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Archive for November, 2014

Cold vs. Flu – We All Lose

Posted on: November 27th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Many individuals confuse cold and flu symptoms. Understanding the differences is important for seeking proper treatment.

Many individuals confuse cold and flu symptoms. Understanding the differences is important for seeking proper treatment.

It’s that dreaded time of year again – cold and flu season. It is estimated that up to 20% of people get the season flu. With a contagious bug like that going around, it is important to take special precautions to guard yourself again illness. Cold and flu symptoms can be very similar which makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. Check out some of the common symptoms for each so you know when it is time to contact your doctor.

Cold Symptoms

  • Sore throat, nasal symptoms, runny nose and congestion along with a cough
  • Fever is uncommon, but a slight fever is possible. Children are more likely to have a fever.
  • Symptoms lasting about a week
  • If symptoms don’t improve in a week, may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics

Flu Symptoms

  • Usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly
  • Sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough
  • Certain flues like swine flu are associated with vomiting and diarrhea

When do I call the doctor?

  • A persistent fever lasting more than 3 days could be bacterial infection
  • Painful swallowing, severe pain could mean strep throat
  • Persistent coughing that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks could be bronchitis and needs to be treated with an antibiotic
  • Persistent congestion and headaches – if you have pain around the eyes and face with thick nasal discharge after a week, may have bacterial infection or sinus infection

Preventing Cold and Flu

The best way to prevent getting sick this flu season is to maintain proper hygiene and precautionary care. Stay away from those who are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms. Wash your hands frequently by rubbing hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. There are also flu vaccines available as well as antiviral medications to help prevent the spread of disease.

Children and the elderly are most at risk for illness throughout this season. LA Medical cares about your loved ones and wants them to stay safe and healthy. We carry a variety of in home products to help you care for them this winter and the rest of the year.

From Turkey to Pie: How to Manage Your Diabetes During the Holidays

Posted on: November 23rd, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
The holiday season is a challenging time for those that require a special diet. But there are different tricks to enjoy the meal without harming yourself.

The holiday season is a challenging time for those that require a special diet. It is important to continue to monitor what you eat during heavy holiday meals to stay healthy and balanced.                                          

The holiday season is drawing near and we are getting excited! This time of year is full of fun activities and time with loved ones but it can also be a hard time to manage your health. Traditional dishes often times fall outside of healthy dietary guidelines, especially if you have diabetes. But you don’t have to give up all of your holiday favorites completely. It is however important to make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. Follow these tips at your next holiday gathering.

  • Look out for heavy holiday favorites like hams with glaze or side dishes swimming in butter, cheese and sour cream. Choose skinless turkey without the gravy or other lean meats instead.
  • Look out for salt. Many holiday favorites are prepared with foods rich in sodium. Choose vegetables instead to keep your sodium intake down.
  • If you’re at a buffet, fill your plate and move to another room away from the food so you won’t be tempted.
  • Keep an eye out for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter and dressings. If you are preparing a dish to bring to a party, make sure you fix something that is healthy and fits into your diet.
  • Skip the desserts like pie and cake that are high in fat, cholesterol and sugar. Choose some fruit instead!
  • Focus on friends and family instead of food. Take a walk together after your meal or join in on some dancing.

Preparation is the most important way to manage your diabetes during the holiday festivities. Stick to a healthy meal plan but allow yourself to enjoy a few traditional favorites. Get ready to celebrate the holidays by stocking up on supplies from LA Medical.  We have a selection of mobility and daily living products to keep you comfortable!

Keys to Unlocking an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: Part 2

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Alzheimer's disease goes beyond simple memory loss. Check out the additional signs and symptoms to look for in your loved ones as they age.

Alzheimer’s disease goes beyond simple memory loss. Check out the additional signs and symptoms to look for in your loved ones as they age.

In our last blog, we looked at some of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and we want to spread the word about this disease in hopes that more people will be diagnosed early. That is the best way to combat the physical and mental conditions that arise with Alzheimer’s. Most of us have memory lapses every day but individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease experience memory loss that interferes with their daily life. Watch for these signs in the actions of your loved one if you suspect that they may be developing Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Difficulty completing familiar tasks – People with Alzheimer’s often finds it hard to complete daily tasks at home, work or leisure. They may have trouble driving to a familiar location, remembering the rules of a game or managing a simple task at work.
  2. Mood and personality changes – They may become confused, anxious or depressed. When they are out of their comfort zone, they may be easily upset or suspicious.
  3. Confusion with time – People with Alzheimer’s will often lose track of seasons, dates and the passage of time. They often have problems understanding something if it is not happening at the present. It is common if they forget where they are or how they got to that place.
  4. Misplacing things – A person with Alzheimer’s may start to put things in unusual places and they cannot retrace their steps to figure out where it is. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing and become very paranoid.

