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Archive for May, 2013

Juvenile Arthritis: Putting Treatment into Action

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Living with arthritis can be hard at any age, but especially for young people and children. Children with juvenile arthritis will need to learn a language of terms most of their friends and even most adult will never have to learn. Although there is no known cause for the disease and no known cure, there are many treatments available.  Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating. Medications used to treat JA can be divided into two groups:

Treatment for juvenile arthritis

While there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, there are treatments to make things more bearable

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, corticosteroids and analgesics that help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and a newer subset known as biologic response modifiers (biologics). These medicines can alter the course of the disease, put it into remission and prevent joint damage.

Having a child with juvenile arthritis will affect your entire family. It’s very important to maintain a sense normalcy. Stay with normal routines for all of the children, allowing for some changes for the child with JA. Remember that how you deal with it determines how they deal with their condition.

Remember that JA is a part of your child’s life and your life; it’s not their whole life.

Children don’t have the language and coping skills that an adult will have, so you will have to help them develop the words and actions to express emotions about having JA.

Juvenile arthritis is a family diagnosis. You will experience many emotions too and that’s okay. You may experience sadness, guilt and anger at the situation. That is natural. Work through those feelings.

If there are other siblings in family, don’t forget that they are kids too. They will have deep feelings and questions, and even fears, too. They have needs and need a parent as much as the child with JA.

As a parent, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. If you’re married, take time away as a couple.

If you are living with arthritis at any age, LA Medical has many solutions available to make life easier and more comfortable. From safety equipment to power wheelchairs, see us first.

 

Sources: pediatriconcall.com, the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation

The Aches and Pains of Juvenile Arthritis

Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

The basics of juvenile arthritis

Arthritis is just the aches an stiffness that comes with getting old…right? Wrong. May is National Arthritis Month and a great time to talk about juvenile arthritis or JA.

Juvenile arthritis causes pain

Juvenile arthritis currently has no known cause or cure.

How common is JA? In 2007, the CDC estimated that 294,000 U.S. children under age 18 (or 1 in 250 children) have been diagnosed with arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.

What is arthritis? It’s not just one disease or ailment. Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement. This applies to all age groups.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 (or 18) and younger.  What causes JA? No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop the disease. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition, which means the combination of genes a child receives from family members may cause the onset of arthritis when triggered by other factors.

Did you know that JA numbers differ by state?  Childhood arthritis-related diagnoses range from a low of 500 children in Wyoming to a high of 38,000 children right here in California.

In addition, children diagnosed with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions account for approximately 827,000 doctor visits each year, including an average of 83,000 emergency department room visits.

Arthritis is painful for people of any age, but can be exceptionally hard for kids. If you know a young person with juvenile arthritis who would benefit from home medical equipment, please visit our online store or visit LA Medical’s showroom today.

We’ll talk more about the juvenile arthritis in our next post.

Source: pediatriconcall.com, the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation

Sleep and Exercise: The Little Known Link

Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

The key to sleep is…exercise?

Happy Better Sleep Month from LA Medical! How do exercise and better sleep go together? The connection is closer than you may think. The National Sleep Foundation has recently come out with a study saying a good workout during the day may be just what the doctor ordered for getting a good night’s sleep.

Exercise for sleep!

Regular exercise can help you get more quality sleep.

This new research is really old news for many of us. Those of us that played outside as kids (or sent our own kids outside to play) knew this all along. Remember when mom or dad would say “they’ll sleep well tonight” when watching their kids run around, play or swim? They were right. As kids we got plenty of exercise and had naturally better sleep.

Here’s what the study said: A sample of 1,000 adults ranging in age from 23 to 60 years took part in a 2013 Sleep in America poll. According to the study, physical activity was considered activity that exceeded 10 minutes in the past seven days, and participants were separated into four different levels of activity:

  • Vigorous: activities which require hard physical effort like running, cycling, swimming or competitive sports.
  • Moderate: activities which require more effort than normal like weight lifting, tai chi, and yoga.
  • Light activity: walking.
  • No activity: those who completed no activity.

