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. 

What You Should Know About Low Cholesterol

The recommended safe level of low cholesterol for a person is evaluated with information about the level of low density lipoprotein as compared to the total cholesterol level, which includes the levels for low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein. A low cholesterol level is usually less than 200 milligrams per deciliter for an adult. The high density lipoprotein is reported as being capable of removing the low density lipoprotein from blood.

 

Problems from Low Density Lipoprotein

 

A person can prevent some health problems with a diet for controlling the level of low density lipoprotein. The low density lipoprotein is reported to cause plaque to form on the inside wall of a blood vessel, such as a vein. There is low density lipoprotein in many foods that have saturated fats, such as cheese, ground beef and pork sausage.

 

Total Cholesterol Levels

 

Some health problems are associated with high cholesterol levels, such as a stroke and high blood pressure. The problems are usually caused by high levels of low density lipoprotein and other factors. The trans fats from foods, such as biscuits, and triglycerides from starchy foods, such as corn and sweet peas, can also cause high blood pressure. High density lipoprotein can form a chemical bond with low density lipoprotein and can remove low density lipoprotein from blood and can carry low density lipoprotein to the liver for excretion out of the body.

 

Foods for Lowering the Level of Low Density Lipoprotein

 

There is high density lipoprotein in some foods that have unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, peanut butter and avocados. Some foods that are high in fiber, such as kidney beans, rice and apples, or that have omega-3 fatty acids, such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, are also beneficial for lowering the level of low density lipoprotein.

 

Recommendations for Low Cholesterol Levels

 

A high cholesterol level is 240 milligrams or more per deciliter for an adult. A person should recognize a problem if the total cholesterol level is 200 – 240 milligrams per deciliter. The levels for low density lipoprotein should be controlled because there must be enough fiber, high density lipoprotein and omega-3 fatty acids in a diet to safely control problems from low density lipoprotein.

                                          

Reshaping Your Body

 

Diet and exercise will always be vital when it comes to reshaping the body. There are no magic pills or shortcuts when it comes to physical transformation. However, there are ways to increase results by exercising and eating smarter. This doesn’t mean that one must starve themselves or exercise for several long and relentless hours. It completely has to do with knowing how one’s body functions in order to maximize the full potential of physical results.

 

Psychology of Eating

 

A person who is reshaping their body should aim to change things internally first. So, this is where diet comes in. Most people believe they must cut out all bad foods and go on a veggie only diet. This can create tension, stress, and resistance which makes the process much more unenjoyable. A person can still take pleasure from eating foods that tastes good. The main idea is that one shouldn’t over indulge. Moderation is key. So, prepackaging meals and measuring comes in handy. Some people don’t realize how many calories they have consumed until they hit the scale. However, preventative measures can be taken by measuring one’s food as habit. Eventually, it will become second nature.

 

To trick the mind, one can use smaller bowls and plates when they eat. Usually, people like to fill their bowls and plates up to feel like they are getting a full serving. However, if a person is using big plates and bowls, their serving sizes will be larger than usual and they will be consuming more calories than recommended. So, to keep meal sizes proportionate, one can replace their dishes with smaller plates.

 

Eat More Anti-Inflammatory

 

Some may get very annoyed by their lack of results when it comes to reshaping their body. Many experience water weight and feeling bloated, which can hide the actual physical results. To see more progress, consuming anti-inflammatory foods will be beneficial. Adding turmeric to meals as well as the consumption of ginger will suppress bloating.

 

Smarter Exercise with HIIT

 

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and has become quite popular. HIIT requires intervals of fast pace exercise followed by slow pace exercise. 30 minutes of HIIT can burn much more calories opposed to a full hour of regular cardio. It allows the heart to work a litter harder, increasing one’s overall metabolic rate.

Simple Foods to Eat to Boost Your Health

SMOOTHIES & MORE

Being healthy does not have to be complicated. There are so many food regimens trying to outshine each other as the go-to, better diets for ideal health. This can cause one to shy away from making dietary commitments. The good news is there are simple ways to enhance your well-being.

The key is to incorporate more foods that provide a proper balance of specific nutrients, to give your body what it needs. Here are a few simple foods you can add to your diet that will give you a health boost.

Oats.

Indeed a great way to jump-start your day. Oats are packed with minerals like zinc and copper and is the best source of fiber. It helps lower cholesterol and assist greatly in weight loss without leaving you feeling hungry.

Salmon.

