This is the “Health” description


Four facts about artery health

(BPT) – Did you know that you could be slowly getting sicker with artery blockage, even if you are symptom free and not diagnosed with heart disease?

Your gender, age and whether you have diabetes all affect the prevalence of certain kinds of peripheral vascular disease, which is a condition that affects the blood vessels, according to a new study led by researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center. This study analyzed data from 3.6 million patients who were screened by Life Line Screening.

This insight could help doctors have a better understanding of who is at risk for which diseases.

Younger women: Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral artery disease is a narrowing of the blood vessels to the limbs, especially the lower limbs, caused by an increase of fatty deposits in the arterial walls. Most patients describe numbness or pain in the calf, hip, thigh or buttock, but up to 40 percent of people who are diagnosed do not feel any symptoms. Though often associated with older age groups, the NYU study found a distinction in younger age groups: The disease is actually more prevalent in younger women than younger men to a dramatic degree. Screening for peripheral artery disease can be as simple as comparing blood pressure in your ankle as your arm, known as an ankle brachial index.

Older men: Carotid artery stenosis
A narrowing of the arteries that carries blood to the brain is known as carotid artery stenosis, usually caused by an increase of fatty deposits. Most commonly, symptoms are not apparent until the patient has a stroke. The NYU study found a more pronounced and higher prevalence of this blockage in older men than in older women. If a patient does opt for screening, a non-invasive method is recommended, such as one offered by Life Line Screening, which uses ultrasound to visualize the arteries.

Men and women: Abdominal aortic aneurysms
The aorta is a major blood supply line to your body, running from your heart to your abdomen. When an aneurysm occurs, an area in this vital artery become enlarged and could eventually grow and rupture. These ruptures are serious, as they are life threatening and difficult to operate on. Causes are not known, but researchers have found a correlation with tobacco use, a hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure. Most people are unaware of having this condition, but a major symptom is a feeling of pulsation from the navel. According to the NYU study, prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysms was similar across all age groups. Annual screening can be done with a simple ultrasound.

Diabetes patients: Peripheral vascular disease
Patients with diabetes are often screened for heart disease, just because of the great risk factors present in these patients. But the NYU study results indicate that doctors might want to consider the onset of peripheral vascular disease in their diabetes patients as well. Patients with diabetes were at a very high risk of developing peripheral vascular disease in the lower extremities or the carotid artery — even if they were not diagnosed with heart disease, according to the study.

Future study is needed to see if screening could lead to better health for diabetes patients, says senior investigator Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger, an associate professor in the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology at NYU Langone.

“We know that if you have carotid artery stenosis, you’re at an increased risk for stroke, and we know that if you have lower extremity arterial disease, you’re at increased risk for significant impairment in your daily activities like walking, and even amputation,” he says. “What these studies show is the power of large data sets to provide insight into the prevalence of and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

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Why you need vitamin E – and how to get your daily dose

(BPT) – You get your fill of vitamins C and D by eating oranges and soaking in a little sun each day, which is good for your body and mind. Small habits like these can have a big impact on your overall health and help you feel your best each day. However, vitamins C and D aren’t the only vitamins your body needs to thrive. Take vitamin E, for example. This overlooked vitamin is essential to our well-being and yet, many people don’t know anything about it. Let’s take a moment to learn about the super vitamin, and what you can do to get your daily intake.

What are the benefits of vitamin E?

Vitamin E, like vitamin C, is an antioxidant and therefore helps improve immunity levels. Here are the possible benefits of vitamin E, and how it can specifically enhance your health. 

* Fights summer colds: Winter isn’t the only time you can catch a cold. In the summer, vitamin E can boost your immunity to prevent sickness during the warmer months. 

* Extends cell life: What’s the secret to aging well? While there are many factors that can influence aging, vitamin E can extend cell life to keep skin in great shape for years. 

* Repairs damaged cells: With vitamin E oil, you can also repair damaged cells. Specifically, vitamin E can be used to treat sunburns and scars. 

* May reduce risk of heart disease and cancer: There’s still much to be discovered about vitamin E. Currently, doctors and scientists are testing whether vitamin E can reduce the risk of serious health conditions, like heart disease and cancer. 