LA Medical is trying to spread the word about Alzheimer’s disease in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Our in-home products  may help your loved one maintain their lifestyle despite any conditions they may have. We also work with pharmacies and care facilities to help offer your loved ones the best care possible. Contact us today!

Keys to Unlocking an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: Part 1

Posted on: November 16th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Alzheimer's Disease symptoms go beyond small memory lapses. There are a number of things to look for to detect the disease early.

Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms go beyond small memory lapses. There are a number of things to look for to detect the disease early.

Many of us have small memory lapses every day. We forget where we put our keys, what time our dentist appointment is or if we were supposed to call someone back. But individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease experience memory loss that interrupts their daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that causes a slow decline of the memory along with thinking and reasoning skills. If you think that you or your loved one may be suffering from Alzheimer’s watch for some of these warning signs.

  1. Memory loss – This is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s. This is especially true for recently learned information, important dates or events and asking for the same information over and over again.
  2. Challenges in planning or problem solving – Some individuals may have trouble developing and following a plan or working with numbers. They may have difficulty concentrating and take longer to do things than they have before.
  3. New problems with words – People with Alzheimer’s sometimes have trouble following a conversation. They may not know how to continue a conversation or may begin to repeat themselves. It is also common to struggle with vocabulary and finding the right words.
  4. Withdrawl from activities – Because of changes they are experiencing, many individuals with Alzheimer’s will remove themselves from social activities, hobbies or projects. They may also have problems keeping up with a previous interest or forget how to complete a favorite hobby.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and we are trying to get the word out. If you notice these symptoms in you or your loved one, don’t ignore them.

LA Medical works with pharmacies and care facilities to keep your loved ones independent and active despite their condition. If your loved one is having problems maintaining a healthy lifestyle in their own home, contact us about different in home products that will help them stay safe and independent in their homes. Watch for our next blog with more signs of Alzheimer’s!

All In the Family; Knowing your Family Medical History

Posted on: November 13th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Having a knowledge of your family history is instrumental in early detection for many diseases and disorders.

Having a knowledge of your family history is instrumental in early detection for many diseases and disorders.

According to a study by the CDC, 96 percent of Americans believe that knowing their family medical history was important but only one third have taken the initiative to gather their family’s medical information.

Families have many gene, environment and lifestyle factors in common which can give clues to which medical conditions may run in the family. Many common disorders are based on these factors. A family medical history can help identify if you or a loved one are at a higher risk for common disorders like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and diabetes. Healthcare providers may recommend more frequent screenings or checkups for people that have a serious medical condition that runs in their family. Knowing your family’s medical history can give them a heads up to start taking steps to reduce their risk.

A complete family history will include information from three generations of relatives, including children, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins. This includes current age, sex, relationship and ethnic background. You should also gather the age they were at a disease diagnosis along with their age and cause of death for deceased family members.

Gathering your family’s medical history may throw up some red flags like:

  • A family member got a disease earlier in life than the expectancy
  • Several close family members have the same disease
  • The disease is uncommon for that gender
  • Certain combinations of disease in the family like diabetes and heart disease

Having a disease in your family does not mean that you will get it, but it is important to recognize the risk and keep an eye out. It is important to understand your family history so you can know what you are at a higher risk for and take measures to prevent the disease. That may mean additional medical testing or a lifestyle change like quitting smoking or getting more exercise. If you find that you are at risk or are already living with a disease, LA Medical deals with various pharmacies and care facilities. Contact us about ways we can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Staying Stable When Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer's can be stressful and wearing on any caretaker.

Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be stressful and wearing on any caretaker.

The memory loss that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease can be disruptive to daily life for not only the Alzheimer’s patient, but their family caregivers as well. Keep some of these tips in mind to maintain your loved one’s sense of independence and dignity as their disease progresses.