The results showed that exercisers documented better sleep than non-exercisers despite sleeping the same length of time every night in every exercise category. Non-exercisers also reported being sleepier than exercisers during the day. The results point to one major takeaway: exercise brings better sleep.

Even if you are not able to run, swim or be really physically active, there are many things you can do. Even if you use a walker or cane, walking is great exercise. Start slow and be careful, but do as much as you can. There are many yoga, tai chi and other programs available that can be done from a seated position.

The only thing you have to lose is more sleep!

Sleep: The Why’s and How’s of Getting More

Posted on: May 21st, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

How better sleep impacts your health

May is Better Sleep Month and LA Medical wants to stress how important it is to your overall health and how you can get better sleep.

Get 6-8 hours of sleep

The amount of sleep you get has an affect on many aspects of your health.

Here are some tips from LA Medical and Health Magazine on the many proven benefits to getting good sleep:

  • It can improve memory
  • It can help you live longer
  • It curbs inflammation
  • It spurs creativity
  • It helps athletic performance
  • It can improve your school (and work) grades
  • It sharpens your attention span
  • It helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • It lowers stress
  • It can help you avoid accidents
  • It reduces depression

No that you know why you need better sleep, here are some pointers from the Better Sleep Council on how to get a good night’s rest:

  • Make it a priority by keeping a consistent bedtime and wake schedule, including weekends.
  • Create a bedtime routine that is relaxing. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.
  • Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best possible sleep.
  • Evaluate your mattress and pillow to ensure proper comfort and support. If your mattress is five to seven years old, it may be time for a new one.
  • Keep work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom.
  • Exercise regularly, but complete workouts at least two hours before bedtime.
  • If you sleep with a partner, your mattress should allow each of you enough space to move easily. A queen mattress is ideal for two people sharing a mattress.
  • Avoid eating, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime. These can lead to poor sleep, keep you awake or disrupt sleep later in the night.

If incontinence is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, LA Medical specializes in products to help you sleep more comfortably. See our online store for a full list of products and supplies to not only help you sleep better, but live an overall better life!

Stroke Awareness Month and How it Affects You- Part 3-

Posted on: May 16th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

How to React to Someone Having a Stroke

May is Stroke Awareness Month. So far this month we have talked about stroke statistics, who is at risk and how to lower your risk. LA Medical wants to know if you would know what to look for and what to do if you think someone is having a stroke?

Time is damage with strokes

FAST can help prevent damage and keep the person having a stroke stable until help arrives

Here’s an easy way to remember it: think FAST!

F-A-S-T =

Face- Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms- Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?

Speech- Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred?

Time- If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately!

Here are some tips to keep you and them safe:

  • Stay with the person you are calling about.
  • Encourage them to sit down to avoid falls and more injury.
  • If they are driving a car or operating any kid of device (lawnmower, power tools, etc) help them to stop the activity as safely and quickly as possible.
  • Stay calm and try to keep them calm.
  • Check the time and when the symptoms first appeared or that you noticed them. If given within three hours of the first symptom, there is an FDA-approved clot-buster medication that may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. Time is damage when it comes to stroke.

Strokes can and do happen to everyone in spite of age, physical health and race. We hope this month’s blog posts regarding various aspects of strokes have helped shed light on this topic.

If you or someone you love has had a stroke and needs home medical equipment, contact LA Medical today. We have a wide selection of personal care and incontinence products, canes, walkers and wheelchairs to make the recovery easier. Visit us today.

Sources: Stroke.org and the CDC

Stroke Risk Factors You Can and Can’t Control

Posted on: May 14th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

How can you lower your risk for stroke?

Our second post in our Stroke Awareness Month blog series examines the risk factors and what kind of health and medical conditions play a role in causing strokes.

Know your stroke risk factors

Risk factors for stroke vary by age and race

Knowing the causes  and understanding your risk factors are the keys in dealing with stroke. They can affect anyone at any age, but certain people are more at risk for reasons they can and cannot control.

Here are some quick facts we presented in our first post about strokes. Review these to help determine your risk of stroke.

