• Myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, are a group of disorders caused by poorly formed blood cells or ones that don’t work properly. The MDS life expectancy varies greatly from patient to patient, depending on several factors, including age, overall health, and how well the disease responds to treatment. One of the major complications of MDS is that it can cause anemia, a condition characterized by a lack of red blood cells. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of MDS to seek early treatment. Here are ten signs that may indicate the presence of this disease.

    1. Fatigue

    One of the most common symptoms of MDS is fatigue. This is primarily due to anemia, which can make you feel tired and weak. If you’re feeling unusually fatigued, it might be worth discussing with your doctor.

    2. Shortness of breath

    Another sign of MDS can be shortness of breath, especially during physical activities. This symptom is also related to anemia, as your body isn’t getting enough oxygen due to a lack of red blood cells.

    3. Frequent infections

    MDS can cause your white blood cell count to drop, making you more susceptible to infections. If you find that you’re getting sick more often than usual, it could be a sign of MDS.

    4. Easy bruising or bleeding

    If you notice that you’re bruising easily or bleeding more than usual, it could be a sign of MDS. This is because MDS can affect your platelet count, which is responsible for blood clotting.

    5. Skin paleness

    Anemia, a common complication of MDS, can cause your skin to look paler than usual. This is due to the lack of red blood cells, which give your skin its color.

    Now that we’ve covered the warning signs, let’s look at some FDA-approved treatments for MDS.

    6. Blood transfusions

    Blood transfusions are often used to treat anemia in people with MDS. This involves receiving healthy blood from a donor to increase your red blood cell count.

    7. Medications

    Several medications can be used to treat MDS, including growth factors to stimulate your body to make more blood cells, and immunosuppressive drugs to help your body accept these new cells.

    8. Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is often used to kill off abnormal cells in your bone marrow. This can help to slow the progression of MDS and alleviate some symptoms.

    9. Stem cell transplant

    A stem cell transplant involves replacing your diseased bone marrow with healthy marrow from a donor. This can potentially cure MDS, but it’s a complex procedure with significant risks.

    10. Supportive care

    Supportive care involves managing the symptoms of MDS, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. This can include medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

    In conclusion, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of MDS and seek treatment early. With the right care, it’s possible to manage this disease and maintain a good quality of life.

  • Life insurance is a critical safety net for many individuals, especially those over 50 or seniors who want to ensure their loved ones are financially secure after they’re gone. But it’s essential to understand that not all situations are covered by life insurance policies. Here are seven things that life insurance does not typically cover.

    1. Fraudulent information

    One of the key aspects insurance companies look at when underwriting a policy is the honesty of the information provided. If you have lied or omitted important information on your application, your insurer can deny your beneficiaries’ claim. Always be honest and thorough when applying for life insurance.

    2. Suicide within the exclusion period

    Most life insurance policies include a clause that excludes coverage for suicide within the first two years of the policy. This period may vary depending on the insurance company and the specific policy, but it’s a standard exclusion across the industry.

    3. Death from risky activities

    If you regularly engage in high-risk activities such as skydiving, mountain climbing, or extreme sports, your life insurance policy may not cover death resulting from these activities. It’s crucial to disclose these hobbies when applying for insurance, as failing to do so could result in a denied claim.

    4. Death in a war zone

    Many life insurance policies exclude coverage for death occurring in a war zone. If you are a military personnel or a civilian working in a conflict area, you may need to seek a special policy or rider to cover this risk.

    5. Illegal activities

    If the policyholder dies while committing an illegal activity, the life insurance claim will likely be denied. This can include anything from driving under the influence to participating in criminal activities.

    6. Certain health conditions

    While life insurance for over 50 and life insurance for seniors are generally available, certain health conditions may not be covered. This is especially true for policies with a graded death benefit, which only pays out the full benefit if the policyholder lives a certain number of years after purchasing the policy.

    7. Acts of God

    Some life insurance policies may not cover deaths caused by acts of God, such as natural disasters. However, this exclusion is less common than others and can vary significantly between insurance companies and policies.