Also known as “brain food” because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content, salmon does wonders for reducing depression and boost mood. Also consider this; it’s a good alternative to add variety to your menu and a good substitute for meat, which can provide healthier long term benefits.

Almond.

Almond is a good snacking companion, especially if you are embarking on a fitness journey. It is rich in magnesium and vitamin B, which are essentials for energy and a strong metabolism.

Apple.

The saying “an apple a day” has truth to it. The benefits range from weight loss, lowering diabetes, to even reducing the risk of heart disease. Being rich in antioxidants, it is your trump card to good health.

Kale

Tired of lettuce? Try kale, with it’s energy-boosting attribute. Its richness in amino acids are excellent for mental lift. Kale makes for a great side dish and one of the many greens to consider to increase your veggie intake.

Avocado

The darling of the health conscious, with good reason. Avocado is a great source of magnesium, potassium and vitamins B, C, E and K, a regulator for good bone health and maintenance. It’s also excellent for pregnant women to consume, as its high folate content is important to babies development.

These foods can help make eating healthy more manageable. They are inexpensive and the benefits definitely pay off. Good eating habits, paired with good exercise routines and proper hydration will yield favorable results for optimum health. Cheers.

 

Do I have a Cold or is it the Flu?

Do I Have a Cold or is it the Flu_

Fall is here and with the change in weather comes the start of cold and flu season. The common cold and the flu both share some of the same symptoms that make it hard to tell which one you’re coming down with.

Both the flu and a cold are viral infections spread through coming in contact with germs from someone already infected. A cold and the flu both develop in stages where certain symptoms start to emerge as the infection develops in your body.

Common cold symptoms

The cold usually starts off with a sore throat which goes away within a day or two. A runny nose, congestion, a cough, and nasal symptoms appear by the fourth or fifth day of feeling under the weather. A runny nose will also start within the first few days and as the cold progresses, the mucus will become thicker and darker. While a fever isn’t common with a cold in adults, children will sometimes run a low to mild fever for a day or two.

Flu symptoms

Symptoms for the flu are much more severe than the symptoms of a cold. You can come down with the flu within a couple days of coming into contact with the virus. The symptoms usually come on quickly and are much more severe than the symptoms of a common cold. Within the first couple days of coming into contact with the virus, you will start to develop a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and a cough.

Most flu symptoms start to improve over the course of 2 – 5 days, but it is not uncommon for the flu to leave someone feeling run down for longer periods of time.

Is it a cold or the flu?

One of the best ways to determine if it’s a cold or the flu is to check your temperature. While the flu mimics a cold, the flu will also come with a fever above 100 degrees. You will also feel completely miserable and have body and muscle aches as well. The common cold rarely comes with a fever above 100 degrees and while you will be tired and a little run down, you will still have enough energy to go about your day.

Remember, a cold or the flu are spread through direct contact with surfaces where cold or flu germs have been spread. This happens through sneezing or coughing. Person-to-person transmission can also happen when someone touches their nose or mouth and then touches someone or something else.

Cold and flu germs can live up to 24 hours on any hard surface. Make sure you are washing your hands and not touching your mouth, eyes, and nose during cold and flu season. Not only will this keep germs from spreading, but it will help keep you healthy too!

Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions: Lyme Disease

What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by four main species of bacteria. The disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC. However, research suggests that around 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

Prevention
The best way to prevent getting infected with Lyme disease is to wooded, bushy areas with long grass. Other ways to prevent Lyme disease include:

  • Cover exposed skin when spending time in wooded or grassy areas
  • Use an insect repellent with a DEET concentration of 20 percent or higher
  • Check for ticks after spending time outdoors
  • Remove ticks as soon as possible with a pair of tweezers and apply antiseptic to the bite area

Signs
Signs of Lyme disease vary case by case and usually appear in stages. Within a month after being affected, a rash will appear at the spot of the tick bite. The rash, known as erythema migrans, usually forms in a bulls-eye pattern; a clear center with a ring of redness surrounding it. This is typically not a painful or itchy rash. Often, flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills and fatigue accompany the rash.

Symptoms
If Lyme goes untreated, then further symptoms will appear. These can include erythema migrans spreading to other parts of your body; severe joint pain usually localized to knees but can shift to other joints; and neurological problems, such as meningitis, Bell’s palsy, impaired muscle movement, and numbness or weakness in your limbs.

Less common symptoms that develop after several weeks include heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat, that typically lasts a few days or weeks; eye inflammation; liver inflammation; and severe fatigue.

