Did you know that a cough or a sneeze can spread the flu up to six feet away? Besides catching the flu months before the winter really hits, you can also catch it even later into the spring (a time not normally associated with flu season). Flu season is at its worst in January and February, and since the vaccine takes a couple of weeks to begin working in the body, the sooner you get vaccinated, the better.
Did you know that eye exams often provide the earliest chance of detecting diabetes at its onset? (Blurry vision can be a warning sign for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, although some with type 2 may not have this symptom. This is temporary, and vision will return to normal once blood sugars are under control.)
About 90 to 95 percent of the 30 million Americans who live with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. About 15 to 30 percent of people with increased risk for diabetes (commonly referred to as prediabetes) will develop type 2 diabetes within just five years. Here’s what’s scary: Many of the 84 million who have prediabetes don’t know it. With prediabetes, an A1C test will show blood sugar levels are high, just not as high as type 2.
We’re all acutely aware of the dangers of smoking, but if you’re dealing with other health conditions, it can also greatly impact your ability to effectively manage those conditions. If you have diabetes, smoking can worsen chronic conditions, like diabetes-related eye problems, blood vessel issues, foot problems, nerve damage, and more. Smoking is also a road that can lead to heart disease, in addition to bladder, kidney, lung, or pancreatic cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
What causes a “break” in good food habits? Why get tempted by candy or chips, when you could reach for grapes, or whole-grain crackers? Why is it that you can work out for a few weeks, then end up in front of the TV for days later? These questions can haunt even the most dedicated of those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle. (No one’s perfect!)
It’s sometimes very easy to forget about getting and staying healthy. Life gets busy, and if you’re a parent, the focus is mostly on your kids, not on yourself. That includes getting them to their doctor when they get sick, going to the local walk-in clinic, or trying to treat them at home, if it’s something minor. If you’re a woman, you may only be getting your annual mammogram, or ob-gyn exam — both very important.
A CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) sampling of five to 17 year-olds showed that almost 60 percent of children that were overweight had at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 25 percent had two or more risk factors.
Concussions in sports (especially professional, contact sports) have been all over the news, largely because of what can be accumulative effects of repeated “hits” to the head. That’s long-prompted discussion about the safety of kid athletes.
Just as eye exams are important for adults every one to two years (depending on personal risk factors and family history of eye disease), parents need to be vigilant about their children’s eye health, when it comes to screenings, recess, and sports.
Bed bugs are small, (think Lincoln’s head on a penny), flat, brick-colored, wingless parasites that dine on animal and human blood. (They can survive several months at a time without a meal!) Avid travelers, they show up world-wide where people sleep, and don’t discriminate between lodgings (that includes five-star hotels — and the cleanest of homes.) Bed bugs hitch a ride and hide, which means they can stow away in luggage that you bring back home. In a bedroom, they’re known to journey more than 100 feet in one night, even though they tend to live within eight feet of where people snooze. Dirt is not so much a factor, but what they do like are areas behind wallpaper, bed frames and box springs, mattress seams, cracks, crevices, and clutter.