Dreams Still Come True in Hollywood

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – We crave chills.
It’s why we get a rush when we see Jason take his axe to some unsuspecting teen in “Friday the 13th” or why we can’t seem to look away when Carrie, dripping with pig’s blood, incinerates her entire high-school class.
While mesmerizing, to be sure, the real question is: why do we pay for the pleasure of being scared?
On this, there are various schools of thought.
Some believe that fans of horror (be it movies or books) don’t actually experience fear, but are excited instead, while others believe that people are willing to endure the terror because they know there is no real threat, that they are essentially safe. Still others feel that moviegoers are willing to be scared in order to feel a sense of euphoric relief at the end.
Whatever the reason, movie studios like Seven Arts Pictures, a Los Angeles-based indie movie production company, are counting on customers who are willing to pay to be petrified, by releasing a horror flick like “Night of the Demons.” In the movie, three friends attend a party held in a mansion where, years prior, six people disappeared and the owner hung herself.
“We think that people have a morbid fascination with the dark side,” said Peter Hoffman, CEO of Seven Arts. “So even though a horror movie might be illogical on an intellectual level, people still like to be uncomfortable on an emotional level. It’s about people facing their fears,” he added.
Which makes sense and explains why many of us have (reluctantly) stuck our hand down the garbage disposal, just waiting for our fingers to brush up against something (or, perhaps, for the machine to turn on by itself, shredding the hand inside ? la Stephen King), or why we might refuse to put our leg out of the covers at night.
This, too, is why we keep creepy haunted houses busy at Halloween, why we tell ghost stories around the campfire and why we turn out for horror movies like they were giving away free popcorn.
It’s because we like it.
For more information, visit www.7artspictures.com.

Diabetics Beware: Valuable Tips to Prepare for a Cough, Cold or Flu

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Each year, an average of 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of flu complications, but people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to face complications that may be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best step is prevention, and anyone with diabetes should seriously consider getting a flu shot in the fall.
But for those who do get sick, it’s important that people with diabetes be prepared. The following sick-day plan is designed to help diabetic patients suffering from a cough, a cold or the flu.
* Get plenty of sleep, and even when awake, do resting activities (reading, watching TV, online shopping) as long as you don’t find it stressful.
* “Feed a cold, starve a fever” is not advice you should follow. Eat plenty of healthy items that are also easy to digest, like soups, sugar-free Jell-O and fruit juice mixed with water and yogurt. Dehydration will cause your blood sugar to drop, so drink one cup of sugar-free, caffeine-free liquid per hour.
* Medicine cabinets must go beyond a glucose meter and thermometer. You should also have
ketone-testing supplies and appropriate medications for cold and flu symptoms.
“When suffering from a cough, cold or flu, it’s important for people with diabetes to treat their symptoms with medicine that doesn’t have a negative effect on their diabetes,” says Debra Spector, registered dietitian and certified nutritionist.
“Most people don’t realize that cough syrups can contain up to 50 percent sugar, and cold and flu medicines may contain alcohol, both of which can raise one’s glucose, possibly to dangerous levels. Diabetic Tussin has been trusted by the medical community for years because it is sugar and alcohol-free, so it’s 100 percent safe for diabetics. It’s even recommended for those on a sodium or gluten-free diet,” says Spector.
* Take your insulin and diabetes medicine on schedule, even if you experience nausea or haven’t eaten. Check your blood glucose at least four times a day.
* If your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor. Learn more about medicine for people with diabetes along with additional sick-day advice and nutritional recipes at www.diabeticproducts.com.

Tips for Independent Living After 70

(NewsUSA) – One out of every 20 Americans over age 50 is diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The worst part of this reality is that most people with PAD don’t experience any symptoms. PAD is dangerous, especially when there are no warning signs.Peripheral Arterial Disease is a progressive disease commonly called clogged arteries in the legs, poor circulation or a hardening of the arteries.People have PAD when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the legs and feet.The severity of the disease depends on how early it’s diagnosed as well as pre-existing health issues. PAD’s primary symptom is an intermittent cramping of leg muscles during walks or hikes. For some, the pain may feel more like numbness, weakness or heaviness. Whether or not you have symptoms, having PAD means that you’re at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and even death.Many people don’t get tested for PAD because they have no symptoms and never feel a thing. The good news is that proper treatment saves lives. If you’re over 50, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for PAD.The test for PAD is called the "ABI" or ankle-brachial index. It’s a comparison of blood pressure measurements taken at the arms and ankles. It can also assess the severity of the disease.Despite the presence or lack of symptoms, individuals are their own first line of defense. When face time with actual doctors is limited, it’s helpful to have a list of prepared questions on hand.The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF), a non-profit dedicated to public awareness and education regarding vascular health, has compiled some questions to ask doctors about PAD:* Does my medical history raise my risk for PAD?* What can I do to reduce my blood sugar level if it’s too high or if I have diabetes?* What do you recommend to quit smoking?For more information, or to get a free Heart and Sole kit, go to www.vdf.org or 1-866-PADINFO (1-866-723-4636).

