Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are debilitating conditions affecting millions of individuals worldwide. As people age, it becomes increasingly important to recognize the early warning signs of these diseases, such as memory loss, and consider various care options including supplements, caregivers guidelines, independent living, assisted living, and medic alert bracelets to help manage the effects of progressive cognitive decline. In this article, we’ll explore the early warning signs of dementia and discuss some different care options available to individuals and their families:
1. Confusion about time and place
Dementia can cause confusion, particularly when it comes to time and place. Patients may get lost in familiar surroundings, have difficulty following a routine, or forget the day of the week.
2. Changes in behavior
Dementia can also cause changes in mood and behavior. Patients may become agitated, irritable, or withdrawn. They may also experience changes in personality or exhibit impulsive behavior.
3. Memory loss
Memory loss is often one of the first signs of dementia. Patients may forget important events or appointments, have difficulty remembering names or faces, or struggle with new information. Supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba, and vitamin E may be helpful in supporting brain health.
4. Difficulty communicating
As dementia progresses, patients may have difficulty communicating their thoughts or ideas. They may struggle to find the right words, repeat themselves, or have trouble following a conversation.
5. Difficulty with activities of daily living
In the early stages of dementia, patients may have difficulty performing activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene. They may struggle to remember the steps involved or become disoriented during the process. In some cases, they may forget to perform these activities altogether, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life. Caregivers can provide support and assistance with these tasks to help patients maintain their independence for as long as possible.
Now, let’s explore some care options to consider for patients with dementia:
In conclusion, early detection of dementia and Alzheimer’s is key to ensuring patients receive proper care and support. By being aware of the warning signs and considering care options that can make positive and safe changes in the home, patients may continue to live independently and receive the care they need to maintain their quality of life.
Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus starts to grow outside the uterus. This can cause infertility as well as other symptoms such as fatigue or pain during ovulation. There are many treatments and medications that can help such as hormonal birth control which can help with getting hormones under control as well as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) which can be used to combat infertility. Here are some of the warning signs of endometriosis to look out for:
1. Pain and swelling in the abdomen and pelvic area
Pain and swelling in the abdomen and pelvic area are the most common symptoms of endometriosis. The pain typically occurs during ovulation, periods, or intercourse but can also occur outside of these triggers. The growths caused by endometriosis can swell and bleed in the same way the lining inside of your uterus does during periods. However, since the tissue grows and bleeds in an area it cannot easily get out of your body from, it can cause pain and swelling.
2. Abnormal bleeding
Another red flag to look out for with endometriosis is abnormal bleeding. Sometimes the tissue outside of the uterus can bleed excessively causing a very heavy menstrual flow or bleed when you are not on your period causing bleeding to occur randomly. On rare occasions the endometrial tissue can grow into your bladder and cause pain during urination and blood to appear in the urine.
3. Longer periods
A typical period lasts 5 to 7 days but with endometriosis, a period can last even more than 7 days. This is because the body has more tissue to shed then normal meaning it takes longer to shed it all. It is useful to keep track of how often you get your period and how long it lasts in order to determine if there are any irregularities with it.
Unfortunately, around 30-50% of people who suffer from endometriosis struggle to conceive. Those with endometriosis have only a 1-10% chance of getting pregnant each month which is significantly lower than the regular odds of 10-20% for those without this disease. There are methods that can help those with endometriosis fight infertility such as IVF in which an egg is combined with sperm outside of the body and then placed back into the uterus.
5. Chronic fatigue
Another symptom of endometriosis that serves as an early warning sign is chronic fatigue. This symptom occurs due to the immune system’s response to the endometrial tissue growing where it should not. The body typically launches an attack on the tissue to try and remove it which can cause inflammation and pain. The inflammation and energy spent by the immune system can cause chronic fatigue.
Medicare is a government-run health insurance program that provides coverage for Americans who are 65 and older or have a disability. While Medicare covers a lot of medical expenses, there are certain things that it doesn’t cover—like cosmetic procedures, outpatient prescription drugs, and many new treatments and alternative treatments for chronic conditions, like cancer. Here are seven things that Medicare doesn’t cover:
1. Routine eye exams
Medicare doesn’t cover routine eye exams unless you have diabetes or are at high risk for glaucoma. However, if you need surgery to correct your vision, Medicare will cover it. If you want routine eye exams, you can purchase additional coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan or a private insurer like Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, or Cigna.
2. Hearing aids
Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, exams for fitting hearing aids, or exams for hearing problems. However, Medicare will cover diagnostic hearing and balance exams if your doctor thinks you need them. You can purchase additional coverage for hearing aids through a Medicare Advantage plan or a private insurer.