    Now that you know what life insurance typically does not cover, it’s important to find a reliable provider. Some of the top companies that provide life insurance include New York Life, MetLife, Prudential Financial, and State Farm. These companies offer a variety of policies, including term life, whole life, and universal life insurance.

    Remember, life insurance is a crucial part of financial planning, especially for those over 50 or seniors. Make sure to thoroughly read and understand your policy, and don’t hesitate to ask your insurance agent or company any questions you may have. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your loved ones’ financial future.

  • Hereditary angioedema, a rare genetic disorder, manifests with recurring episodes of severe swelling affecting the face, extremities, gastrointestinal tract, and airways, often leading to breathing difficulties. While these episodes can be distressing, there are treatment options available, including Haegarda, Berinert, Firazyr, Takhyzyro, and Orladeyo, to name a few. Various factors can trigger these episodes, such as mental stress, infections, trauma, fatigue, physical exertion, weather conditions, and dietary choices. In this article, we’ll focus on common food triggers associated with breathing issues in hereditary angioedema:

    1. High-histamine foods
    Histamine is a chemical in the body that plays a role in allergic reactions, and some foods are naturally high in it, potentially triggering episodes in individuals with hereditary angioedema. Some of the foods include: aged cheeses, smoked and cured meats, fermented foods like sauerkraut, and certain alcoholic beverages, such as red wine and champagne. With HAE, it’s important to be mindful of your histamine intake, as these foods may contribute to swelling and breathing difficulties.

    2. Tree nuts
    People with hereditary angioedema are frequently advised to steer clear of tree nuts, as they commonly trigger swelling and breathing problems. This category includes walnuts, cashews, almonds, and similar nuts.

    3. Spicy foods
    Ingredients like chili peppers, hot sauces, jalapeños, cayenne pepper flakes, and other spicy components often used to add flavor to dishes can pose risks for individuals with hereditary angioedema. Spice is a known trigger, so consider reducing the level of spiciness in your meals or entirely eliminating spicy foods and ingredients from your diet.

    4. Food additives
    Surprisingly, some food additives such as preservatives and artificial sweeteners can act as triggers for hereditary angioedema in certain individuals. Always read food labels carefully and avoid products containing these additives.

    5. Artificial food coloring and flavorings
    Artificial food coloring and flavorings found in many processed foods and beverages can be problematic for individuals with hereditary angioedema. These artificial additives have been known to trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate symptoms in some cases, so be sure to review ingredient labels carefully and consider opting for natural and unprocessed alternatives whenever possible.

    It’s crucial to remain vigilant and attentive to your body’s reactions after consuming various foods. If any food item triggers an episode, make a note of it and avoid it in the future. Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding dietary choices, as individual reactions can vary significantly. Work closely with your doctor to create a personalized diet plan tailored to your specific needs and sensitivities.

  • Your kidneys are essential for filtering excess waste and liquids from your bloodstream that are then excreted from the body through urine. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) involves a gradual loss of kidney function that can lead to a dangerous build up of fluid, waste, and electrolytes. Many individuals do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is advanced, as the symptoms are minor and hard to notice—once you receive a diagnosis and as the symptoms progress, you can be treated with medications like Kerendia. To catch kidney disease early on, be aware of the following early warning signs:

    1. Loss of appetite

    Although a very general symptom, it can occur as a result of kidney failure. Due to the toxins being trapped in your body and not filtered out properly, it can kill your appetite. With kidney disease, even if you’re not hungry, it’s extremely important to eat so you can get all of the nutrients you need and keep your body energized to fight the disease. 

    2. Changes in urination

    If you notice any abnormal changes in your urination, it may be a sign of kidney failure. When the kidney filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in urination frequency. Healthy kidneys keep blood cells within, but if they are damaged at all, they can leak out into the urine and result in blood in your urine. Lastly, foamy urine indicates protein in the urine, suggesting issues within the kidney. Keep an eye out for any changes in your urine and see a doctor if anything strange occurs. 

    3. Swelling and puffiness

    Kidney disease may show up in swelling of the feet and ankles or even puffiness in the under eyes. As a result of decreased function of the kidneys, sodium retention occurs—the cause of swelling at the feet or ankles. Puffiness in the eyes is a result of leaking protein into the urine, as it’s meant to stay within the body.  