Know What to Expect From Your Diabetes for Better Care

Diabetes is a serious condition that affects many Western New Yorkers. Just look at the numbers: adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for those who don’t have the condition. Finally, $12.8 billion was spent in 2006 on medical costs and lost productivity related to diabetes in the state of New York.

Don’t Let Chores Create Stress

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A study performed by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reported that men and women who feel they’re responsible for most household chores experience higher blood pressure and overall anxiety.
Here are a few tips that can help ease the stress:
1. Plan ahead. Plan your meals a week in advance, and only make one trip to the grocery store for everything on your list. Multiple shopping trips quickly add up.
2. Divide and conquer. Tackle mounting housework one day at a time or one task at a time. Prevent a long stretch of cleaning on Saturday by spending 30 minutes a day on different chores. For example, vacuum on Tuesdays, dust on Wednesdays and clean the bathrooms on Thursdays.
3. Simplify errands. Do you loathe the weekly trip to the store for cleaning supplies and paper products? Make your life simpler and save money by shopping online for essentials. Check out www.dollargeneral.com for items that are a chore to get home. Have big, bulky items and other necessities shipped directly to your door.
4. Check out store brands. You can save a lot of money by trying store brands. Now, private-label products have national equivalent money-back guarantees. Even replacing a few frequently purchased items with their private-label counterparts will result in big savings.
5. Get your family involved in household management. Age-appropriate tasks can be assigned to children. Let older children help prepare dinner, and give younger children simple tasks such as helping set the table. Other simple tasks for children include making their bed and putting away toys.

Salt and Your Health

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Salt is essential to keeping your body’s fluids in balance. But too much salt can lead to a host of health problems.

The chemical name for dietary salt, or table salt, is sodium chloride. Most doctors focus on the sodium part.

“The best-known effect of sodium on health is the relationship between sodium and blood pressure,” explains Dr. Catherine Loria of the National Institutes of Health.

Dozens of studies, in both animals and people, have shown that increasing salt intake can raise blood pressure. And high blood pressure has been linked to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems.

About one in three adults nationwide has high blood pressure. Another third have blood pressure numbers high enough to risk developing high blood pressure. That’s why, Loria says, “it’s really important for the majority of the population to reduce their blood pressure.”

Experts recommend that people take in less than 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. People with high blood pressure should shoot for 1,500 mg or less. But right now, the average man in the United States takes in over 4,000 mg of salt per day, and the average woman over 2,800 mg.

Would you miss the taste? “Several studies have shown that as you gradually reduce sodium intake, you lessen your desire for salty food,” Loria says. In the U.K., where salt consumption has dropped by 10 percent over the past five years, surveys found that most people didn’t notice any difference in the taste of their food.

Most of the salt in the average American’s diet comes in prepared and processed foods, including restaurant food, cold cuts and canned foods. Surprisingly, over 20 percent comes from grain products, such as breads, cereals, crackers and chips.

“I think the best guidance we have is for people to pay attention to nutrition facts on the labels,” Loria says. Try to choose foods that list less than 5 percent of the daily value of sodium per serving on the nutrition facts label.

Even small reductions in salt can help your blood pressure. If you can’t find a low-salt alternative to a particular food, try something that’s lower than what you usually buy.

Why not start now? Make small changes at first, and then keep working to gradually lower your family’s salt intake.

For more information, visit http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/.

NFL Superstar and Family Tackle High Blood Pressure

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and his parents, Sam and Wilma McNabb, know that good health is key to staying in the game. They are raising awareness of high blood pressure (HBP), a serious condition that impacts Mr. and Mrs. McNabb — and about one in three U.S. adults.

The McNabbs are working to spread the word about www.1in3people.com, a one-stop destination for learning more about HBP risks. With one mouse click, visitors can access an information-rich Web site featuring a compelling video and helpful tools to guide discussions with their physicians about HBP diagnosis and treatment. In addition, they can easily share the educational information with others via links to online vehicles such as Facebook and Twitter.

Usually lacking symptoms, HBP impacts approximately 74 million U.S. adults. Of those, 22 percent are unaware of their condition. Uncontrolled HBP is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is linked to a higher risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

When Sam and Wilma McNabb were first diagnosed with HBP, they began eating healthier and exercising regularly. However that wasn’t enough to get their condition under control. They worked with their physician to include medication with lifestyle changes in their treatment plan and managed to get their blood pressure levels to a healthier range.

“I learned that even if you feel fine physically, getting your blood pressure checked regularly, watching what you eat, and taking your medication are important steps to help maintain a healthier blood pressure,” says Wilma McNabb, who serves as president of the Professional Football Players Mothers’ Association and works with Novartis, sponsor of the 1 in 3 People campaign, to raise HBP awareness, along with her family. “The www.1in3people.com Web site is a great resource to get the facts and know the risks of high blood pressure.”

Join the McNabbs in doing your part to raise awareness of a serious condition that should no longer be ignored. Visit www.1in3people.com, then share the information with others.

Your Blood’s Amazing Trip Through Your Vascular System

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your vascular system is made up of vessels that carry your blood throughout your body.

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. Your blood leaves the left side of the heart and is pumped out to the rest of your body.

