Health

Mothers-To-Be

Huntington's Disease Antibiotic Resistance Assisted Living Senior Fitness Migrain Facts and Treatment Stay in Shape Men's Health

Natural Ways Toward Less Morning Sickness

(NAPSI)—If you or someone you care about is ever pregnant, there’s bad news, good news and better news you may care to know.

The bad news is the vast majority of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness, which, despite its name, can take place mornings, afternoons or any time of the day, sometimes even several times a day. In fact, more than half of all pregnant women have experienced three or more episodes a day.

Usually, morning sickness happens during the first three months of gestation, but as anyone who has been afflicted by it can tell you, that’s way too long. The hormonal changes women experience during early pregnancy may be at fault, but no one is sure.

The good news is that while unpleasant, morning sickness is rarely serious for mother or baby.

The better news is there are several natural remedies you can try.

What You Can Do

• Snack all day. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day.

• Keep your diet bland. Avoid fatty, spicy or fried foods.

• Try liquids. If you are having trouble keeping anything solid down, it may be easier to get your nutrition from soups and juices.

• Choose complex carbohydrates. Starches are easier to digest, and some pregnant women swear by crackers and potato chips.

• Think mint. A cup of sweetened mint tea may soothe nausea.

• Ginger it up. Drink ginger ale, ginger tea or try ginger candy. A new Ginger Lozenge from a line known as Sea-Band Mama contains ginger oil and 40 mcg of folic acid to contribute to a developing baby’s health. The all-natural lozenge works by stimulating the production of digestive juices. Completely free of artificial colors and flavors, these lozenges have been specially formulated to act quickly to neutralize stomach acids and soothe tender tummies.

• Band it. Another option is the company’s acupressure Sea-Band wristband, which has successfully been used to combat seasickness and carsickness. These products are now available in CVS stores as well as at Walgreens.com.

Many mothers-to-be find that these remedies can make the early months of pregnancy much easier to get through. If morning sickness persists more than a few weeks, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.

Learn More

For further information, visit www.sea-band.com/mama.

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You Can Help Find A New Way To Fight Huntington’s Disease

(NAPSI)—In the 14 years that her mother lived with Huntington’s disease, the only time that Misty Oto saw her mother not move was when her heart stopped.

“It became a realization to me that no other families should have to go through this. They should not have to see their loved ones sedated in a bed, or subjecting themselves to injuries,” said Oto, now an advocate with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Huntington’s disease causes a harsh gradual decline of motor and mental function marked by uncontrollable “shaking” muscle movements, called chorea. There is only one FDA-approved treatment available, and many patients do not take it as prescribed due to side effects.

“Daily activities as simple as tying a shoe or pouring a glass of water are difficult for patients with Huntington’s disease due to involuntary muscle movement,” said Victor Sung, M.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Neurology. “Like exercise, treatments only work if you stick to the regimen. We’re exploring ways to make it easier for patients to take the medicine they need, and eligible patients are now able to participate in these studies.”

Physicians across the country are exploring a potential new treatment option for patients with Huntington’s disease as part of a global effort coordinated by the Huntington Study Group, a non-profit organization led by researchers to find new treatments that make a difference for patients and families with the disease.

One investigational new treatment being studied, called SD-809, is for the chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. SD-809 could potentially have fewer side effects and less frequent dosing than the only marketed drug, which could potentially improve the treatment by making it easier for patients to take the medicine they need to manage their disease.

The study will determine if SD-809 helps to reduce the chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. Because SD-809 is not broken down in the body as quickly as the marketed drug, tetrabenazine, it has a longer duration of action. These features of SD-809 may improve how well a patient’s body reacts to the drug, as compared to tetrabenazine, with the potential for less involuntary movements and potentially fewer side effects. It is also possible that SD-809 may be taken fewer times a day than tetrabenazine.

Patients interested in the clinical trials evaluating SD-809 can learn more by visiting www.huntington-study-group.org or calling (800) 487-7671.

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Understanding Antibiotic Resistance

(NAPSI)—A recent survey by Harris Interactive found that many people are confused about human antibiotic resistance and how that relates to antibiotic use in people, livestock and poultry.