3. Routine dental exams
Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental exams, cleanings, fillings, or extractions. However, Medicare will cover dental services if they are necessary for a covered medical procedure, such as jaw reconstruction after an accident. You can purchase additional coverage for routine dental care through a Medicare Advantage plan or a private insurer.
4. Deductibles and coinsurance
Medicare has deductibles and coinsurance that you are responsible for paying. For example, in 2023, the Part A deductible will be $1,572, and the Part B deductible will be $233. You can purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan (also known as Medigap) to help cover these costs.
5. Long-term care
Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, such as assisted living or nursing home care. However, Medicare will cover short-term care in a skilled nursing facility if it’s medically necessary after a hospital stay. If you want coverage for long-term care, you can purchase a long-term care insurance policy from a private insurer.
6. Prescription drugs
Medicare Part A and Part B don’t cover most prescription drugs. However, you can purchase a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage.
7. Overseas health care
Medicare doesn’t cover health care outside of the United States, except in limited situations (such as emergencies on a cruise ship). If you’re traveling abroad and want coverage for medical expenses, you can purchase a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage.
It’s important to understand what Medicare does and doesn’t cover, so you can plan for your medical expenses and make informed decisions about additional coverage. While Medicare doesn’t cover things like routine dental exams or hearing aids, you can purchase additional coverage from a private insurer. And while Medicare may not cover new treatments or cosmetic procedures, it does provide coverage for many medically necessary services. If you have questions about what Medicare covers, talk to your doctor or a Medicare specialist.
Interactions between certain foods and medications or treatments can cause unwanted side effects and even harm to your health. It’s essential to be aware of potential interactions to avoid any risks. If you are currently taking any medications, and experience any adverse reactions—such as dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or digestive upset—please consult with an online doctor or online pharmacist to ensure you’re taking the proper dosage. Here are six foods that can adversely interact with some medications or treatments:
While cranberries are healthy, they can interfere with blood thinners like Warfarin, leading to a higher risk of bleeding. Consult your healthcare provider before adding cranberries to your diet if you’re taking blood thinners.
2. Dairy products
Milk can interfere with some antibiotics, reducing their effectiveness. If you’re taking antibiotics, consult an online doctor or pharmacist about the best time to consume dairy products. Aged cheeses, in particular, may contain high levels of tyramine, which can interact negatively with some medications, including MAOIs. Consult an online doctor or pharmacist before consuming aged cheeses if you’re taking these medications.
3. Leafy green veggies
Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain vitamin K, which can interfere with blood thinners like Coumadin. Consult your healthcare provider before adding leafy greens to your diet if you’re taking blood thinners.
4. Pickled smoked, cured and fermented foods
These foods contain high levels of tyramine, which can interact negatively with some medications, including MAOIs. If you’re taking these medications, consult an online doctor or pharmacist before consuming pickled or fermented foods. The same goes for smoked or cured meats, which contain high levels of sodium, which can interact negatively with high blood pressure medications. Consult an online doctor or pharmacist before consuming smoked or cured meats if you’re taking high blood pressure medication.
Drinking alcohol while taking medications such as painkillers, antibiotics, or anti-anxiety medication can lead to adverse reactions. Consult an online doctor or pharmacist before consuming alcohol while taking medications.
This fruit contains compounds that can interfere with the enzymes that break down some medications, such as statins and high blood pressure drugs. Consult an online doctor or pharmacist before consuming grapefruit if you’re taking these medications.
It’s essential to be mindful of food interactions while taking medications or undergoing treatments. Consult an online doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure about what foods to avoid or how to manage your diet while taking medications. Additionally, if you’re managing diabetes, meal kits and prepared meals can be a convenient option, but it’s crucial to monitor their ingredients and their interactions with insulin or other diabetes medications, such as Semaglutide, Ozempic, Glucofort, or Evolocumab.