Solutions
Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. Oral antibiotics are the standard solution for early-stage Lyme disease. If the disease involves your nervous system, a doctor will often recommend intravenous antibiotics for 14-28 days. The sooner treatment begins, the faster and more complete the recovery will be. After treatment, some people still experience some Lyme symptoms, like muscle weakness and fatigue. Known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, the cause of this is unknown and is not helped with further use of antibiotics.

Tips for Senior Workers Seeking Healthcare Coverage

pexels-photo-220723Selecting health coverage at work can seem tedious and overwhelming, this applies in particular to older members of the workforce.

Mature workers in their 50s and 60s require additional time and space to select the right employer-sponsored health coverage so that they can access the most significant benefits for their individual needs. Out-of-pocket costs are on the rise, as well the average deductible for single coverage.

According to Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust survey, single coverage increased from $1,318 to $1,478 in just a year’s time. There are four steps experts recommend to those who are interested in making smart choices and keeping costs down.

Keep health bills down and maintain the quality of your health care. You can do this by choosing a plan that will support your regular prescription needs and your common medical needs. People tend to require more care as they age, which is why it’s so important that adults 65+ gain access to plans that will help to care for chronic and preexisting conditions known to older Americans. A good tip is to calculate last year’s expenditure, including copayments and co-insurance, as well as estimating non-emergency costs, then deduce how much you’re likely to spend in the months ahead.

Take your time and choose the right plan for you. When deductibles were lower, choosing which insurance plan is the right for you was easier for the public. The climbing costs of deductibles have changed the marketplace, so insurance seekers should feel comfortable with taking the time to choose plans that speak to needs and spending limits. According to the 2016 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey, 58 percent of baby boomers spent less than 30 minutes browsing options during the last open enrollment period. More than that, most seniors (93 percent) of user choose the same benefits as they did the year before, simply because of familiarity.

The issue with continuing with service that doesn’t serve you well is that won’t necessarily translate to you having the best deal. Also, it’s important to note that holding on to the same plan doesn’t necessarily guarantee you access to the same coverage and same doctors. The detailing plans and physicians within a network can change from year to year. It’s a fact that many understand their health plans far less than we believe they do. With that in mind, many don’t have the patience, time, or attention span to truly scour all coverage options, plans, and health savings accounts –but you have to set aside at least an hour or two of your time. Online calculators should narrow options.

Comb through the list of out-of-pocket expenses and compare premiums. National surveys indicated that the premiums for PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) were much higher than the high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) sold by large employers, which averaged $84 per month for single coverage and $321 for family coverage. Kep in mind that lower premium costs often translates to higher deductibles. Out-of-pocket limits can be exorbitant, especially when HDHPs are concerned. PPO deductibles tend to be two to three times smaller, but deciding what’s right for you is a matter of comparing coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles, and premiums.

Find out if you can save money using a Flexible Saving Account (FSA), Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), or a Health Saving Account (HSA). Both employees and employers can contribute to HSA accounts when employees have high-deductible health plans. All investment gains, deposits, and withdrawals are tax-free, and ownership of the account means that you can carry it with you for years. HSAs are the best option when you have significant health care costs, and HRAs (exclusively funded by employers) can offset health insurance premiums and reduce expenses incurred ahead of meeting the deductible. Deductibles, copayments, co-insurance, dental bills, vision expenses, and additional out-of-pocket costs can be paid using an HRA.

Employees can fund FSA up to $2,600 in 2017, with there being no tax deduction. With that said contributions are pre-tax, and distributions are untaxed. A high deductible plan isn’t needed to secure an FSA.

 

3 Reasons Why We Need Global Health Education

3 REASONS WHY WE NEED GLOBAL HEALTH EDUCATION | Roger stanmoreWhile medical school is a common path for many, few of those students focus on global health. Between the sentiment that we should focus on the problems in our own country to the desire to focus more on the entrepreneurial side, there are many people who are forgoing global health and choosing more “local” paths.

We should not be creating this dichotomy between local and global health. The definition of global health offered by the Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health states that global health involves health issues that transcend national boundaries and might best be solved by cooperative measures. Here are a few reasons we need to emphasize global health in medical programs:

  1. Our world is interconnected

With people constantly traveling internationally, national boundaries don’t carry as much significance as they used to when it comes to disease control. Take the Ebola outbreak, for example. In the U.S, we largely ignored the outbreak until it reached our soil. It is not surprisingly that with the amount of air travel that occurs, a disease cannot be contained nationally or regionally. Technology is making the world smaller and the medical profession needs to accommodate this. Future physicians should all get basic epidemiology training so that they can recognize suspected disease outbreaks.