How Americans Think

The survey asked consumers, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which of the following is the greatest contributing factor to human antibiotic resistance.” Only 41 percent correctly answered “health professionals overprescribing to people.” Eighteen percent thought CDC said use of antibiotics in livestock production was the No. 1 contributing factor, according to the CDC. Seven percent thought antimicrobial hand sanitizers to be the biggest factor; 5 percent thought the answer was drinking water; and 28 percent said they were unsure.

How Hospitals Can Help

As CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., explained, “Right now, the most acute problem is in hospitals. And the most resistant organisms in hospitals are emerging in those settings because of poor antimicrobial stewardship among humans.” In fact, he said that half of all antibiotic prescriptions given to humans are unnecessary.

How Farmers Help

As for livestock and poultry, antibiotics have historically been used to treat, prevent and control disease. In the past, they were also used because they helped livestock grow more quickly.

The CDC says that it’s important to use good stewardship in the administration of antibiotics during livestock and poultry production and that antibiotic use for animal growth promotion should be phased out, an effort that is already under way at the request of the Food and Drug Administration and a move that the American Meat Institute (AMI) supports. Antibiotics will still be used to treat, prevent and control disease when needed, though farmers have to follow “withdrawal periods” to make sure the antibiotics are out of the animal’s system before the animal is processed. Yet the poll data showed that four in 10 consumers thought residues were common in meat and poultry products despite USDA sampling data showing that 99 percent of all samples were negative for any residue.

How to Learn More

To help close this knowledge gap, AMI created a new brochure called “The Facts About Antibiotics in Livestock & Poultry Production. Sort Fact From Fiction.” The brochure may be downloaded, free, from www.MeatAMI.com or requested via mail by sending a self-addressed, 4” x 5.5” envelope with 69 cents postage to Antibiotic Brochure, 1150 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC, 20036.

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How To Decide About Assisted Living

by Michael Newman

(NAPSI)—Here’s news about getting old:

• The U.S. population aged 65 or older will double during the next 30 years—by 2040, one in five Americans (81+ million) will be 65 or older.

• 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic health condition—50 percent have at least two.

• By 2030, 7.7 million adults 65 or older will have Alzheimer’s.

• Extreme stress can take as much as 10 years off a family caregiver’s life.

All this suggests that more and more people will be deciding whether to move to an assisted living community. These are designed for people who still have and want some independence but need more care than most families can provide.

Five signs may suggest someone needs assisted living.

1. Failure to Thrive—Your senior has difficulty with daily activities; doesn’t eat well; isn’t showering as often as before; can’t keep the house as clean; isn’t dressing as well.

2. Chronic Health Conditions—Your loved one may be getting sick more often; losing or gaining weight; becoming more frail; having difficulty walking or with balance issues; or needing more time to recover from colds.

3. Behavioral Changes—He or she has become more forgetful, more agitated and is having mood swings.

4. Medication Management Issues—Your mom or dad is forgetting to take prescribed medications.

5. Socialization Declines—Conversations are getting shorter; there’s less community involvement and less engagement with friends.

If these signs are present, it may be time for an assisted living community. These tips may help:

• Early Intervention—The sooner you talk about it, the better.

• Early Education—Encourage your mom and dad to visit people they know at a community. Some places even offer tours where you can meet the staff, see the facilities, visit with residents, have a meal in the dining room and gather information needed for an informed decision.

• Involvement in the Decision—Making Process-What would the person concerned like in a facility? The more everyone is engaged in the process, the smoother the transition can be.

• Family Involvement—This is critical. Remain involved with regular visits, especially on holidays, birthdays and so on, and engage in special outings. Make sure you’re spending quality time.

• Be Honest—Don’t say they’ll be coming home soon if they won’t. It will be far worse when reality sets in.

Mr. Newman is Chief Executive Officer at Always Best Care Senior Services. For more information, visit www.alwaysbestcare.com or call (844) 723-CARE (2273).

