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blood pressure cuff
D iabetes affects several parts of the body, but when it comes to managing their disease, people sometimes focus too closely on controlling their blood sugar without looking at their health as a whole. Having diabetes means putting extra effort into preventing heart disease, strokes, circulation problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, blindness, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Increased heart...
doctor with iPad
You came into the emergency room last evening. Now it is 5 p.m. the following day and you’re in a hospital room occupying a hospital bed. You’ve seen doctors and nurses. You’ve had medicines and treatments. So you’re officially a hospital inpatient, right? Not necessarily. You may be in fact considered an outpatient. “A hospital may classify an overnight hospital...
man in hammock
The American Medical Association estimates that family caregivers provide about 80% of the unpaid care needed for their loved ones who have chronic or terminal illnesses. In many instances, it’s an around-the-clock job with few if any breaks. A major challenge for family caregivers is understanding when they need a breather. “It can be a particular challenge for a spouse because it...
patient receiving rehabilitation
No matter which kind of therapy you’re participating in, outpatient rehabilitation is hard work. If you’ve had a joint replacement, your physical therapist might take you through some repeated exercises to strengthen your muscles. If you’ve had a stroke, your occupational therapist might have you practice new ways to cook, bathe, or eat. So after a long, rigorous session at...
fingernail health
“Your nails are a window to what’s going on in your body,” says Eliot M. Mostow, M.D., chief of dermatology at Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio. “You can’t assume that a change in your nail’s appearance is just a local problem, such as a fungal infection. It might mean you have another condition that needs attention such as diabetes, heart disease,...
teaspoon of salt
Sodium has a number of functions in your body, including maintaining fluid balance, transmitting nerve impulses, and helping muscles work properly. It seems as if you’d need a hefty amount, but in fact the human body needs very little to perform all of those functions. How much is too much? “Average Americans take in about 3,400 mg of sodium every day,” says Joan Salge Blake, M...
woman getting rehab
When the new year comes, many people resolve to be in better health. If you have arthritis, improving your health might mean making the tough decision to undergo a joint replacement. Knee replacements are by far the most common, with about 500,000 people having at least one replaced each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hip replacements are second...
advance directives
Making decisions about your health care is something you’ve done throughout your adulthood, but what if you became ill and couldn’t communicate your wishes? According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 25% of older Americans face medical treatment questions near the end of life but are incapable of making those decisions. That’s one reason why advance care planning is...
Packets of sweetener
Sugar substitutes are anything that can be used in place of regular sugar, whether they’re calorie-free or not. You can find information criticizing or praising anything that makes food or beverages sweet, so knowing the facts can help you make the right choices for your health. Artificial sweeteners Artificial sweeteners are manufactured, synthetic products. Some are derived from substances that...