Fight Germs!

prevent-fluWhat You Can Do to Help Stay Healthy

Whether or not you got your flu shot last fall (and we hope you did!), you’ll still want to practice good health habits to help you avoid catching — or sharing — viruses this Spring. Here are some tips from Duke University Medical Center and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash after use and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner. If a tissue if not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than on your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, where germs can easily enter the body.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who appear to be ill. (Sometimes easier said than done, we know.)
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.


“Diabesity” in America

type-2-diabetes2The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2 out of 5 Americans are now expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. A new study finds that the increase is related to the rise in obesity rate combined with our lengthening lifespans.

Some minority groups are being hit even harder. 50 percent of black women and hispanic men and women will likely develop type 2 diabetes over the course of their adult lives.

Researchers evaluated medical records for over 600,000 people between 1985 to 2011. They found that the lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes increased for the average 20-year-old American man, jumping from nearly 21 percent in the late 1980s to just over 40 percent in 2011. For women, it grew from 27 percent to 40 percent in the same time period. 

The article notes, “Doctors have coined the term ‘diabesity’ to reflect the combined effects of the diabetes and obesity epidemics.”

The good news is that with the improvements in medical treatment, people with type 2 diabetes are living longer.

The key to reversing this trend is better preventative health technics: daily exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep.

–Source: WebMD’s article “40% of Americans Will Develop Diabetes: CDC”

Dandruff Problem?

That Darned Dandruff: There’s Help for the Itching and Flaking

Simple dry skin is the most common cause of dandruff. If this is the cause of yours, you’ll likely have areas of dry skin all over your body. Another frequent cause is irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis), which is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales.

Not shampooing enough can be a culprit. If you don’t regularly wash your hair, oils and skin cells from your scalp can build up, causing dandruff. Other causes can include psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis (from sensitivity to hair-care products) or a yeast-like fungus.

If you are experiencing dandruff flaking or an itchy scalp, see your doctor, who should be able to determine its cause by looking at your skin.

— Source: The Mayo Clinic

Hearing Update: “Could You Speak Up, Please?”

There’s Help for Hearing Loss

It’s frustrating to be unable to hear well enough to enjoy talking with friends or family. Hearing disorders make life more difficult. But they can often be helped.

What causes hearing loss?

  •  Heredity
  • Ear infections and meningitis
  • Trauma
  • Certain medicines
  • Long-term loud noise exposure
  • Aging

There are two main types of hearing loss. One happens when your inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged. This type is permanent. The other kind happens when sound waves cannot reach your inner ear. Earwax build-up, fluid or a punctured eardrum can cause it. Untreated, hearing problems can get worse. If you have trouble hearing, see your doctor. Possible treatments include hearing aids, cochlear implants, special training, medication and surgery.