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Archive for September, 2012

Escaping the Pressure

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

There is a medical condition lurking within millions of Americans. Some of them know they have it, while others are completely unaware. This condition can be very serious as it can cause heart disease from the narrower of arteries throughout the body. Also called hypertension, it is also more commonly known as high blood pressure. It is not known how many people currently have hypertension in the United States as it can go unnoticed for years, but the estimation is in the millions based on the obesity rate of the country.

If left untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. However there are a few steps that can be taken to ensure that your blood pressure stays low or becomes lower if it is already too high.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to develop hypertension. Even losing a few pounds dramatically decreases the risk of developing this condition.

Exercise regularly. Daily activity, even light activity like walking, can decrease the chance of getting high blood pressure by 20-50 percent.

Drink alcohol in moderation. Too much beer, wine and liquor can hike up your blood pressure if you’re having more than two drinks per day.

Calm down. Reducing stress is key to keeping your blood pressure low. Give yourself some free time and downsize your to-do list to keep yourself stress free.

Eat the right foods. Foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium will balance your blood pressure, and fish oils and garlic have also shown promise in lowering blood pressure.

If you or a loved one currently has high blood pressure, the above tips can help to reduce it to non-dangerous levels. Also, LA Medical Retail carries a wide selection of stethoscopes for you to keep tabs on your blood pressure and other health signs at home for a healthier life.

Checking Up

Posted on: September 25th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

No one really enjoys going to the doctor, right?  Even for the most routine things like a yearly health exam there’s always the possibility that you’ll receive some sort of bad news. However, seeing your doctor once a year for a full health exam can prevent the bad news from even happening or catching it early enough that whatever is can be cured. That’s why yearly exams, or physicals, are so important.

Most physicals are the same, although they do differentiate a little bit based on the age and overall health of the individual. Most physicals begin with a questionnaire to establish previous medical history and family medical history to see if you are at risk for hereditary conditions or diseases. The doctor will also ask about your lifestyle such as how active you are, how much rest you get per night and how well you eat and what you drink.

A hands-on physical examination will also occur during which the doctor will check the major organs of the body to make sure there are no anomalies that can be felt. This will always include a blood pressure reading since high blood pressure can affect people of all ages. If the doctor orders it or you request it, you can also have blood drawn to be tested for cholesterol levels or other conditions you may be at risk for.

To conclude the visit, your doctor may talk to you about any lifestyle changes they would recommend if your blood pressure or cholesterol were too high, for example. They also may prescribe medications for any conditions they may have uncovered during the physical.

The changes they recommend are up to you to institute as your doctor cannot meet with you every day to make sure you are keeping up with them. LA Medical Retail is committed to the total health of our customers, and we’d like to see around for many years to come so get on a yearly cycle of exams starting this month!

Getting the Best of Obesity

Posted on: September 20th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Even though it would appear that the United States is in the midst of a health and fitness revolution, the numbers don’t lie: we are still an obese nation. Over one third of our nation’s adults are obese (35.7 percent) and around 15 percent of the nation’s children are obese. While some of the population is slimming down thanks to more widespread dieting knowledge and more available fitness resources, others are still eating unhealthily and staying glued to the couch.

There are ways to beat obesity, but they aren’t easy. The pounds and inches may have gone on without much effort, but it will take a well-rounded diet, a comprehensive fitness plan and mental grit to shed them.

Your new diet will be the most important aspect of beating obesity. For starters, more fresh fruits and vegetables, less processed foods. A good general tip is to stick to the outer edge of the grocery store where the fruit, vegetables, lean meats and other items are kept. The aisles house an amorphous blob of unhealthy processed and fatty foods that you need to stop eating. Also, try eating five or six smaller meals per day instead of three larger ones to keep your metabolism going, and never, EVER, skip breakfast.

Your exercise plan should start off slowly if it’s been awhile. Alternate between cardio and weight training during the week and use the weekends to recover. Don’t push yourself too hard because an injury could sideline you and you’ll get nowhere. Ramp up the intensity as your fitness improves and remember that warming up and cooling down are essential to staying healthy.

Finally, stay mentally strong and keep your eyes on the prize. Losing weight takes time, and losing a lot of weight takes longer. Set weekly goals that work toward completing a monthly goal to keep yourself motivated.

No matter how obese or out of shape you think you are, you can take steps to living a more enjoyable life, and LA Medical Retail is behind you every step of the way. Start your journey today!

Give me Some (Healthy) Skin!

Posted on: September 18th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Our skin is the largest organ in our body and is the first line of defense for anything that my harm us from the outside. Why then do we continually ignore its condition or treat it like it’s the red-headed step child of our body? I can remember when I was a little kid my mother would constantly be on my case about rubbing lotion on my dry little cheeks, especially during the winter time.

She still does now even though I’m much older and can take care of my own skin, thank you very much. However, most people still don’t know that there are some very easy ways to help keep your skin healthy without spending tons of money on complex moisturizers and other products.

  • If you’re a smoker, cut it out. If you’re not, don’t start. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in your skin preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching it. It also damages collagen and elastin which give your skin strength and elasticity.
  • Protect yourself on sunny days. Make sure your putting on a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF that you apply every two hours you are outside. If you can, avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the most intense.
  • Treat your skin gently. This can be anything from limiting your time in the shower and avoiding strong soaps to patting yourself dry and moisturizing dry skin.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, low amounts of fat and processed foods.
  • Keep your stress in check. Set reasonable limits, limit your to-do lists and give yourself some time to enjoy life.


These tips can help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy and in great shape. Don’t forget for any of your home medical needs, LA Medical Retail is only a phone call away!