As the name suggests, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term, progressive lung disease that causes obstructed airflow to the lungs. While smoking is a major risk factor, non-smokers can also develop COPD, often due to exposure to pollutants or genetics. If you are a non-smoker, it’s important to be aware of the early warning signs of COPD. Here are five early symptoms to look out for:
1. Excessive mucus
If you find yourself coughing up mucus on a regular basis, it could be a sign of COPD. This is because COPD causes inflammation in the lungs, which leads to an increase in mucus production. This excess mucus can make it harder to breathe and may even cause wheezing
2. Wheezing and shortness of breath
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when you breathe. It can be a sign of COPD, especially if it’s accompanied by shortness of breath. You may find that you get out of breath more easily than usual, or that you have to stop and catch your breath after climbing a flight of stairs
3. Chronic cough
A persistent cough is another early warning sign of COPD. This is because COPD irritates the airways, which can lead to a chronic cough. You may find that your cough is worse in the morning, or that it gets worse when you’re exposed to certain triggers, such as cold air or dust
4. Unexplained fatigue and low energy
COPD can also cause fatigue and low energy levels. This is because your body has to work harder to breathe when you have COPD, which can be tiring. You may find that you feel tired even after a good night’s sleep, or that you don’t have the energy to do the things you used to enjoy
5. Recurrent respiratory infections
If you find that you’re getting respiratory infections more frequently than usual, it could be a sign of COPD. This is because COPD weakens the immune system, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to take hold. You may find that you get frequent colds, or that you have more severe symptoms when you do get sick
If you’re experiencing any of these early warning signs of COPD, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider. They can perform a lung function test and evaluate your symptoms to determine if you have COPD. Depending on your diagnosis, your healthcare provider may recommend treatments such as the Stiolto Respimat Inhaler or TRELEGY inhaler, or alpha 1 antitrypsin as a risk of COPD. In some cases, the use of portable oxygen concentrators may also be recommended to help with breathing. By catching COPD early and getting proper treatment, you can help prevent the disease from progressing and improve your quality of life.
As a society, we are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to improve our health. But sometimes, the solution is as simple as drinking more water! And with brands like Culligan, Brita, and Nestle making it easier than ever to access clean and refreshing bottled water and filtered water, there’s no reason not to prioritize this basic need. Here are five surprising health benefits of drinking water that you may not have known about:
1. Boosts immune health
Your immune system relies on water to function properly, as it helps to transport important nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t fight off infections as effectively, leaving you more susceptible to illness. But when you stay hydrated, you give your immune system the support it needs to keep you healthy and strong.
2. Prevents cramps
If you’ve ever experienced painful muscle cramps, you know how debilitating they can be. But did you know that staying hydrated can help prevent them? When you’re dehydrated, your muscles are more prone to cramping and spasms. But drinking enough water helps to keep your muscles hydrated and functioning properly, reducing the risk of painful cramps.
3. Eliminates bad breath
No one likes bad breath, but did you know that drinking water can help combat it? When your mouth is dry, it creates an ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive. But when you drink plenty of water, it helps to rinse away food particles and bacteria, keeping your mouth clean and fresh.
4. Reduces stress
It may seem surprising, but drinking water can actually help improve your mood and reduce stress. When you’re dehydrated, your body releases stress hormones that can leave you feeling anxious and irritable. But when you stay hydrated, your body can maintain a better balance of hormones and neurotransmitters, helping you feel more calm and relaxed.
5. Improves complexion
Drinking water can work wonders for your skin, helping to keep it hydrated and glowing. When your skin is dehydrated, it can become dry, flaky, and prone to wrinkles. But when you drink plenty of water, it helps to flush out toxins, reduce inflammation, and maintain a healthy balance of oils on the skin’s surface. So if you’re looking for a natural way to improve your complexion, start by upping your water intake!
In conclusion, drinking water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to support your overall health and well-being. With brands like Culligan, Brita, and Nestle making it easy to access clean and refreshing water, there’s no excuse not to prioritize this basic need. So the next time you’re feeling sluggish or run-down, try reaching for a glass of water and see how much better you feel!
Food is essential for our survival but it can also be expensive, especially in recent times. With so many options out there it can be easy to fall into the trap of spending lots of money on ordering food from food delivery services. If you want to save big on food costs you should try these easy ways to save:
1. Have your groceries delivered
If you use a grocery delivery service you can actually end up saving money. While you do have to pay for any delivery fees and tip the delivery driver, in certain circumstances this can be cheaper than going to the grocery store yourself. For example, if you don’t have a car it can save you the money of ordering a cab to get your groceries home or the struggle of having to carry them all on a bus. If you believe time is money too, this is a big time saver, freeing you up to do whatever you want while someone else picks up your groceries for you
2. Eat less snacks
If you eat a lot of snacks throughout the day, then it could be eating away at your wallet. By eating less snacks and instead filling up during meals you can save money. Typically when we buy snacks we buy a huge variety to match whatever we are craving throughout the week, but this can be costly. Instead you should buy fewer snacks and eat less throughout the day. To prevent hunger, eat snacks that are more filling such as snacks that are high in fiber or protein
3. Use meal kits
By using meal kits from one of the various services offered online can be another great way to save big on food costs. This is because while grocery prices continue to rise, the cost of these meal kits is relatively stable making them a cheaper option than buying the groceries yourself. Plus, there is something to be said about the convenience of having all of the ingredients you need for a healthy meal delivered together
4. Meal prep
Meal prepping is a great option for those looking to save money. This is because you can buy any ingredients you need in bulk, freeze your leftovers, and spend less money on eating out. Some nights you might not feel like cooking, that is when it pays to have leftovers in your fridge that you cooked on a night where you had more motivation
5. Shop produce seasonally
When you want to buy fruits and vegetables, try and buy produce that is in season. This can help you save money as when a vegetable is in season there will be a bigger supply of it helping to bring the cost down as the grocery store needs to sell more faster. In addition, there is less that needs to be done to grow these vegetables and they don’t always need to be shipped from very far away, so you can shop locally, helping you save money.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is an overarching medical term used to characterize a collection of progressive lung diseases (i.e., non-reversible asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis). The main symptom of this very serious disease is shortness of breath that gradually worsens with time. However, many misconceptions exist concerning what COPD, how the disease develops, and how it’s managed.
