Essential Supplements for Older Individuals

As you age, it is more important than ever to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs, both through your diet as well as additional supplements. Here are some of the absolutely essential dietary supplements for seniors.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the most crucial dietary supplements for seniors as they age. We all remember those milk commercials from growing up, which talked about how milk leads to strong bones. They were right! Without enough calcium, seniors are likely to suffer from osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Women are incredibly susceptible to this, but both men and women should consider adding this supplement to their diets.

B12

As you age, you may not naturally be absorbing as much B12 from your food as you have in previous years. A B12 supplement can help mitigate this problem, and can even give you more energy throughout the day!

Folic Acid

When you skip out on the folic acid, you put yourself at risk of certain conditions such as anemia. Folic acid helps your body produce red blood cells. These are responsible for blood flow and can have a huge impact on your overall health.

Multivitamin

A daily multivitamin is a bit of a catch-all when it comes to supplements. This will make sure that you are getting a wide variety of different nutrients all in one pill. Talk to your doctor about specific multivitamin recommendations.

Omega Fatty Acids

When it comes to your vision, joints, and even daily energy, Omega 3’s are the secret to success. They can help keep your body healthy and can prevent certain conditions such as arthritis.

Vitamin D

Many people, especially in the United States, do not naturally consume enough vitamin D into their diets. Vitamin D is incredibly important and can help you more efficiently absorb calcium into your bones. Because of this, a Vitamin D supplement could be just what the doctor ordered for bone and overall body health.

When it comes to your health, nutritional supplements are an absolute must as you age. To learn more about what supplements you should be adding to your diet, check out this article.

Low-Impact Exercises for Your Joints

Low-Impact Exercises for Your JointsWhether due to age, pregnancy, or injury, needing to be gentle on the joints does not have to mean giving up on a fitness routine. There are options for different budgets and workout styles that help strengthen the body without further damaging injured joints.

Swimming has long been recommended for people with joint issues, and for good reason. The buoyancy of the human body in water relieves pressure on the joints, allowing the body to move in ways that could cause strain on land. Regular swimming has even been shown to reduce pain and increase strength in those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Elliptical machines, rowing machines, and seated stationary bicycles are all excellent choices for a cardio gym workout that prevents strain on the joints while still providing enough resistance to strengthen them. For those passionate about running, a good treadmill will be much easier on joints than running on hard concrete.

Resistance bands are a versatile, inexpensive tool that can be used for warmups and workouts. They are excellent for strengthening the joints without stressing them too much and provide a similar workout for the body as using free weights or a cable machine.

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise involving gentle flowing movements. Although it was originally designed as a martial art, it is a perfect exercise for people suffering from joint problems. Tai chi improves balance, reduces joint pain, and aids in stress reduction.

Barre workout programs are an excellent choice for those suffering from joint pain. These programs focus on controlled, smooth movements performed along with upbeat music, providing a fun, energizing workout without undue strain on the joints.

Yoga and pilates are wonderful choices to stretch and strengthen the body while caring for the joints. Since yoga’s introduction to the West, its popularity has soared; the practice is beneficial for the mind and body, developing strength, flexibility, and focus. There are myriad varieties to choose from. Yin yoga stretches the body deeply but gently. Aerial yoga is beneficial for students with joint pain, as some of the body weight is supported by a fabric swing. For a more intense class, Ashtanga, Bikram, or another Vinyasa provide a tough workout without undue impact on the joints.

Exercises for Bone Health and Aging

 Aging changes the body in some interesting ways. One of the most unusual is that the body weakens the bones as adults age. This happens when the body takes phosphates and calcium from the bones to be used elsewhere. This is a problem because it leaves the bones more brittle. It’s essentially the cause of osteoporosis.

 Osteoporosis is of particular concern in women, but it can affect all older people to some extent. Luckily, research has demonstrated that there are ways to prevent and limit this problem. Taking vitamins and mineral supplements is one thing that helps. Another is exercise, especially high-impact and resistance.

 Recent research in mice has demonstrated the benefits of running, climbing, and jumping in preventing bone density loss. These activities increase the production of bone marrow components that help stave off illness and signs of aging. Stromal cells appear to be one big part of this process. They produce osteocytes or new bone cells. They also impact the production of immune system-related cells. 

