- Consider using a walker or cane. If you use a cane, make sure that it’s the correct height and that it’s rubber-tipped for safety.
- Appropriate footwear is important. Comfortable shoes that provide good support can help to prevent falls.
- Find out about other gadgets that can make your life safer: reachers, anti-skid soles, hip protectors, etc.
- Use them!
MEDICATION RELATED FALLS 2PAGE
Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizer Use at Home, at Play, and Out and About
Germs are everywhere! They can get onto hands and items we touch during daily activities and make you sick. Cleaning hands at key times with soap and water or hand sanitizer is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to those around you. There are important differences between washing hands with soap and water and cleaning them with hand sanitizer. For example, alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t kill ALL types of germs, such as a stomach bug called norovirus, some parasites, and Clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhea. Hand sanitizers also may not remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and heavy metals like lead. Handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs, pesticides, and metals on hands. Knowing when to clean your hands and which method to use will give you the best chance of preventing sickness.
When should I use?
Soap and Water:
• Before, during, and after preparing food
• Before eating food
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
• After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages, or animal waste
• After touching garbage
• If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy
Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer:
• Before and after visiting a friend or a loved one in a hospital or nursing home, unless the person is sick with Clostridium difficile (if so, use soap and water to wash hands).
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
* Do NOT use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy: for example, after gardening, playing outdoors, or after fishing or camping (unless a handwashing station is not available). Wash your hands with soap and water instead.
How should I use?
Soap and Water:
• Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
• Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.
• Scrub all surfaces of your hands, including the palms, backs, fingers, between your fingers, and under your nails. Keep scrubbing for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
• Rinse your hands under clean, running water.
• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer:
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.
• Apply. Put enough product on hands to cover all surfaces.
• Rub hands together, until hands feel dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
Note: Do not rinse or wipe off the hand sanitizer before it’s dry; it may not work as well against germs.
For more information, visit the CDC hand washing website, www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
What is Osteoporosis?
Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, so that they break easily – even as a result of a minor fall, a bump, a sneeze, or a sudden movement. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-threatening and a major cause of pain and long-term disability.
Can osteoporosis and fractures be prevented? Yes, if action is taken early! Read the information provided here to learn which steps you can take to build strong bones throughout life and avoid osteoporotic fractures.
The Care Gap
Fractures due to osteoporosis have a devastating impact on millions of people worldwide and result in enormous socio-economic costs to society and healthcare systems. Yet, despite effective medical advances to reduce fractures, a minority of men and women actually receive treatment. Only 10% of older women with fractures actually receive osteoporosis therapy. In 2010, in Europe alone some 12.3 million people considered to be at a high risk for osteoporotic fractures were left untreated.
The 5 steps to healthy bones and a fracture-free future
1. Exercise regularly
Weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.
2. Ensure a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrients
Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important for bone health. Safe exposure to sunshine will help you get enough vitamin D.
3. Avoid negative lifestyle habits
Maintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking.
4. Find out whether you have risk factors
and bring these to your doctor’s attention, especially if you’ve had a previous fracture or have specific diseases and medications that affect bone health.
5. Get tested and treated if needed
If you’re at high risk you will likely need medication to ensure optimal protection against fracture.
Have risk factors? Talk to your doctor, ask for testing.
To become aware of any potential risk factors, take the IOF One-Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test.
If you are over the age of 50 and you have one or more risk factors you should discuss these with your doctor and ask for an assessment of your bone health status. Lifestyle changes may be recommended and, for those at high risk, medication may be prescribed for optimal protection against fractures.
It’s HOT out there!
It is very important that we take the proper precautions to protect ourselves from the effects of the sun and extreme heat!
Here are some easy guides from the CDC to reference for your Summer Safety:
If you have any questions or need more information on Sun Safety and Extreme Heat Awareness you can reach us by calling 877-327-8881.
Cover Up and Stay Cool!