The main artery from your heart is called the “aorta.” As your blood travels throughout your body, it enters smaller and smaller blood vessels, reaching every cell, dropping off nutrients and picking up waste products and carbon dioxide. Your blood then starts the trip back in your veins, entering larger and larger ones as it goes, passing through your kidneys and liver on the way to drop off waste products. The blood eventually arrives back at the right side of your heart to start the trip all over again.

The Society for Vascular Surgery wants you to know that as we age, our arteries tend to thicken, get stiffer, and narrow when plaque builds up and cholesterol collects in large- and medium-sized arteries. A narrowing of the arteries from the build-up of plaque can lead to coronary heart disease and can cause a heart attack when this occurs in the blood vessels leading to the heart. The same situation in the arteries leading to the brain can cause strokes. Narrowing of the arteries in other places, such as your legs, can cause what is called peripheral arterial disease or PAD. PAD can lead to sores and pain with walking, which may eventually lead to gangrene and an amputation. When the smaller arteries are affected, it is called “arteriosclerosis.”

If your doctor diagnoses you with vascular disease, it is important to see a vascular surgeon. They are highly trained in vascular disease and are the only medical professionals who can treat vascular disease with medical management, minimally invasive procedures, and open surgeries. To learn more about your vascular health, visit www.VascularWeb.org.

Leg Cramps Can be Red Flag for Heart Disease

<b>Leg Cramps Can be Red Flag for Heart Disease</b> (NewsUSA) – “When I walk, I get an aching pain — like a charlie horse — in my left calf,” said Barbara, age 65. “I must be getting old.”

Barbara is not alone in attributing leg pain to old age, but no one should ignore leg cramps — muscle pain that occurs while walking can herald a dangerous condition called peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.).

In P.A.D., arteries in the legs become clogged with fatty deposits, which restrict blood flow. If left untreated, P.A.D. can lead to permanent disability, amputation or death, not to mention a two- to six-fold increase in heart attack or stroke risk. P.A.D. shares a close link with heart disease and stroke. Blocked arteries in the legs can signal blocked arteries in the heart and brain, and the same conditions and behaviors that cause P.A.D. also lead to heart disease and stroke.

Nine million Americans have P.A.D. Yet, according to a recent survey conducted by the P.A.D. Coalition, only 25 percent of adults have heard of P.A.D.

P.A.D. develops over many years. Patients may not experience any symptoms. If they do, the most common signs include:

* Cramps, tiredness or pain in your legs, thighs or buttocks that always happens when you walk but goes away with rest.

* Foot or toe pain at rest that disturbs your sleep.

* Skin wounds or ulcers on your feet or toes that do not heal for eight to 12 weeks.

P.A.D. is easily diagnosed by the ankle-brachial index or A.B.I. test, which compares the blood pressure in the ankles to the blood pressure in the arms.

According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, early detection and treatment can help avoid the disease’s most devastating complications. Quitting smoking, lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, managing blood glucose in patients with diabetes and taking antiplatelet medications can help people with P.A.D. lower their risk of heart attack and stroke. A prescribed exercise program proves the most effective treatment for managing symptoms, though some patients require endovascular or surgical procedures.

The sooner one talks to their health care provider, the sooner they can take steps to keep in circulation. For more information, visit www.vdf.org or www.PADCoalition.org or call 866.PAD.INFO.

Raising Awareness About Blood Disorders in Women

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Blood disorders can be dangerous and are of special concern to women because of the unique risks posed by pregnancy, oral contraceptives, menstrual bleeding and hormone-replacement therapy for menopause.

“The hormones estrogen and progesterone can put women at greater risk for blood clots,” says Dr. Nancy Berliner, president of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). “These hormones are used in birth control formulations and menopause therapies and are also at higher levels during pregnancy. Women are also at higher risk for anemia than men because of blood loss due to menstrual periods and pregnancy.”

ASH therefore urges women to be aware of the following blood disorders, in particular:

– Anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to organs and tissue. Pregnant women are especially at risk as they need more red blood cells to support their own bodies and their babies. Red blood cell production requires iron, and pregnant women often don’t have enough iron to be able to make the required increased numbers of red blood cells. Heavy menstruation can also result in iron-deficiency anemia. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath.

– Thrombophilia is a dangerous condition in which blood clots form in veins and arteries, blocking the flow of blood. This may cause swelling, pain or redness. Since pregnancy and hormonal medications increase the chance of clotting, women are especially at risk for the disorder.

– Von Willebrand disease is the most common bleeding disorder in women. It is an inherited condition in which blood cannot clot properly. Symptoms include bleeding gums, bruising easily or heavy and long menstrual periods (the most common symptom).

An awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of these disorders is critical, so treatment can be sought before any problems worsen. If you suspect that you have a blood condition, talk to your doctor immediately.

It is especially important for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to talk with their obstetricians about these conditions. “Two of the most common blood disorders during pregnancy are blood clots and anemia,” said Berliner. “Both blood conditions are treatable, and there are easy ways to help prevent them.”

For more information, visit www.bloodthevitalconnection.org.