 This study, conducted at UT Southwestern, suggests that older humans can continue to produce new bone cells, too. Mouse models are often used in studies because, as mammals, they have a lot in common with human beings. Uncovering this information is an exciting development for doctors and for anyone who wants to maintain their bone health as they get older. Of course, further research will be necessary to understand why exercise helps aging human bodies. 

 There is one reason that researchers believe that this process must be similar in people. Bone density in astronauts decreases while they’re in space. There’s no resistance as on Earth because there’s no gravity. When people return from orbit, their bones are less dense, and their immune systems are less effective. This seems to track with what has been observed in the mice in this study. 

 Strength training has long been recommended as a preventative against osteoporosis. You can easily try bodyweight exercises such as pushups and plyometrics; you can even try lifting weights, and using resistance bands is another example. Even swimming can be beneficial. Water offers much more resistance than air. It’s crucial as you age to remember to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle. 

 Common Skin Rashes to Know and Identify 

 A rash can be defined as a change in the skin’s appearance. Rashes are common and can have many causes, such as a drug reaction, a viral or bacterial infection, or a chemical or a new soap or lotion reaction. Food allergies can cause a rash, too, and these are particularly common in infants who develop eczema as a reaction to a milk protein allergy. Here are some common rashes to know:

 Drug Allergy

 This type of allergy can present itself as an itchy red rash, often over large parts of the body, that can appear anywhere from hours to weeks after exposure to a particular drug. A reaction can occur even if it’s a drug that has been taken in the past. A drug-induced allergy rash can often be mild, fading on its own after discontinuing the medication. Still, it can also be life-threatening if it’s accompanied by hives, elevated heart rate, and difficulty breathing. If these symptoms persist accompany a drug allergy rash, the user should seek medical treatment immediately. 

 Eczema

 Often confused with psoriasis, this condition looks like white scales over red, irritated skin that may be greasy and itchy. Things including stress and diet can cause flare-ups. Sometimes, the cause is unknown. Eczema can come and go. Some people outgrow it; others have it for life. Treatment ranges from no treatment, depending upon the severity, to special creams containing steroids. Other non-steroidal creams are available. 

 Psoriasis

 This rash appears as a red, thickened patches of skin covered with silvery scales. It’s usually itchy. The skin may break open and bleed. Psoriasis is a chronic condition usually first appearing in the mid-teens to early adulthood. It’s uncommon in young children. It has an autoimmune cause that is poorly understood.  This illness can be treated by creams, steroids, methotrexate, and biological medications targeted at the body’s immune system. 

 Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis often results from skin contact with an allergen. The skin will be red, itchy, scaly, and raw and may ooze fluid from small blisters. There will be a distinct border of normal skin touching the inflamed skin area where the allergen contact occurred. The best treatment is avoiding the allergen, but hydrocortisone cream and oatmeal baths may help ease the discomfort. 

5 Mental Health Podcasts for Guided Assistance

Mental health has become more open than it was before. There are discussions on social media sites, on mainstream media, and even in random discussions. As guided assistance gets popular, there are also mental health tools to help. If looking for something to listen to to help you get through a rough patch, here are some of the best mental health podcasts.

Mental
This podcast is based in the UK and has won multiple awards due to its endless efforts to destigmatize mental health.
Bobby Temps and Danielle Hogan host this podcast. The former is a model and writer while the latter is a youth counselor. Together with their regular hosts, they hold discussions on different mental health topics.
They also discuss different scenarios that help listeners understand the struggles of mental health and also tips and ways to manage or help when they occur.

Mentally Yours
This podcast is hosted by Ellen Scott and Yvette Caster who like to indulge with their guests on the “wierd stuff” that happens in our minds.
Their discussions range from how to handle diagnoses, helping friends, and even tips on managing the bad days.

The Hilarious World of Depression
There is nothing funny about mental health, which is why this title is such an irony, However, John Moe uses humor to tackle this giant.
Together with a host of various comedians, they talk about dealing with mental health when everyone expects you to be always happy.
The podcast itself is hilarious so expect to laugh along the way.

Therapy Lab
This is a guided assistance mental health podcast hosted by Doctor. Sheri Jacobson. Apart from being a professional psychologist, she also has personal experience with mental health having spent time in therapy from the tender age of 17.
She understands the struggle of mental health and the need to have accessible health points.
She has talked about her journey and has hosted other people who have also overcome hardships stemming from mental health.