    4. Weakness and fatigue

    The buildup of toxins in the blood can result in significant feelings of weakness and fatigue. This can also cause individuals with kidney failure to struggle with focus and concentration. If you find yourself feeling weak and tired more often than usual, and especially if it’s impacting your daily life, you should see your doctor. 

    5. Itchy skin

    Healthy kidneys not only filter out waste, but they also help make red blood cells, maintain strong bones, and maintain the proper amount of minerals within the body. If you’re experiencing dry and itchy skin, it could be a result of mineral and bone disease—a disease that often accompanies more advanced kidney disease. Due to the loss of kidney function, your body will struggle to regulate and balance your vitamins and minerals.

    6. Cramping

    Since kidneys also regulate electrolytes in the body, if you begin to lose kidney function your electrolytes will be imbalanced, thus resulting in cramping muscles.

  • Those with high blood sugar are at risk of heart disease, vision loss, type 1 diabetes, type two diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, and kidney disease. By lowering your blood sugar to your target range you can avoid the risks of high blood sugar and boost your energy plus your mood. Here are the easiest ways for you to lower your blood sugar:

    1. Daily exercises

    Physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout. This is because, when you exercise your body uses stored fats and sugars from your liver and muscles, the body replenishes these stores by using the sugar from your blood. The more regularly you exercise and the more strenuous the exercise is the longer your blood sugar will be affected.

    2. Eat low carb foods

    Foods high in carbs raise the blood sugar levels of those who eat them meaning the body needs to produce more insulin to digest the extra carbs. It is recommended that you eat only 20–50g of carbs per day in order to lower your blood sugar levels. Some examples of low-carb foods include eggs, nuts and seeds, avocadoes, and more.

    3. Get adequate sleep

    If you get too little sleep it can increase insulin resistance, make you hungrier the next day, and reduce how full you feel after eating. The right amount of rest is key for controlling blood sugar levels and avoiding diabetes. For the average person aged 16 to 80 years old, it is recommended that they sleep for around 8 hours a night.

    4. Drink more water

    If you have high blood sugar it can cause dehydration and make you want to drink more water. This is because when you have high blood sugar the body needs more water to eliminate excess sugar from the blood by creating urine. Staying hydrated and drinking enough water every day can help you to keep your blood sugar levels in check. The average amount of water recommended every day is around 8 glasses of water.

    5. Use medications that lower blood sugar

    Going to a doctor and discussing treatment options for those with chronically high blood sugar or medical issues such as diabetes can help you get prescribed medicine that can help get your blood sugar back to its target range. The most common type of medication for those with high blood sugar is insulin. Insulin works by removing excess sugar from the blood and putting it into other body tissues where it can be used for energy.

  • Arthritis is a degeneration disease of joint tissue and bone, which causes chronic joint pain and results in brittle and fragile bones. The symptoms can develop slowly and get worse with time. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain and stiffness in your joints, swelling, limited mobility, and joints that are hot to touch. Patients may also feel a grating sensation during movement. These symptoms often occur following vigorous movement or after a period of inactivity.  Apart from treating pain with the best arthritis pain relief medications such as Xeljanz, Tremfya, Actemra, Rinvoq, Skyrizi, Simponi aria, Apremilast, and over the counter pain relievers like Voltaren and Advil, patients must also follow a healthy diet to keep joints and bones strong. Choosing the following anti-inflammatory foods will help support joint health and reduce arthritis pain

    1. Walnuts
    Like many other nuts, walnuts have a high level of anti-inflammatory nutrients. These include essential fatty acids and omega 3s to support bone health. Eating walnuts daily can help reduce inflammation in the joints and connective tissues. These nuts are also a good source of antioxidants as well as other important vitamins and minerals that help to boost the immune system

    2. Tart cherry juice
    Cherries get their bright red hue from natural chemicals called anthocyanins, which work to naturally prevent inflammation in affected joints. Research studies also show that fresh tart cherries and cherry juice reduce the symptoms of gouty arthritis

