Eye Exams: Finding Diabetes Warning Signs

Young woman is being examined of her eyesight by optometrist

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.)

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Take Charge of Type 2 Diabetes

Mature man looking in cooking pot while wife stirsAbout 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.

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Smoking and COPD: Commit to Quit

man enjoying a walk and fresh air in nature.

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).

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Keeping Diet and Exercise on Track

Caucasian family playing basketball together. Happy family spending free time together.

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!)

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Your Medication Checklist: Taking (and Trashing) Drugs Safely

Man looking at medicine while sitting by woman using laptop computer in kitchen at home

Whether you’re taking “over-the-counter” medication, or a prescription drug from your doctor, it’s easy to lose track of what you take and when. Review health history, and talk with your doctor about the specific medications or supplements that you’re on now, or the ones he/she may be recommending. A medication checklist for the fridge (and a copy to have with you for emergencies) can help keep your meds routine at your fingertips. This “mini chart” should include your name, plus your doctor’s and local drugstore’s phone numbers, at the top. List what medication you take, the start date of taking it, why you take it, how much you take, when you take it, and if you take it with or without food. Include any drug (or supplement) interaction dangers as well (as in, “don’t take this, with that”). Also note when you should stop taking it. Leave room at the bottom to list any of your drug allergies.

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Why You Need a Primary Care Doctor

Doctor examining little girl

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.

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Keeping an Eye on Kids’ Eyes

A softball player looking over her shoulder preparing to hit the ballWe all heard it growing up: “You only have two eyes, so you need to take care of them.”

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.

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Be on the Lookout for Cataracts

A cataract is one of several eye ailments to look out for as we age, but it’s also something that we can help prevent. This normally clear area of an eye’s lens becomes cloudy and impairs vision. While it can be present as early as birth, or shortly thereafter due to an infection acquired by the mother during pregnancy, it can also be caused by an eye injury, or post-surgery for an eye problem.

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Man Up! Focus on Men’s Health

Studies show that women are three times more likely to visit their doctors for preventive care than men. When it comes to men being mindful of their own health, guys are often guilty of avoidance because they may feel embarrassed or less “manly” if something isn’t feeling or functioning quite right. That’s even more reason for men to see their doctor for regular checkups and routine screenings.

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Get Hip to Hepatitis, Then Prevent It

Variety may be the spice of life, but not when it comes to hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). Whether acute (short-term), or chronic (long-term), each one from this “family” of viruses can have an extremely serious impact on the body. Yet, hepatitis can be prevented, either by avoiding exposure, or (with the exception of hepatitis C, and the rarer D and E strains), by getting vaccinated.

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