Reduce frustrations

Individuals with Alzheimer’s may be easily agitated when something that used to be simple becomes difficult or impossible. To limit these challenges:

  • Establish a routine so each day is predictable. Schedule the most difficult tasks for the time of day when your loved one tends to be the most agreeable.
  • When you ask your loved one to complete a task, do it one step at a time. Also, expect things to take longer than they used to.
  • Limit their options so it is easier to decide then provide simple instructions to complete the task

Create a safe environment

Your loved one’s risk of injury increases as their judgment and problem-solving skills are impaired due to Alzheimer’s disease. To keep them safe:

  • Prevent falls with handrails or grab bars in areas that are easy for a loved one to trip or fall in.
  • Keep things like matches and lighters out of reach from your loved one to prevent the risk of a fire.
  • Install locks on cabinets that contain dangerous materials like medicine, alcohol, guns or toxic substances.

Be flexible

Each Alzheimer’s case will need to be handled differently. Tailor our tips to fit the individual needs of your loved one. Patience and flexibility are the key to providing care and care.

November is both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month. LA Medical wants to recognize the lives affected by Alzheimer’s – both patients and caregivers. There are many resources available to you for additional tips and support when you are caring for a sick loved one. Check out our online catalog for different in home products that can keep your loved one safe and independent.

Keeping An Eye Out: How Diabetes Can Increase Your Risk for Eye Disease

Posted on: November 6th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Individuals with diabetes are more at risk for certain eye diseases. It is important to be mindful of this and take care of your vision.

Individuals with diabetes are more at risk for certain eye diseases. It is important to be mindful of this and take care of your vision.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. If you have diabetes and are experiencing blurriness of your vision, a new pair of glasses may not be the solution. If your blood sugar gets too high, it may cause the eye to swell and cause temporary problems. However, blurred vision can also be the symptom of a more serious eye problem associated with your diabetes.

Cataracts

A cataract is when a normally clear lens of your eye becomes clouded or foggy. Anyone can get a cataract, but people with diabetes often experience eye problems at an early age than someone who does not have diabetes. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred or glared vision. To see clearly again, doctors perform cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear one.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the result of fluid inside the eye not draining properly. This leads to pressure inside the eye that can damage nervous and blood vessels. Individuals with diabetes are more likely to get an uncommon form of glaucoma called neovascular glaucoma. In this form, new blood vessels grow on the iris that block the normal flow of fluid from the eye.

Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is due to the damage of small vessels and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. These fragile vessels can bleed and eventually cause a clot to form that scars and causes detachment of the retina. Intensely controlling your blood sugar can greatly reduce your risk of developing this serious eye problem.

Annual eye exams are extremely important if you have diabetes. If you have diabetes, contact your doctor if you see black spots, flashes of light, and “holes” in your vision or blurred vision. Diabetic eye disease is only one of the side effects of diabetes. If you are currently suffering, LA Medical has walking aids and personal care products to help relieve both physical and mental stress on your body.

Out of Breath? Stay Active!

Posted on: November 4th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
One of the best ways to treat your COPD is staying active.

One of the best ways to treat your COPD is staying active.

Have you ever heard the phrase “the less you do, the less you are able to do”? This little saying rings true when it comes to exercise – especially if you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Weak muscles need more oxygen, so if you don’t keep your strength, daily tasks like cooking or shopping will keep you out of breath. But regular exercise can change that. The more you condition your muscles, the easier daily activities become and you can maintain independence. Try a few of these simple exercises to get started!

  • Go for a walk – You can walk anywhere – outside, in a large building, on a treadmill. If it seems daunting, add a minute each day to build up your stamina.
  • Calf raises – Adding leg work to your workout routine will make it easier to walk farther and faster. For a calf raise, stand behind a sturdy chair to hold for balance. Lift up high on your toes and hold the raised position briefly. Lower your heels back to the ground and repeat. As you get stronger, add more reps!
  • Exercise your diaphragm – Your diaphragm is a key breathing muscle. Sit down with one hand on your chest and one below your rib cage. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling your stomach raise with one hand. Exhale through your mouth and tighten your stomach. The hand on your chest should not move. Repeat for 5 to 10 minutes Breathing like this will strengthen your diaphragm and make breathing in this way automatic.

If you are living with COPD, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Overall wellbeing can help you deal with the symptoms of your condition. If you have mobility issues in addition to your COPD, LA Medical has a variety of walkers and rollators to help keep you safe and active. November is COPD Awareness Month. Help us spread the word about this debilitating condition.