Don’t Be a Slouch — Straighten Up to Avoid Back Problems

PostureChiroCRemember when your mom used to tell you to sit up straight? It turns out she was right.

Years of poor posture, according to experts, have been shown to put unnecessary pressure on the spine and supporting muscles and ligaments that can result in everything from back pain to muscle strain to degenerative arthritis. And most of us make things worse on a daily basis.

How so?

Research has found that stress, obesity, incorrect posture while sleeping, standing, sitting, working and—for the fashionistas in the group—wearing high heels can all contribute to poor posture.

Managing Pain: Are You Reading Your Medicine Labels?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You may not be able to spell or even pronounce the word “acetaminophen,” but almost 50 million Americans use it each week to manage pain and fever.
Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in America, found in more than 600 different prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. While it is safe and effective when used as directed, there is a limit to how much can be taken in one day: 4,000 mg for most adults. Taking more acetaminophen than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
According to the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, sometimes people may unintentionally exceed the 4,000 mg daily dose because they don’t realize that several medicines they take — such as pain medications and fever reducers, cough/cold and allergy medicines, and even some sleep aids — may all contain acetaminophen.
In its report, “Acetaminophen: How It’s Used, Preventing Overdose and What We Can Do to Promote Safe Use,” the Coalition points out three common acetaminophen dosing mistakes:
* Taking the next dose too soon.
* Using multiple acetaminophen-containing medicines at the same time.
* Taking more than the recommended dose at a single time.
“Educating patients is a key step to promoting safe acetaminophen use and preventing overdose,” said nurse practitioner Anne Norman of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, a founding organization of the AAC. “I always tell consumers to be diligent about reading their medicine labels, to know the ingredients in their medicines and to carefully follow dosing directions when taking all medicines.”
So whether or not you can spell it or say it, when taking a medicine that may contain acetaminophen, the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition encourages you to follow these four steps to use it safely:
1. Always read and follow the medicine label.
2. Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen.
3. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
4. Ask your pharmacist or other healthcare professional if you have questions.
For more safe medicine use tips, visit www.knowyourdose.org.

You Can Quit

(NewsUSA) – NewsusaInfographic – Smoking causes immediate damage to your body.Call 1-800-Quit-Now for free help or visit www.CDC.gov/tips. See full-sized image here.

5 Tips for Healthy Eating as We Age

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Good nutrition plays an important role in how well you age. Eating a healthful diet helps keep your body strong and can help reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis. Studies even show a link between healthful eating and longevity.
“As we age, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing some key nutrients. Appetite and taste can suffer from loss of sense of smell and taste or from side effects of medications. Bad teeth can make some foods difficult to chew or digest,” said Arthur Hayward, MD, a geriatrician and the clinical lead physician for elder care with Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute. “So choosing foods carefully is smart.”
Here are five tips to help you get the nutrition your body needs:
1. Avoid empty calories.
Foods with empty calories may contain very few vitamins and minerals. “Convenience foods,” such as packaged snacks, chips and sodas, are common sources of empty calories. Avoid the “bad” carbs — foods that have white flour, refined sugar and white rice.
2. Choose nutrient-rich foods.
Eat a variety of foods. The more you vary the foods you eat, the more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you get. For example:
* Eat lots of fruits and vegetables — Choose fresh, frozen or no-salt canned vegetables and fruits in their own juice or light syrup.
* Eat foods with protein — Protein is found in lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese, cooked beans, peanut butter and nuts and seeds.
* Get enough calcium and vitamin D — Calcium and vitamin D are found in milk and milk products, including yogurt and cheese. They are also in green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens) and tofu.
* Include foods high in vitamin B12 — After 50, the body produces less gastric acid and absorbs less B12, which helps keep blood and nerves vital. B12 is found in milk, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
* Eat high-fiber foods — This includes fruits, vegetables, cooked dried beans and whole grains.
3. Drink plenty of fluids.
Drink plenty of fluids — enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Fiber and fluids help with constipation.
4. If your appetite is poor.
Try eating smaller meals, several times a day, instead of one or two large meals. Eating while socializing with others may help your appetite. You might also ask about changing medicines. Medication can cause appetite or taste problems.
5. Eat soft foods.
As we approach our senior years, chewing food is sometimes difficult. Choose low-sodium canned vegetables or cooked fruits and vegetables. These are often softer. Chop or shred meat, poultry or fish. Add sauce or gravy to the meat to help keep it moist.
For healthy recipe ideas, check out Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health blog at https://foodforhealth.kaiserpermanente.org.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Ten-minute sessions several times a day on most days are fine. For more information, visit kp.org and everybodywalk.org. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk with your physician.

Oh, My Aching Head—Managing Headaches With Chiropractic Care

GotAHeadacheCHeadaches are a shared universal experience. The difference these days is in how they are treated.