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Seniors Reveal Life-Changing Effects Of Fitness

(NAPSI)—If you are an older adult, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, older adults should exercise for 150 minutes a week, with a good mix of cardio and strength training. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough exercise to keep them healthy and strong as they age. Not only does exercise help individuals stay healthy and reduce the risk of disability and disease, it has been proven to reduce the cost of care for individuals and their families.

The benefits of exercise have been realized by SilverSneakers Fitness members for more than 20 years. SilverSneakers Fitness is the nation’s leading fitness program designed for older adults and has helped thousands of people reach their health goals. For Priscilla Farrell, it was to walk on the beach with her granddaughter and to rely less on an oxygen tank. For George Jacobs, it was to step foot in a gym for the first time to improve his physical and social well-being. For Cecil Daniels, it was to overcome his diabetes and high blood pressure.

“SilverSneakers Fitness members like Priscilla, George and Cecil are not only changing their lives through fitness, they are leading a senior fitness revolution resulting in health improvements, higher quality of life and fulfillment at every age,” said Joy Powell, president of the Senior Solutions Division for Healthways. “Today’s active older adults are extremely dedicated to physical health through fitness, and they are more passionate and dedicated than any previous generation.”

Bringing this to life, the 2013 SilverSneakers Fitness Annual Member Survey of more than 35,000 respondents in 50 states revealed that SilverSneakers participants are seeking personalized fitness options in record numbers, with nearly 46 percent joining a fitness center for the first time as a result of their SilverSneakers membership.

While many are stepping foot in the gym for the first time, they are not doing it alone. Nearly 60 percent of SilverSneakers members participate in classes with a friend and 41 percent attend class to socialize, which can have a great impact on a person’s mental health and well-being.

The annual member survey also showed that today’s older adults are more active than ever before, with four out of five participants doing aerobic activity three or more times per week. Physical fitness is vital to overall health, as 60 percent of SilverSneakers participants rate their health as “excellent” or “very good,” in comparison to only 47 percent of peer respondents to Medicare’s annual Health Outcomes Survey.

SilverSneakers Fitness was founded in 1992 and today serves more than 11 million eligible members in more than 11,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities nationwide. For more information, to see if you are eligible for SilverSneakers and to find a class in your area, call 877-210-1307 or visit www.SilverSneakers.com.

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Migraine Facts And Treatment Tips

(NAPSI)—While many people turn to prescription drugs to try to control migraines once they start, there aren’t any that are terribly effective and none that will stop the migraines before they happen. There is, however, another option and it doesn’t involve taking medication.

The Problem

Almost 5 million people in the U.S. experience at least one migraine attack a month. More than 11 million people blame migraines for causing moderate to severe disability and 91 percent of them can’t function normally during migraine attack, according to the American Migraine Study, which also reveals that the average migraine sufferer misses two days of work per year.

It’s an expense both in terms of career—lost work—and medical costs. Migraine sufferers use 2.5 times the amount of prescription drugs and have six times as many diagnostic tests and services as nonsufferers. The average monthly health cost of a migraine sufferer is 60 percent higher than that of people who don’t suffer from migraines, according to the National Institutes of Health.

According to The Migraine Trust, migraine often occurs for the first time in teens and young adults but is most common in the 30-something age group.

Who Can Help

Specially trained neuromuscular dentists can perform a dental procedure that can help. They use special equipment to find the optimal resting position of the jaw and create an orthotic—which looks like an athlete’s mouth guard. When inserted into the mouth, it can change your bite. Many treated this way find their chronic migraines are prevented.

Why It Works

That’s because chronic moderate to severe headaches, including migraine, are a common indicator of malocclusion, or a bad bite, commonly called TMD or jaw joint disorder.

“That’s particularly true of headaches that are focused behind the eyes, near the temples, around the jaw and ears, or at the back of the head in the area of the neck and shoulders,” explains Mark Duncan, clinical director at LVI Global, where many of the dentists train.

Learn More

You can learn more and find a specially trained neuromuscular dentist near you at www.leadingdentists.com.

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Mix It Up To Stay In Shape

(NAPSI)—Not only is variety the spice of life, it can also be a good way to help you stick to your exercise routine. Changing up your workout and adding new activities keep the body challenged and your mind motivated. Here are some easy tips to make staying fit both fresh and fun.