* Reduces risk of cataracts and other eye issues: Maintain eye health and prevent serious eye diseases by getting your daily intake of vitamin E. 

* May slow down cognitive decline: Studies have found that a higher intake of vitamin E in older individuals can reduce cognitive decline and can even slow down the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

How can I get more vitamin E in my diet?

The US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E in individuals 14 years and older is 15 mg. Instead of taking supplements to get the recommended daily dosage, however, save your money and add vitamin-rich foods to your diet. “The simplest way to increase your vitamin E intake is to follow a healthy diet that focuses on eating vitamin E-rich vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and lean forms of protein,” says Lyssie Lakatos, a registered dietitian. Lakatos lists these five foods as examples of what you can include in your vitamin E-rich meal plan.

* Pistachios: A protein-packed snack, pistachios are also a rich source of vitamin E you can take on-the-go. 

* Spinach: When preparing salads, toss some spinach into the mix. This dark, leafy green is also high in calcium. 

* Eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs contain 10 times more vitamin E than ordinary eggs, which is equal to 25 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin E. They are also packed with omega-3s, vitamins like B12 and D, and contain 25 percent less saturated fat than other eggs. 

* Avocados: Add an avocado to your salad or make guacamole to get the benefits of this healthy, vitamin E-rich fruit. 

* Olives: Whether you like to eat olives as a snack or use olive oil when cooking, you can expect to increase your vitamin E intake by including olives in your diet. 

Making Vitamin-E focused meals is simple and delicious. Here’s one recipe you can try at home today!



*2 Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs

*1 bag spinach

*½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

*6 pieces of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped

*1 avocado, sliced

*salt & pepper to taste

*½ cup whole grain croutons (optional)


*1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt)

*1 tablespoon water

*1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

*Salt and pepper to taste


*In a large bowl combine spinach, onion and tomatoes. 

*Place all of your salad dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake until completely combined.

*Top spinach mixture with two hard-cooked eggs per bowl, sliced avocado and croutons. 

*Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

All vitamins, from vitamin C to vitamin E, are essential to your overall health. Visit Eggland’s Best to learn more about the nutritional benefits of vitamin E. 

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Summer Excitement

(BPT) – By Sarah H., Living With Psoriasis

For most people, summer means warm weather, blossoming trees, and vacation. But as a young college student living with psoriasis, it brings on a whole different set of experiences and challenges. Even though it affects approximately 7.5 million Americans, many people do not know what psoriasis is. 

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation, redness, and itching of the skin, and is usually found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. So for me, warmer weather, short sleeves, and light dresses means my skin is more exposed than during the winter when I am buried under layers 

Psoriasis is a disease that causes an overproduction of cells that appear on the skin’s surface. These cells form thick scales on the skin, which can be dry, cracked, and red – and can be itchy and painful. Psoriasis doesn’t just “go away” – it is a chronic skin condition. 

Although there isn’t a cure for psoriasis, I have learned from my doctor that there are many ways to manage the skin symptoms. Lifestyle adjustments may also offer some relief, such as maintaining a healthy weight, minimizing stress, and following a healthy diet.  

In addition to making lifestyle changes, I’ve always worked closely with my doctor to find a treatment plan that works for me. Over the years, I’ve tried different medications, but never stuck to them for one reason or another. Eventually, my doctor and I decided I try Otezla® (apremilast; 30 mg tablets), a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate. Otezla is a pill – not a cream or an injection. Otezla was something that could fit into my daily routine. Based on my medical history, my doctor told me that the Prescribing Information for Otezla had no requirement for routine lab monitoring. As a busy college student, this was helpful! 

My doctor also made it clear that it may take some time to see if Otezla works for me. After four months, I saw an improvement in my plaque psoriasis symptoms and was glad that we decided to try Otezla. 

Otezla may not work for everyone. Before I started taking Otezla, my doctor had also discussed with me potential side effects. According to my doctor, people who are allergic to any of its components should not take Otezla. Otezla is associated with serious side effects like depression, weight decrease, and interacting with other medicines that can make Otezla less effective. The most common side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache. My doctor also told me to read additional information in a brochure I received about Otezla, which also had the Important Safety Information and Full Prescribing Information for Otezla. 