Did you know that headaches are responsible for more than 18 million doctor’s office visits annually in the U.S. and are the most common reason for reaching for over-the-counter medication? Equally burdensome is the dollar amount lost in productivity ($25 billion), based on the estimated 156 million WheelOutOfHandswork days forfeited each year by those too debilitated to even get out of bed.

All of this helps clarify a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, which is currently causing a stir among health experts—and giving patients who are looking for drug-free alternatives reason to see their local chiropractor.

Doctors Urge Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening for Men Over 65

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Ray Territ, 75, was playing golf when his feet started feeling abnormally heavy. After his legs started to hurt, Territ made an appointment with his Kaiser Permanente family physician, Lisa Tran, M.D., in Southern California.
When Dr. Tran reviewed Territ’s medical history in Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, one of the world’s largest private electronic health records, she quickly identified that he was missing a screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Dr. Tran advised Territ to get tested, and he agreed.
His decision saved his life.
The ultrasound showed that Territ had an abdominal aortic aneurysm twice the size of those that normally require surgery. The technician immediately sent the results to Kaiser Permanente heart surgeon Majid Tayyarah, M.D. That same day, Dr. Tayyarah stood in front of Territ and explained the urgent need for surgery, and the deadly consequence, if the aneurysm were to rupture.
“Dr. Tayyarah said, ‘I’ll take care of you,’” recalled Territ. “When he said that, I felt good. And we went into the operation room, had the operation, no problems.”
Territ is fully recovered and back on the golf course. “Dr. Tran and Dr. Tayyarah — they’re my heroes.”
What Is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the aorta, which — if ruptured — can cause serious bleeding that can quickly lead to death. Most aortic aneurysms don’t cause symptoms. Sometimes a doctor finds them during exams or tests done for other reasons. People who have symptoms notice pain in the abdomen, chest, or back.
Who Should Be Screened?
Those at highest risk are men over the age 65 who smoked tobacco and men or women over 60 who have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage cover a one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, if you are at risk and get a referral from your doctor.
The Role of Electronic Health Records
Kaiser Permanente’s HealthConnect now features a number of proactive screening reminders, including one for abdominal aortic aneurysm, which was being added at the time Dr. Tran diagnosed Territ’s condition. Today, electronic alerts automatically appear at each doctor’s appointment for members who fit the criteria. A Kaiser Permanente study, published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery, found that these electronic screening alerts reduced the number of unscreened at-risk men by more than 50 percent.
For more information about abdominal aortic aneurysm, visit kp.org. To see a video about Ray Territ’s story, visit kp.org/carestories. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk with your physician.

Adjusting for a New Life During Pregnancy

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Being pregnant is the experience of a lifetime for most women. But when it comes to prenatal care, many don’t know that a doctor of chiropractic care can help with the aches and pains that come with their changing posture.
“As the body changes during pregnancy, the head, spine and pelvis can become stressed,” explains Dr. Lora Tanis, a chiropractor specializing in pediatric and pregnancy care. “Chiropractic care provides gentle, effective adjustments to relieve headaches, neck and back pain — all without the use of medication.”
This is especially important since a UCLA study found that the drug acetaminophen, if taken during pregnancy, has been associated with a higher risk in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Experts now suggest that non-pharmacological approaches, including chiropractic care, can effectively manage pain.
“A postural spinal motion evaluation and treatment can establish balance in a pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments,” Tanis says. “In addition, with a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth.”
For a healthier pregnancy, more women are discovering that chiropractic care delivers. For more information, visit yes2chiropractic.org.

Top 4 Tips to Help Early-Morning Risers Power Up the Day

PowerUpYourDayCWaking up early can lead to a world of opportunity—but where do you find the energy?

Whether you’re hitting the gym, sending your kids off to school, meeting a work deadline or just dealing with an eager internal clock, the following tips will help:

1.    Refrain from hitting the snooze button. “When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you’re fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting, so it is of poor quality,” says Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona. Rather, move the alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to actually stand up to turn it off.

What Is Micro-Clustered Water, and Why Is It Different

MicroClusterCWe know that water is essential for life. After all, our bodies are made up of 70 percent to 80 percent of this much needed liquid. Yet, we are just now beginning to grasp the complexity of this natural resource.

To understand this necessary component for survival, we must look at its chemical properties and how it works in and with our bodies.

The water molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom to form the famous H2O molecule. However, something you might not know is that water comes in clusters of molecules (not single molecules), and tap water contains very large clusters—approximately 15 molecules per cluster. It’s as if these large groups of water are essentially holding hands.

Stop Measles In Its Tracks

(NewsUSA) – NewsusaInfographic – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends giving children immunizations by age two to protect him from 14 serious childhood diseases. Learn more at, www.cdc.gov/vaccines. See full-sized image here