May is Food Allergy Action Month

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

A food allergy occurs when the body has a specific immune response to certain foods. Sometimes, the body’s response can be severe or life-threatening. Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern, according to the CDC. It is also estimated that between 4 and 6 percent of U.S. children are affected by some type of food allergy.

Among other things, Food Allergy Action Month was created to spread awareness about what food allergies are, how to recognize them and how to help someone who is having an allergic reaction. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to food include the following:

• A tingling sensation in the mouth
• Swelling of the lips, tongue and throat
• Itching, hives and a rash throughout the body
• Cramping, diarrhea or vomiting
• Wheezing and difficulty breathing
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Loss of consciousness


Despite CDC Recommendation, Many Adults Still Refusing Shingles Vaccine

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Shingles is an extremely common—and painful—viral infection, affecting 1 out of every 3 Americans at some point in their life. It’s caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, so anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. While scientists are unsure what causes the virus to awaken at a later date, they do know that the only way to reduce the risk of getting shingles is to get vaccinated.

Recommended Shingles Vaccine
The CDC recommends that adults use a new vaccine called Shingrix instead of Zostavax, which had been the recommended vaccine from 2006-2017. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common shingles complication. In studies, two doses of Shingrix were found to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and PHN.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of Shingrix, two to six months apart. People who have had shingles in the past, have received the Zostavax vaccine or are unsure if they have had chickenpox should also receive the Shingrix vaccine, according to CDC recommendations.

To find doctor’s offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

Researchers Link New Danger to E-cigarettes

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The use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes has grown exponentially in recent years—especially among young adults in the United States.

The liquid used in e-cigarettes contains nicotine and other harmful chemicals, including heavy metals and carcinogens. The liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes comes in thousands of different flavors, many of which are appealing—and harmful—to teenagers.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego found that popular fruity vape flavors appear to contain the highest levels of cancer-causing materials. The study recommends that parents warn teens of the dangers associated with e-cigarettes to discourage usage.

5 Healthy Snacks to Satisfy Your Workday Hunger

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Snacking can be an important part of a healthy diet. Healthy snacks can provide midday energy boosts and fuel for exercising, and can help decrease your hunger and the odds of overeating at mealtime. Try incorporating these five simple snacks into your meal plan.

  1. Almonds—1.5 ounces of almonds (about 35 nuts) provides enough fiber, protein and good fats to keep you feeling full until your next me
  2. Greek yogurt parfait—1 cup of Greek yogurt with berries is a great way to get protein, calcium, fiber and antioxidants.
  3. Blueberries and mini Babybel cheese—1 cup of fresh blueberries has only 80 calories. When paired with two mini Babybel cheeses, you get a high dose of fiber, antioxidants, protein and calcium.
  4. Apple and ½ cup roasted chickpeas—Apples are fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-fr What’s more? One medium- sized apple has less than 100 calories. When paired with ½ cup roasted chickpeas, you get a snack that provides protein, and good fats and carbs.
  5. Veggies with hummus—Snacking on raw, fiber-rich vegetables during the day can help keep you full between meals. For extra protein, eat your veggies with hummus. Be sure to check the serving size on your hummus container to keep your portion size in check.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.

© 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Do You Know the Signs of a Kidney Stone?

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A recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal found that the prevalence of kidney stones has increased more than fourfold in women and more than twofold in men over the past 30 years.

If treated in a timely fashion, kidney stones usually don’t cause permanent damage. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain so severe that you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
  • Pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever or chills
  • Blood in your urine
  • Difficulty passing urine

Save Lives: Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people are killed and over 1,000 others are injured every day in accidents that involve a distracted driver in the United States. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic.

Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road, and can greatly increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. While there is little you can do to control other people’s driving, there is plenty you can do to reduce your own distractions.

There are three main types of distractions:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

By practicing safe driving techniques, you can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in an auto accident. In addition to avoiding distractions, it’s important to be aware of other drivers around you and make adjustments to your driving accordingly.

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

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Eating a well-balanced diet is a key component in living a long, healthy life. Many Americans think that eating healthy means they have to empty their wallets, which isn’t necessarily the truth. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind next time you’re grocery shopping:

  1. Make a weekly meal plan. Before you go to the store, think about what meals and snacks you want for the week. Read recipes thoroughly so you can make an accurate list of everything you need, reducing the risk that you’ll have to run back to the store later in the week.
  2. Create a list—and stick to it. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy before you go to the store. When you get to the store, don’t buy anything besides what’s on the list.
  3. Plan where you’re going to shop. Many grocery stores run sales or offer coupons on various healthy foods. Check out the ads and plan your grocery list around what’s on sale.
  4. Shop seasonally. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Click here for a list of what’s in season.
  5. Cook at home as often as possible. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Go back to the basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that  your family enjoys.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.

© 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Sleep and Your Health

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

The National Sleep Foundation sponsors Sleep Awareness Week every March to educate Americans on the importance of sleep to their overall health and well-being. The CDC has linked insufficient sleep to the development of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. In honor of Sleep Awareness Week occurring this March 11-17, try adopting the following five healthy sleep habits:

  1. Keep a regular schedule—try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends.
  2. Create a good sleep environment, including comfortable room temperature, minimal noise and sufficient darkness.
  3. Keep track of habits that help you fall asleep, like relaxing music or reading before bed. Repeat those activities each night.
  4. Avoid caffeine and nicotine three to four hours before going to bed.
  5. Limit alcohol before bed, as it can reduce sleep quality.

2 Chronic Conditions That Can Cause Cancer

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New research suggests that nearly 6 percent of cancers (792,600 cancer cases) can be at least partly attributed to obesity and diabetes. The study, which was published online on The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology website, states that diabetes and a high body mass index (greater than 25) are both associated with a higher risk of certain cancers and are increasing in prevalence.

Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes and obesity can be prevented with proper lifestyle changes, which include the following:

  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet and limiting your intake of unhealthy foods
  • Managing your stress
  • Regularly checking your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Visiting your doctor for routine preventive care

Implementing the above prevention tips can help you remain healthy and avoid developing chronic conditions like obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which, in turn, can help lower your risk of  certain cancers. For more information, please review the full-text version of the study.


This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.

© 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Avocados: A Legitimately Healthy Food Craze

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According to Telsey Advisory Group, a firm focused on evaluating the consumer market, avocado consumption in the United States has quadrupled since 2000. And, unlike many other health food crazes, avocados are actually good for you.

While it is true that avocados contain more calories and fat than other fruits or vegetables (one-fifth of an avocado contains 50 calories and 4.5 grams of fat), they also have many health benefits. Avocados contain heart- healthy unsaturated fat, which can help lower cholesterol. In addition, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that are part of a healthy diet.