While my psoriasis certainly presents me with challenges, I do my best not to let it keep me from doing the things that I love. My advice for others living with plaque psoriasis is to educate yourself about the disease and work with a doctor to develop a management plan that works for you. Summer is a welcomed time, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it! 


You must not take Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla 

Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression and suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.  

Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla 

Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.  

Side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache.  

These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.  

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.  

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-332-1088. 

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information. 

Otezla® is a registered trademark of Celgene Corporation. 

© 2016 Celgene Corporation 08/16 USII-APR160044(1) 

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Silent stroke is not so silent

(BPT) – Silent strokes, ones that happen in your brain without you even knowing, can lead to full-blown strokes as well as cognitive impairment and dementia.

The most common depiction of a stroke is a person unable to move on one side of their body with slurred speech, but studies show that many stroke victims had silent strokes previously, that, as the name indicates, went unnoticed. The damage caused by the silent stroke, however, can be seen through advanced imaging techniques.

Since no one is suggesting that everyone get an annual brain scan, the next best thing is to understand the risk factors for silent stroke and control those. Two of those risk factors, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and blockages in the carotid arteries are simple to screen for and have effective treatments.

“The upside to all this is that there are steps one can take to prevent silent stroke,” says Dr. Andrew Manganaro, a vascular surgeon and chief medical officer for Life Line Screening. “What it takes is a measure of awareness, routine screening and, if needed, treatment to prevent the blood clots that can lead to this long-term damage to the brain.”

Silent strokes are 30 to 40 percent more prevalent in women than men and the results can be serious. Impaired movement, muscle weakness, depression, memory problems and cognitive problems are all associated with silent stroke.

“So when atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure or carotid blockage is present in a patient, that should be an indicator to her physician that she’s at risk of a silent stroke,” Manganaro says.

The key to preventing stroke is to get a full picture of your vascular health, so you can begin treatment and monitoring. Manganaro recommends routine screenings for the damaged arteries that indicate vascular problems. Testing for high blood pressure, carotid blockages and the presence of atrial fibrillation, along with peripheral arterial disease screening and abdominal aortic aneurysm testing are safe and accurate.

“These screenings can help you and your doctor get a full picture of your vascular health,” says Manganaro.

To set up a screening appointment in your community that is affordable and convenient, visit

To cut your risk of stroke, treating hypertension with medication and lifestyle changes can help, Manganaro said. Control your weight, reduce your consumption of red meat, eat more plant foods and talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program. If you smoke, make it a priority to quit. Smokers have double the risk of stroke than non-smokers, because smoking can lead to excessive blood clotting.

If you or your family members have noticed recent changes to your memory facility or mobility, consult with your doctor. In some patients, these have been symptoms of a silent stroke, but in any case it will benefit you to find the root cause and begin treatment.

Does silent stroke lurk in your future?
The first step in preventing stroke is knowing which conditions can enhance your risk. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor.

Do you have a history of high blood pressure?

Do you smoke?

Do you have an irregular heartbeat?

Do you have hypertension?

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A four-point plan for joint health

(BPT) – Whether it’s a brand-new Bentley or a classic 1970 Mustang, most people have a car they dream about. If they’re lucky enough to own it someday, you better believe they’re going to take care of it. Regular maintenance is an essential part of keeping a vehicle in tip-top shape. The same is true of the human body, particularly the joints.

“Prevention is the only thing that actually prolongs the health of your joints, similar to the care of a machine,” says Matt Johnson, health and performance expert and president of On Target Living. “If you want something to last as long as possible, and to cost as little as possible over the long run, you have to do maintenance, checkups, and change the oil. Taking care of your body is no different. If you do, your joints can last until you’re 80, 90, or even 100 without tendon or ligament issues.”

Johnson notes that joint issues are some of the most common concerns he sees in his practice. These issues can happen at any age, although many start to manifest between the ages of 40 and 50, after years of wear and tear cause pain and inflammation. 

Johnson’s mantra: If you take care of the body it will take care of you. To help people of any age maintain joint health, he provides this four-point joint maintenance plan.

1. Rest
The first part of healing the joints is to rest the joints. Massage, meditation, light yoga, stretching, and cool baths are great ways to rest the joints. Additionally, quality sleep each night is essential. (Quick tip: Take an epsom salt bath once a week.)