Take it To the Next Level

Posted on: September 13th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

You’ve already taken steps to make sure that your life in your wheelchair hasn’t been one of limited activity or boredom. You stay as active as you can, going for long rides and exercising a couple of times a week. But you find yourself wanting to do more, wanting to train for something in particular, something to get your competitive juices flowing.

There are a lot of sports available in the Los Angeles area and throughout California for those in wheelchairs. The sports offered include basketball, football, track and field, tennis, golf, volleyball, skiing and rugby.

The United States Tennis Association provides instruction for those wanting to get involved with recreational or competitive tennis through their Southern California branch located here in Los Angeles. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association also has a league in southern California called the Southern California Wheelchair Ball Association with teams in Cypress, Northridge, San Diego and more.

For those interested in other sports, the Far West Wheelchair Athletic Association offers track and field, swimming, archery and more. The Far West region consists of California, Nevada and Arizona and events take place both locally and on the regional level.

Becoming a part of one of these organizations is beneficial on a couple levels. For one, it gets you into competition and keeps you in good shape. It also allows you to interact with other wheelchair athletes to learn and hear about their experiences, resulting in lifelong friendships and contacts. We hope you join one of these groups and begin to experience the benefits they have to offer.

For when you’re not on the court, LA Medical Retail carries high quality wheelchairs to get you from place to place comfortably and reliably. Now get out there and get competitive!

Overcoming Obstacles

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Anything resulting in the loss of a limb is not only a tragic event physically, but it can also emotionally compromise someone. Amputees and those with physical disabilities have to deal with stigmas and stares and people who cannot see past their physical disability. For a lot of amputees and paraplegics this can result in depression or feeling resentful and angry at those without disabilities. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is no better example of those that didn’t allow their outlook on life to be damaged by an amputation than the 2012 United States Paralympics team that just finished competing in London.

These are extraordinary people who have rebounded from potentially devastating situations to rise above them and compete for their country doing what they love to do. For Jessica Long, it’s swimming. After having both of her lower legs amputated when she was 18 months old, Jessica participated in many sports before becoming a swimming star and winning 6 gold medals and setting three world records at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

A car accident at age 7 that left her as a paraplegic didn’t stop Jessica Galli from becoming a world class track and field athlete. Lower leg amputations didn’t keep Jim Bob Bizzell, Casey Tibbs, Brain Frasure and Jerome Singleton from winning the gold in the 4×100 T 42-26 relay in Beijing.

Although these Paralympians may seem larger than life, they’ve all dealt with the pain and tragedy that comes with an amputation or physical disability. They know what it’s like to be told they wouldn’t be able to do certain things ever again. The difference with Paralympians is that they found something that they were able to do and made it their passion. If you or a loved one has an amputation or physical disability, these should be the people they look up to.

Everyone at LA Medical Retail would like to congratulate the 2012 U.S. Paralympics team on a great competition, and thank them for representing our country so well!

Safety First

Posted on: September 8th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

If I were to tell that there was a demographic in the United States that cost the U.S. health system $347 billion ever year, what would your guess be? Probably seniors since the medical conditions most seniors suffer from are well documented. However, you would be wrong. The demographic that incurs 20.6 million injuries per year…is children.

This week is National Childhood Injury Prevention Week, and it is held to reinforce the need for safety improvements at home. We often worry so much about our children’s safety outside the home that we don’t recognize errors in the safety of our own homes. Of those 20.6 million children injured each year, 90 percent of them are at home, and 10.6 million doctor’s visits were made last year for young children’s injuries.

So what can we do to keep our children safe at home? Start with overall safety measures like making sure fire alarms are working, testing the water temperature so that your children don’t get burned, making sure all windows are secure and that tripping and falling hazards (such as stairs) are safeguarded against by securing them or putting up a child gate.

Next should be locking away anything that could be hazardous for curious young children. Any cleaning chemicals or other items that are poisonous if consumed should put up high where children can’t reach them. The same should be done for all plastic trash and grocery bags as these are a suffocating danger.

You should also make sure to cover unused electrical outlets, avoid having a large amount of small objects out in the open (choking hazard) and follow other standard child-proofing procedures. When it comes to the safety of you young children you can never be too careful when it comes to their safety.

Participate in National Childhood Injury Prevention Week along with us at LA Medical Retail and keep your family healthy and safe!

The Benefits of Being Nice

Posted on: September 7th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Parents preach to their children when they are younger to play nice, share and of course the Golden Rule: treat others how you would like to be treated. But who knew the whole time your parents were telling to you to be nice to others that they were actually helping shape you for a healthier life?

Numerous studies have shown that being kind to others can not only positively affect your mood, but it can improve your overall health and well-being. The positive emotions you feel after, say, helping your elderly neighbor take out the trash reverse any feelings of depression, isolation or hostility. This decreases your stress levels and makes for a healthier immune system as well. With that in mind, here are ways that being nice is good for your health, and are things you can practice throughout September as part of National Courtesy Month.

  • Being nice leads people to like you. People thrive around other people, not in isolation. When others seeing you doing nice things they associate you with good deeds, causing them to want to be around you more.
  • Kindness promotes confidence and optimism. Being a pessimist has been shown to negatively affect your health. By being kind and feeling the emotional highs after doing something good, you’re out look becomes more optimistic and boosts your confidence.
  • Good health starts with you. Ever heard the phrase “It is better to give than to receive?” Doing good for others, whether it’s giving someone a smile or holding a door for a stranger, makes you feel better. A healthier you starts with your perception of yourself. 

Get out there and do it! It doesn’t matter if the task is large or small: giving compliments, giving blood, volunteering at food kitchen or saying “hi” to a stranger can boost your positive feelings and improve your overall health. Help us at LA Medical Retail celebrate National Courtesy Month by being nice to everyone you see and meet!