  • Although strokes can and do occur at any age, risk increases with age.
  • After the age of 55, risk doubles for every decade a person is alive.
  • Although  risk increases with age, in 2009, 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke were under the age of 65.
  • Women suffer more each year than men, mainly because women live longer than men and stroke occurs more often at older ages.
  • African Americans have twice the risk  when compared to Caucasians.
  • Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islanders also have higher risk than Caucasians.

Now let’s talk about the risk factors you can control.

Studies show that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking are key risk factors. About half of Americans (49 percent) have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk , including:

  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight and obese
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Please, do everything you can to stay healthy . If you or someone you love has had a stroke and needs home medical equipment, contact LA Medical today. We have a wide selection of bath safety equipment and products to help increase mobility.

Stroke Awareness Month and How it Affects You

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Be Ready and Prepared for Strokes

Did you know that every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke?  What do you know about them? May is Stroke Awareness Month, and LA Medical wants you to be aware of the magnitude of them in our state and our country and share why you may be at risk for a stroke.

Strokes can cause brain damage

Strokes are affect thousands of Americans every year in the U.S.

Here are some alarming statistics on strokes in the United States;

  • On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.
  • They cost the United States an estimated $38.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications and missed days of work.
  • They is a leading cause of serious long-term disability
  • About 610,000 of strokes are first or new incidences. One in four of these are recurrent.
  • Ischemic strokes happen when blood clots block the blood vessels to the brain. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 of every 19 deaths.

Knowing the causes of a stroke and understanding your risk factors are the keys in dealing with stroke. Strokes can affect anyone at any age, but certain people are more at risk for reasons they can and cannot control. What are some of the factors you can’t control?

  • Age– Stroke increases with age. After the age of 55, stroke risk doubles for every decade a person is alive.
  • Gender- Women suffer more strokes each year than men, mainly because women live longer than men and stroke occurs more often at older ages.
  • Race- African Americans have twice the risk when compared to Caucasians. Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islanders also have higher risk than Caucasians.
  • Family history- If a family member has had a stroke, everyone in the family has a higher risk.
  • Previous stroke or TIA- About 5 to 14 percent of the people who have one this year will have a second one.

If you or someone you love has had a stroke and needs home medical equipment, contact LA Medical today. We have a wide selection of bath safety equipment and products to help increase mobility.

 

Caring for our Best Caregivers

Posted on: May 7th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Mothers have always been the caregivers in most homes. Kissing scrapes and scratches, giving baths and tending to sick kids was caretaking at its best. Many of us are seeing our moms age and the roll of caregiver has reversed and gone to us. Since Mother’s Day is in May, we think it’s the perfect time to talk about caring for our aging moms and dads. Here are some caregiving tips and advice to make the process easier.

Caring for caregivers

Our parents were the best caregivers for us, so now it’s time to return the favor!

  • Don’t forget to take care of yourself. You are no good to them if you are mentally and physically worn out or let you own health slide. Watch out for signs of depression. Watching the people you love age and fail is hard to deal with. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
  • Trust your instincts. If any part of the caring process or even what the professional says doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  • Educate yourself on any conditions that are impacting your parents. The internet is a great source for information, but don’t trust very source blindly.
  • Seek help. Just because you are the caregiver doesn’t mean you need to be the only caregiver. Reach out for help with other family and local agencies.
  • Talk to other caregivers. Talk about the unique trials of caregiving and swap stories. You’ll learn more and learn that you’re not alone.
  • Don’t hurt yourself or your back. There are many lifts and other equipment available to take the heavy lifting from you. Talk to the experts at LA Medical and let us help you.
  • If friends and family ask how you’re doing, tell them and tell them honestly. They may not have any idea what’s going on in the situation and may be willing to help.
  • Speaking of helping, if people are willing to help, let them. You’ll get a break and your mother or father will get to see a new face too.

If you need assistance in providing care for your aging parents LA Medical is here to help, so don’t hesitate in contacting us. We would like to wish an early Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and the best caregivers around!