2. Healing Nutrients
Studies show that omega-3 fats can help support joint health by limiting inflammation after exercise and boosting hormones that help the body heal. Take a daily, high-quality omega-3 supplement like Nordic Naturals that has been third-party tested for purity, and is known for its great, non-fishy taste.

3. Superfoods
Superfood herbs and spices help the body get maximum nutrients in minimal amounts. For example, curcumin and bromelain are both great for helping joint pain and repair. Remember, limited processing of the product is ideal for optimal absorption. 

4. Exercise and body alignment
You can’t have optimal joint function if the body is out of alignment. There are five key joint checkpoints: ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and neck. This is where you start to achieve perfect posture, after which you can focus on strengthening the large muscles.

“The best age is always now,” says Johnson. “Start as soon as possible and think about it like you take care of a car or nice jewelry. Joints are meant to last as long as you live. The key is to take care of them with quality nutrition, normal exercise, and adequate rest.”

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How technology is simplifying relief of chronic pain

(BPT) – Doctors hate seeing patients suffering from chronic pain, and not just because their instinct is immediately to want to help their patients to feel better. One of the primary challenges doctors confront is that even though chronic pain is common, it can be extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. The condition can be debilitating for patients and frustrating for the doctors trying to help them.

“Chronic pain is a multi-faceted condition,” says Dr. Ahmed Raslan, assistant professor of Neurological Surgery at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland. “The causes are varied, and each person experiences chronic pain differently. The sheer number of variables in play can make effective treatment extremely complex. It’s not unusual for doctors and patients to try multiple types and combinations of treatment before finding something that provides at least partial relief, and that process can take months and even years.”

More than 11 percent of American adults suffer from chronic pain, according to a recent National Institutes of Health study. People who live with chronic pain report numerous negative effects on their lives, including damage to personal relationships, decreased productivity at work, disruption of their daily routine and even depression. The Institute of Medicine has estimated the medical costs and lost productivity associated with chronic pain could cost as much as $635 billion per year.

“Many chronic pain patients face barriers to effective treatment, including the need for continual doctor visits to adjust aspects of their treatment, and difficulty traveling to meet with their physicians,” Dr. Raslan says. “Conditions such as intractable back pain, nerve injury, neck pain, pain after hernia operations, spinal cord injury pain, post herpetic neuralgia, complex regional pain syndrome, and pain after failed back surgery can force patients to try multiple treatments. Once they’ve tried a number of options and still have not achieved the desired comfort they may become a candidate for spinal cord stimulation therapy.”

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy treats chronic pain by interrupting pain signals before they reach the brain. According to Dr. Raslan, the therapy works by “flooding the gates of the spinal cord so it cannot allow unpleasant pain signals to pass through the gates. Depending on how fast and regular the therapy is being delivered, patients may feel a slight tingling sensation in the area of the body associated with their pain, and in most cases patients report that sensation replaces the feeling of pain, which corresponds to pain relief.”

Though SCS has been around for years, recent advances from St. Jude Medical have made the proven effective treatment simpler for patients and doctors to use successfully. St. Jude Medical recently launched the Proclaim Elite SCS System, which is the most advanced SCS system the company has ever developed, and which includes a new, innovative platform that enables patients to adjust therapy with an Apple iPod Touch mobile device. The application is easy to use which the company hopes will enhance patient experience and delivery optimal results for patients.

The company does note that implantation of a spinal cord stimulation system can involve risk, such as painful stimulation, loss of pain relief and surgical risks, such as paralysis, during the implantation procedure. Patients should talk to their physician to determine if spinal cord stimulation therapy is right for them and their particular pain condition.

For many patients the therapy can deliver pain relief leading to dramatic improvement in quality of life. “Before I tried SCS, managing my chronic pain was very difficult,” says Ronald Seeling, 50, of Warren, Oregon, a patient of Dr. Raslan. “For many years, I was taking a lot of pain medication and my quality of life was diminished. I could barely walk and couldn’t do things around the house or visit with my grandkids.”

Seeling says SCS has provided him with more predictable and consistent chronic pain relief.