Exercise Your Right To Happiness

For a change of pace, head outside and enjoy a mix of fitness activities, from running and hiking to beach volleyball and swimming. A report from the National Institutes of Health suggests that being out in the sun can improve your mood-adding a lift to your workout. Mix up your workout by bringing it indoors and meeting a friend for a cardio kickboxing or hot yoga class.

In fact, participating in a variety of activities has another benefit that may surprise you. According to lifestyle and fitness expert Tom Holland, changing up your workout—such as alternating between running and strength training—engages new and different muscles. Holland says this helps prevent your body from adapting to a repetitive activity, and can lead to improved fitness levels and results.

No matter where or what form of exercise you do, just the activity alone can help you feel pretty euphoric. A study by the Harvard Medical School says this may be because exercise enhances the action of endorphins—chemicals that circulate throughout the body, improve immunity and reduce the perception of pain. Plus, exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which can help put you in a good mood.

Helpful Equipment

Whether you’re walking the dog or lifting weights, there are versatile products to provide the boost you need to stay healthy and fit. Here’s a look at three:

• Bowflex Boost™—a smart activity tracker designed for people of all fitness levels. It’s a 24-hour monitoring band that tracks activities (calories, steps and distance) throughout the day and into the night. It lets you personalize your daily goals and offers insights that empower you to make positive change. The band is designed with Bluetooth® Smart technology, provides extended battery life of up to 11 days and is available for iOS devices (4s and higher) and Android devices (4.3 and higher). See more at www.bowflexboost.com.

• Bowflex MAX Trainer™—This groundbreaking cardio machine burns more than 21/2 times the calories than any other fitness equipment, engages the upper body 80 percent more than a traditional elliptical and is easier on the joints than running on a treadmill. In addition, a 14-minute interval workout maximizes afterburn and increases your metabolism up to 48 hours after a workout. Its unique upright design and small footprint make it ideal for in-home use. Learn more about it at www.bowflexmaxtrainer.com.

• Bowflex Revolution®—With this machine you can do over 100 exercises with up to 400 variations. It’s designed to work every major body zone and support every workout routine, strength level and fitness goal. Find out more at www.bowflexhomegyms.com.

Learn More

You can find more fitness facts and tips online at www.bowflex.com.

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Tips To Help You Play To Win

(NAPSI)—If you’re a man who is carrying a few extra pounds, there’s good news. Any time can be the right time to start and strengthen healthier habits and lose the weight.

Some find that the warmer weather of summer and early fall can be a great time to get in shape. That’s because the longer days can make it easier to find workout partners or teams to join. It can also be a great time to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, peaches and sweet corn.

With extra pounds linked to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, getting to a healthy weight can be a step in the right direction. To help you get in the game, here are some tips from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health:

Get Fitter, Stronger, Faster

• Start with a level of activity that feels doable. For example, 10 minutes each day. Increase frequency, time and intensity as you become able to do more.

• Mix it up. To get and stay on track, try different kinds of activities. Make sure your routine includes aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, biking), strength training (free weights, crunches, push-ups), and flexibility exercises like stretching or yoga.

Power Up With Nutrient-Dense Foods And Drinks

• Eat and drink smart. Choose foods and drinks that pack plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber into fewer calories. Fruit, vegetables, lean meats and seafood, and water or fat-free milk are all good options.

• Outsmart your inner picky eater. Sneak in fruits and vegetables. Add berries to your cereal or crunchy vegetables to your sandwich.

Stick With It For The Long Run

• Form your own team. Find a workout partner or group to help you stay on track.

• Reward yourself when you reach your goals. Plan a basketball or soccer game, bike ride or healthy cookout with friends or family.

Learn more from WIN’s “Getting on Track: Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for Men.” The brochure features more tips and ideas for men, tools for figuring out if your weight is healthy, ways to assess portion sizes based on everyday items, and ideas for overcoming barriers to better health.

Contact WIN to get a single copy free. Or go to www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/.

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