Living in This Queer Body
Being different can cause a multitude of mental health issues. People in the LGBTQ+ community have one podcast that helps tackle these issues.
Asher Pandjiri is a psychotherapist who identifies as non-binary.
In her podcast, she discusses the issues that arise from trying to fit in and dealing with hate. She also hosts guests who talk about transphobia, homophobia, body dysmorphia, and many other stories that help shed light.
Her vision is to use these discussions to help the community deal with mental health in a healthier way.

Best Foods for Stress Relief

People looking to fight stress often overlook their diets as a way to lower stress levels and help the mind and body deal with stressful situations. There are many ways to combat stress. Exercise, meditation, and relaxation are just a few methods many people use to overcome and deal with stress. Still, unfortunately, many people overlook what they eat as a way to overcome and deal with stress. Healthy eating plays a crucial role in relieving stress, emotional response, and stabilizing blood sugar. Here are the best foods that can help relieve stress and how they’re beneficial.

Green Leafy Vegetables

When feeling stressed, some people reach for chocolate or a cheeseburger; they don’t realize they’re only making the problem worse. When tensions are high, go for green leafy vegetables. Green leafy vegetables contain a substance called folate, which produces dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that causes pleasure and helps people to relax.

Oatmeal

When stressed, many people crave something sweet, but instead of going for a sugary doughnut, go for the complex carbs found in oatmeal. Complex carbohydrates can aid in the production of serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical.

Salmon

For those who have stressful jobs, whether at home or work, relieving stress with a take-out order or cocktail can be counterproductive in the long run. After a stressful day, consider dinner with salmon as the centerpiece. Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the negative side-effects of stress, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and poor circulation.

Blueberries

Studies have shown that people who eat blueberries regularly have an increased boost of a specialized white blood cell that plays a crucial role in immunity, which is critical in countering and fighting stress.

Turkey Breast

Turkey contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin—serotonin aids in regulating hunger and promotes a feeling of happiness, calm, and well-being.

Dealing with stress is a battle that should be fought with as many weapons as possible. Those who experience large amounts of stress regularly need to use all methods available to overcome and reduce anxiety and tension. With a healthy diet combined with exercise and other techniques, stress can be reduced and managed healthily.

The Best Telehealth Companies to Look Into

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores earlier this year it’s been difficult for some people to visit their doctors. Luckily technology is easily accessible to most people nowadays and can be extremely useful in situations like these, allowing many people to visit their doctors without having to physically be there with them.

Telehealth is a technology that allows health care professionals to serve their patients from virtually anywhere. Several telehealth companies exist, giving patients plenty of options. But which company is best for you? Here are a few of the telehealth companies worth looking into.

iCliniq

If you’re looking for quick medical service from the comfort of your home, a good option would be iCliniq. This website allows you to submit written questions as well as ask for phone and video consultations. Over 3000 doctors answer the questions on the website and many previously asked questions have been archived, meaning you may be able to find the answer to your question without actually having to ask it. 

Doctor on Demand

One of the perks of Doctor on Demand over many other telehealth services is that if you have a consultation with a doctor and enjoy working with them, you can add that doctor to your “favorites” list, meaning you can easily request an appointment with them again. The service can be a little pricey, as a 15-minute consultation costs about $75 and mental health services are around $300 for a 45-minute consultation.

LiveHelath Online

If you sign up to LiveHealth Online you can easily look at all of the doctors available in your state and request an appointment with them. They typically connect you to your doctor within a few minutes, and many doctors are available 24/7. What’s great about LiveHealth is that it’s commonly accepted by many major insurance companies, especially since appointments without insurance cost $59.

HealthTap

If you’re willing to pay $10 a month to be a HealthTap member you’ll have access to over 90,000 United States licensed physicians. Many of these doctors are available for video chatting and some will even allow you to send them text messages. Even if you don’t want to pay the $10 you can still be a free member and access their automated symptom checker as well as get personalized answers to your various health questions.

Tips For Staying Healthy When Returning To Work

Depending on where you live in the country, the coronavirus is likely affecting you differently than it might be affecting someone in another area. Some places have reopened entirely and more people are returning back to work, while others continue to work from home or remain unemployed. Some of you may be getting ready to go back to work, and that can be nerve racking in our current climate. If you have to return to work but worry about yours or your loved ones health, here are a few tips to help you out.