    3. Dark leafy greens
    Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens all have a good supply of nutrients to help improve your joint health. These essential nutrients for bones and joints in particular include the antioxidants beta-carotene, and C and D vitamins. Some leafy greens, including kale and collard greens, also are great sources of calcium to help you to maintain healthy and strong bones. The abundant antioxidants in these greens can also slow the onset of osteoarthritis. The vitamins and minerals limit inflammation and joint pain and can also stop the disease from progressing

    4. Dried figs
    Dried fruits have most of their water removed through the drying process. The method used removes water and reduces the size of the fruits. This gives them a higher concentration of nutrients, namely vitamins C and K, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and a higher concentration of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The high concentration of these minerals in dried figs works to prevent diseases like osteoporosis

    5. Fatty fish or fish oils  
    Fatty fish includes salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel. They carry a lot of calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones strong. They also have healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats that are anti-inflammatory. Patients with osteoarthritis should try to eat a portion of fatty fish at least once per week. If you’re not a fan of fish, taking fish oil supplements can also provide a valuable source of omega 3 fatty acids to diminish inflammation of joints.

    The pain caused by arthritis can limit your movement. If you get the best arthritis pain relief medication it may help to improve the quality of your life. Advil medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis helps to relieve the pain, in addition to the above mentioned foods. 

  • There are several reasons why it is important to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle, including staying fit, and maintaining a healthy weight. When you enjoy a healthy lifestyle, you will find you have more energy throughout each day, followed by a better night’s sleep. 

    The world we live in is filled with processed, fatty foods that slow our cognitive functions and add to our weight. The following exercises and sports should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle that will prolong life and benefit physical and emotional wellbeing:

    1. Cycling
    If you choose to get out of the gym and ride your bicycle, you will instantly feel the mental health benefits. In a world where mental health problems are becoming an epidemic, cycling offers a great way of getting out into the open air and enjoying some exercise. Riding your bicycle gives you a high cardiovascular workout and promotes weight loss. Bicycle riding is a great way to add flexibility and muscle to your body in a short space of time

    2. Rowing
    Whether you choose to get out on a river and row or to stay indoors in the gym, you will feel several health benefits. Whether you choose a water resistance rowing machine or join a team, you will get a cardiovascular workout. The release of endorphins will brighten your mood and reduce your levels of stress. Including time on a machine in your CrossFit workout will give you a full-body workout that includes exercise for your legs, arms, and back. Rowing is low impact and limits wear and tear on your back and knees if you struggle with pain

    3. Tennis
    You may think about tennis as a great workout for your body because of its high range of movement. The sport is a good way of keeping your brain alert as you try to solve the problems offered to you by your opponent. Another impressive benefit of this racquet sport is the social aspect that includes spending time with your playing partner or opponent

    4. Swimming
    Taking a swim or doing laps has always been an important part of a healthy workout. Swimming is one of the best options for you if you are looking for a high-intensity, low-impact exercise. The constant movement of your body exercises a range of muscles and improves the health of your heart and lungs

    5. Baseball
    You may not think baseball is the best workout, but America’s pastime can improve your overall health. Playing the game gets you outside to receive lots of vitamin D from the sun. Your arms, legs, and your vascular system will be improved when you take part in a game on the diamond

    6. Basketball
    Hitting the court requires stamina, strength, and endurance. Basketball is a fast-moving game that requires players to transition quickly from defense to offense. The range of movements you will undertake on the court gives every part of your body a workout, including your brain. Your people will grow up with healthy bones and hearts when they spend time on the court

    7. Boxing
    If you are looking to maintain a high level of endurance and boost your mood, stepping in the ring is a good option. Boxing improves your core strength and helps build better posture, no matter how young or old you are when you take up the sport. Plus, jumping rope, which is part of a boxing workout, will burn a ton of calories. Look for a quality jump rope with weighted handles, such as Crossfit jump ropes

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a group of diseases affecting the lungs. The most common of these diseases are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Millions of people suffer from COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, lack of energy, frequent colds and respiratory infections, chest tightness, swelling of the feet, ankles and legs. 