“Best of all, I was able to ‘test drive’ the treatment before I committed to it,” Seeling says. “Just a few months later, my pain is under control and I’m able to attend the grandkids’ ball games and birthday parties and even help with the dishes.”

“I’m encouraged by the convenience and freedom that my patients experience with this cutting-edge treatment,” Dr. Raslan says. “It has helped people like Ronald take control of their chronic pain and experience a better quality of life.”

Raslan cautions that SCS may not be right for everyone, so talk to your doctor about treatment options for your chronic pain. For more information, visit, a site provided by St. Jude Medical, a leader in technologies to treat chronic pain.

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Avoid bed bugs while traveling with these hotel tips

(BPT) – The summer travel season is upon us, offering an opportunity for families across the U.S. to reconnect. The goal is simple — to make memories that last a lifetime. Bedbugs are the very last souvenir you want your family to bring home. A recent study conducted by the University of Kentucky found that bedbug reporting on online review sites and social media have a “…big impact on purchasing decisions.” It’s no surprise that both leisure and business travelers would avoid a bedbug-infested hotel.

General managers across the country are feeling the financial bite from bedbugs. According to the same University of Kentucky study previously mentioned, a single online review that mentions bedbugs lowers hotel room value by $38 for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers.

What exactly is the state of the current hotel-related bedbug problem? Recent studies found that about 74 percent of pest professionals reported problems with bedbugs in hotel rooms, a truly staggering figure. This rise in bedbugs is coupled with a changing public perception, with 43 percent of people now expressing the attitude that bedbugs are a concern.

An occurrence of bedbugs can also massively impact a hotel’s brand reputation. Exposure to legal action continues to rise jeopardizing hotel shareholder equity. Just recently, a Virginia woman sought $5 million in a lawsuit over bedbugs. A federal judge ruled in her favor and a jury will hear her case.

So, how can a hotelier and a hotel guest both prevent becoming the latest Trip Advisor bedbug-related casualty? Well, there are a number of things that each can do to win this battle. Let’s take a closer look.

* Education is key. Research proves that two-thirds of travelers surveyed by the University of Kentucky last year couldn’t identify a bedbug. Hotel staff and individual travelers are encouraged to be able to recognize a bedbug in its different life stages as well as signs of bedbugs in and around beds.

* Forward thinking in bedbug prevention has savvy hoteliers and travelers investigating the root of the problem. Savvy hoteliers are designing hotel rooms to be more bedbug resistant.

* Hoteliers and homeowners are adopting preventative measures for their mattresses and/or box springs such as an active mattress liner that kill bedbugs. ActiveGuard(R) Mattress Liners go on like a fitted sheet and can save time, money and energy preventing bedbug infestations from establishing.

While recent reports may show that bedbugs are winning, the war is not over. Embracing technology, educating oneself and taking a preventative approach to this blood-sucking pest can lead to victory for both hoteliers and travelers.

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Calling all small employers: Affordable, quality health coverage for your employees

(BPT) – Research shows that for small employers, being able to offer quality health insurance for employees is a high priority. Even so, you may be wondering about how to control costs while offering quality coverage, which policies to choose for your employees and how to enroll.

Understanding the ins and outs of insurance can be challenging. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace is here to help. Created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the SHOP Marketplace offers small employers (generally, those with 1 to 50 employees) an easy way to find affordable, high-quality private health and dental insurance.

Why might the SHOP Marketplace be a good option for you?

One of the biggest advantages of offering your employees quality health coverage through the SHOP Marketplace is that you could be eligible for a tax credit to make offering coverage more affordable. Employers with fewer than 25 employees may be eligible for a tax credit worth up to 50 percent of their premium contribution.

Another key feature of the SHOP Marketplace is the choice and flexibility it offers for employers. You can choose one health insurance plan, or you can give your employees the option to select from a variety of plans. You can also decide what types of coverage to offer (health, dental, or both) and whether to offer coverage to dependents. It’s your choice — you decide what works for the needs of your employees and your bottom line.

Still, you might have questions about how to navigate the process. The good news is you can get help. Registered agents and brokers are available to advise you about the quality options available. They’ll even walk you through the actual enrollment process itself.

But here’s the best news of all. To find out more about the benefits of the SHOP Marketplace, all you have to do is go visit


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