Keep Up Your Physical Fitness

One of the most important factors in your overall health is your physical fitness. If you don’t take care of your body then you’ll leave yourself defenseless to illness. If you’re returning to work and are worried about getting sick, it’s highly recommended you keep up with your fitness and make sure you eat well. Be sure to eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as making sure you get enough sleep and getting in regular physical activity as they can make a large difference in fighting off all types of viruses.

Manage Your Stress

Stress can have surprisingly negative effects on the human body that can potentially leave you open to illness. It’s important that you learn to manage stress if you don’t know how, as returning to work likely comes with stressful situations that will now be even more stressful due to the current climate. Be sure to keep your personal and work lives separate from one another, and look into stress-reduction apps and self-care techniques that can keep you calm, cool and collected during these difficult times.

Stay Hydrated

This may seem obvious but it’s always important to stay hydrated. Most doctors will tell you that you should be drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day, so if you’re not then be sure to pick up the pace. Bring a container of water with 6 to 9 cups to work each day, and drink it throughout the day. You’ll be staying hydrated before you know it.

Wash Your Hands

Just as many were saying when the pandemic first started in the United States, it’s always important to wash your hands. Make sure to wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom, while actively avoiding touching your face or mouth. These things can be difficult, but you’ll pick up the habit before you know it. Be sure to use proper washing techniques, such as scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, and be sure not to wash your hands too much!

Foods to Help Boost Immunity

 

Although no amount of the right kinds of food can prevent or cure illness, healthy nutrition can help boost your immunity. A trip to the grocery store is a great way to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections. Many of our favorite foods have the nutrients we need to boost our immune system:

Citrus Fruits

One of the best foods to boost your immune system are citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These white blood cells fight off infections in our body. Thankfully, there are many citrus fruits that are high in vitamin C. These include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines, and clementines. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to add some of these to your cart.

Red Bell Peppers

Another kitchen staple that is great for building up immunity is red bell peppers. Red bell peppers are easy to add to some of your favorite dishes and are rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body for healthy eyes and skin. Red bell pepper also has three times as much vitamin C as an orange. You can easily add this nutritious vegetable to your next stir-fry, lasagna, pizza, or even on taco night. 

Garlic

One of the best ways to add supreme flavor and nutrients to your next meal is by adding in garlic. Garlic is great for fighting infections and can slow down the hardening of the arteries. There is also some evidence that it may help lower blood pressure. The heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, is what makes garlic a powerful immune booster. 

Yogurt

A tasty treat with immune-boosting nutrients is yogurt. Yogurts with the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label are exactly what you need. These yogurts have disease-fighting cultures that are able to stimulate your immune system. It is also a fantastic source of vitamin D, which can help regulate your body’s immune system. Be sure sure to go with plain yogurt to avoid sugar and dress it up with fruits, granola, and honey to make it sweeter. 

First new Drug to Fight the Flu in 20 Years

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Those suffering from the flu have a new option to relieve symptoms after 20 years. Xofluza, is a single dose oral drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat the sickness, this comes after 20 years of prescribing the same prescription to patients. The flu affects thousands of people each year, and having another safe and effective treatment is critical to keep the illness under control. The pill is offered to those who are 12 years and older and have had flu symptoms for no longer than 48 hours. Treating a respiratory illness in this time frame with antiviral drugs can help reduce symptoms and the duration of the illness in someone.

 

After two clinical trials with 1800 patients, doctors were able to prove that taking the drug in the 48-hour time frame eased the symptoms of the the flu in a shorter amount of time than the placebo patients. Although Xofluza eased the symptoms in patients, there were no distinct differences in those who took another flu drug instead. Like many other drugs, there are side effects, the two most common for Xofluza are diarrhea and bronchitis.

 

Xofluza is now available across the U.S for $150 without insurance and as low as $30 with. Although a new drug is in place to help with the treatment of the Flu, Dr. Scott Gottlieb who was in charge of the study urges everyone who has not done so, to get the flu shot, since no treatment is a replacement to the vaccine.

 

It is recommended to receive the vaccine by the end of October of each year. Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices, local pharmacies, and some workplaces. Although imperfect, those who still get the flu after the vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized or die from the illness.

 

Although the new drug has only been present in the health care system for a short period of time, it now has opened doors for other pharmaceutical companies to look into creating another form of Xofluza at a cheaper price, that can be easily distributed to those suffering from the illness.