    Causes of this disease are having a history of smoking, second hand smoke, being exposed to chemicals and fumes. COPD help Rx is available and may include inhaled bronchodilators, corticosteroids, theophylline, antibiotics and vaccines. However, certain foods are known to aggravate COPD symptoms and should be avoided:

    1. Cured meats
    Cured meats contain nitrates and nitrites which are added to preserve the flavor of the meat and give it a loner shelf life. Foods that contain nitrates should be avoided because they have been linked to causing cancer. Studies have shown that people who eat cured meat are more likely to develop COPD as well as experiencing more symptoms of the disease

    2. Carbonated beverages
    Drinking sodas and other carbonated drinks is not a good idea for people with COPD. These beverages contain carbonation which causes the stomach to become full with air, making it harder to breathe. Drinking water is the best choice for people with COPD

    3. Dairy
    Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and butte should be avoided at all cost by people with this disease. People who eat dairy food products are at a higher risk for developing the disease. People who have COPD and eat such foods will usually experience worse respiratory symptoms. Milk has been thought to increase mucus production which makes symptoms of the disease even worse. Lactose intolerant people with COPD might experience bloating and increased pressure on their chest and lung area making it harder for them to breathe

    4. Excessive salt
    Salt can cause fluid retention which causes fluids to build up in the lungs. For people suffering from COPD this would make breathing very difficult. It is best to choose foods that have low sodium levels or less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. Cooking meals at home vs eating out is a good way for people with COPD to ensure they are eating foods with low sodium levels. It’s also a good idea to use sodium free seasonings and to stick to eating fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats

    5. Acidic foods and drinks
    Foods and drinks such as coffee, citrus fruit, juices, and tomato sauce can make COPD symptoms worse because of their high acidic levels. When eaten these foods can cause acid reflux. People with COPD are at an increased risk for developing acid reflux. Fried foods should be avoided because they can cause bloating, which is extremely uncomfortable for someone with COPD. Chocolate can also cause acid reflux because it contains caffeine and should also be avoided

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease, or more specifically a demyelinating disease, that damages the protective fatty layer (myelin) of the nerves located in the brain and spinal cord. It is this damage that creates the scars visible to the doctor through x-ray examination and creates the physical impairments suffered by MS patients. 
    Though the most telling signs that a patient is suffering from MS are determined by X-ray, there are several distinct physical symptoms to assist the diagnosis

    1. Cognitive impairment
    This issue of cognitive impairment in MS patients may manifest itself in the form of memory loss, inability to concentrate or maintain attention

    2. Vision problems
    MS patients often suffer blurry vision, double vision, or inability to control eye movement. This is due to optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve, which is responsible for vision

    3. Tingling and numbness
    Many MS patients experience an inability to feel or move their limbs or an unexplained feeling of pins and needles throughout the body. This is often the earliest sign caused by nerve damage and experienced in areas such as  the face, arms, or legs, and often on just one side of the body

    4. Pains and spasms
    Known as spasticity, MS patients may experience bouts of unexpected back pain and muscle spasms because of an imbalance in the electrical signals transmitted from the brain and spinal cord once nerve damage occurs. These mixed signals often result in uncontrolled muscle contractions and tense muscles

    5. Difficulty walking
    Due to frequent numbness and muscle spasms difficulty walking is a common symptom for a patient suffering from multiple sclerosis as the disease progresses

    6. Bladder and bowel dysfunction
    The damage to nerves creates an inability for the brain to communicate to other organs within the body. For the multiple sclerosis patient, this may translate into frequent bathroom visits or an inability to use the bathroom as often as the body should

    The frequency of MS symptoms experienced may vary from patient to patient. For instance, it is possible for the patient to go for periods of time without any symptoms even though the damaged neurons are not healed. Because the damage is still present and attacks upon the body continue, symptoms may reoccur at any time. Doctors often prescribe a combination of relapsing MS treatment to curb the recurrence of MS symptoms, which can include medications, physical therapies, diet changes, counselor sessions to curb stress, and exercise and sleep support.

    Multiple sclerosis creates an inability to manage the body. Acknowledging the early signs of MS through testing will assist the patient with gaining a sense of control. Once diagnosed the patient can then concentrate on managing the symptoms.