Let’s look at some truths and falsies surrounding COPD…
Fact 1: COPD can’t be completely cured
COPD is what’s known as a non-curable disease. This means that although patients can’t undo the lung tissue damage once diagnosed, they CAN properly treat and manage their disease to prevent further lung damage. For instance, medical research shows that COPD patients that treat their disease property (i.e., with bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids, and oxygen therapy) and quit smoking, reduce flare ups and mucus production while preventing dangerous infections.
Myth 1: COPD only damages the lungs
While many patients with COPD suffer from increased mucus production and shortness of breath, this condition affects more than just the lungs and respiratory tract. For instance, COPD can increase the risk of anxiety and depression as well as significantly increase blood pressure, thus raising the overall risk of heart disease.
Fact 2: Early COPD diagnosis is important
This is absolutely true with so many chronic diseases, and COPD is no different. So don’t ignore the signs (i.e., chest tightness and shortness of breath). Getting diagnosed early can prevent further lung damage, decrease the risk of heart disease, and with proper treatment, help decrease symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
Myth 2: COPD only affects smokers
Of course smoking is a major contributor for many chronic disease, COPD included. However, not every COPD smokes, or is a past smoker. COPD can be caused by several other contributing factors, such as:
Fact 3: COPD is NOT a death sentence
While COPD is a non-curable disease, it is not a death sentence. Patients that seek professional treatment (i.e., medication such as a Stiolto inhaler for COPD, inhaled or oral steroids, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, antibiotics, oxygen therapy, etc.) and make healthy lifestyle changes (i.e., exercise, quit smoking, etc.) can safely reduce their symptoms, prevent further lung deterioration, and greatly improve overall quality of life. Regular gentle exercise (just 15 minutes per day of walking, swimming, hiking, etc.) in particular, can significantly improve blood and oxygen delivery via the heart to muscles.
The back is made up of a complex architecture of bones, discs, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that combined, aim to stabilize and support the body in stillness and movement.
When this structure is comprised, back pain, either due to an injury or underlying medical condition, can be quite painful and debilitating. So much so that it negatively affects many aspects of your daily life (i.e., driving, walking, sleeping).
Age and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to lower back pain and degenerative disc, back muscle and ligament, and lumbar spine issues. However, chronic back pain can indicate an innocent strain or an underlying health issue—including sciatica, scoliosis, osteoporosis, spinal inflammation, or even the presence of a cancerous tumor in the chest or spine area. Here are the most common causes of back pain:
The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and reaches all the way through the buttock and back of both legs. Sciatica can occur when a herniated disc (or bulging disc) compresses this nerve, resulting in sharp, piercing pain that shoots up along this route, causing painful blasts, weakness, numbness, and tingling.
2. Back strain
A back strain often occurs due to excess tension placed on any portion of the back (i.e., strained muscles, discs, tendons, or ligaments) that results in a spasm or injury. Common activities at the root of back injury include bending or moving too quickly, improper lifting of an object, or awkwardly lifting a too heavy object.
Scoliosis is characterized as abnormal spinal curvature to one side, which can cause chronic back pain and breathing difficulties in severe cases. Scoliosis patients typically experience “C”- or “S”-shaped curvatures that may gradually increase over time.
Osteoporosis causes bones to become porous and brittle in texture, which causes deterioration of the bones and vertebrae in the spine, and the likelihood of compression fractures.
5. Ruptured, slipped or bulging discs
Bulging, slipped, and ruptured discs can cause excessive compression or pressure on one of the spinal nerves, triggering discomfort, numbness, and shooting back pain. These disc issues usually occur due to an existing injury or weakness that can lead to disc protrusion through the outer ring of the spine.
6. Kidney issues
Although kidney issues and back pain seem like separate issues, the kidneys are located under the ribs and over the lower back, which means lower back pain can indicate the presence of kidney stones or a kidney infection (urinary tract infection).
7. Spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis (a type of osteoarthritis) occurs spaces in the spine become narrow and excess pressure impacts the lower back, or any of the nerves that run along the spine. Spinal stenosis mostly causes pain, weakness, and tingling in the lower back, but can affect the neck, legs, and hips as well.