 

2) Doing residencies abroad can make better doctors

Global health professionals have as much to learn from the communities in which they work as the communities do from them. Doing clinical work abroad requires a level of humility. Another important part of the global health field is cultural sensitivity. Doctors learn the importance of respecting patients of different cultures and working alongside people of different cultures. In addition, much of the work done abroad is in areas with low resources. Research shows that medical students and residents who work in settings with limited resources may become more capable physicians. When a medical student is removed from a technology-intensive environment, he or she learns to think outside the box. If all physicians were trained this way, there would likely be a decrease in the excessive medical testing that is a part of our rapidly increasing healthcare expenditure.

 

3) More and more medical students are interested in global health today.

While it may seem as if medical students don’t have an interest in global health, the truth is they do. It just isn’t as available to them. Many students are taking away years for international fellowships. A number of these students seek out jobs abroad after graduating from residency. But international work is very competitive. Doctors Without Borders, for example, is extremely difficult to get into. There needs to be more emphasis on global health in medical school so that students can fulfill their passions of helping people all around the world.

We should not separate global health issues and U.S. health issues. With the frequency of airplane travel, epidemics do not often stay within particular areas. Furthermore, we should help people everywhere rather than just people who are close to us in proximity because this is the right thing to do. It is important that medical schools and residencies put more emphasis on global health so that people throughout the world can have better healthcare.

The Vivid Pros and Cons of Freestanding Emergency Departments

Roger Stanmore MD, JDFreestanding emergency departments (FSED)  have proven to be the hot, new emergency care model, brandishing all of the expensive, life-saving equipment of traditional emergency rooms.

With that said, some are concerned that these 24-hour facilities, which offer on-site laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging, concentrate their services in high-income areas, predominantly servicing those with private insurance, rather than those with Medicaid.

Nothing stands still. Not time, not emergency care medicine. The surge and gains with regards to freestanding urgent care centers and emergency departments is a mark of progression, signifying the fact that the future of emergency care medicine is happening now. The economics of emergency medicine make sense for a number of communities, making emergency and ambulatory care more accessible.

Freestanding EDs are defined by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as “a facility that is structurally separate and distinct from a hospital and provides emergency care.” There are two types of ownerships for these facilities: hospital outpatient departments (HOPD), which are owned and operated by medical centers, and independent freestanding EDs (IFECs).

Sources suggest that there are 10,000 urgent care centers, 5,000 hospital emergency departments, 5,000 ambulatory surgery centers, 2,800 retail clinics, and the 500 freestanding EDs. These functions have been enabled by technology and consumer preference, and ideally, both insured and uninsured parents are immunized from overbearing out-of-pocket debt that’s usually due following a visit to the standard emergency department. More than a visit costing about a third of emergency room costs, the wait time is also significantly shorter.

The freestanding ED has gained momentum in recent years, and this can be contributed to the fact that these facilities tend to be open 24/7. They’re equipped with CT scanners, labs, x-rays machines, and sophisticated diagnostic equipment than urgent care centers.

With that said, these facilities have been accused of precluding poor and non-white communities. These standalone ER facilities tend to be located in affluent, growing communities with high incomes, and often welcomes cherry-picked patients with private insurance. FSED have roused concern and criticism due to the fact that this particular type of care access blooms in areas that has higher annual spending, fewer minorities, and diminished need for emergency care access.

“In the states with the most freestanding EDs, it seems less likely that they will expand access to underserved populations,” corresponding author Jeremiah Schuur, M.D., vice chair, Clinical Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in a statement, “as they are preferentially located in areas where people had more available health services, higher rates of private health insurance, lower rates of Medicaid and higher median incomes.”

The lowered rates of Medicaid users can be attributed to the fact that only HOPDs are able to bill for Medicare patients, influencing the cause for independent facilities to seek out those who are privately insured. On the most part, FSEDs exist in Texas, Colorado, and other states that don’t require a certificate of need.

Expanding nationwide, freestanding emergency departments are equipped to care for those in need of cardiovascular stress test as well as anything from chest pain, asthma attacks, allergic reactions, seizures, gastrointestinal bleeding, infections, and other conditions traditionally cared for at hospitals. FSED have helped to decrease admission at emergency rooms and lower costs nationally. Some researcher suggest that this effort could be furthered if FSED partnered with medical home models and feel the need for community-based medical care.