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Archive for February, 2015

Hold the Salt

Posted on: February 26th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
While salt adds flavor to bland foods, most Americans get more sodium than they think.

While salt adds flavor to bland foods, most Americans get more sodium than they think.

Most people get much more sodium than what is recommended. Chances are that you aren’t aware of how much sodium is in your diet. It isn’t just table salt that you need to take into account. Most processed and prepared foods also contain sodium.

Your body needs some sodium to:

  • Help maintain the right balance of bodily fluids
  • Help transmit nerve impulses
  • Influence the contraction and relaxation of muscles

The recommended Dietary Guideline is to limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day but the average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day.  The main sources of sodium are:

  • Processed foods with additives and preservatives
  • Natural sources like vegetables, meat and dairy products
  • In the kitchen or on the table

Most people can benefit from reducing their sodium intake. Cut back on sodium by:

  • Eating more fresh foods
  • Choose low-sodium products
  • Remove salt from recipes when possible
  • Use herbs and spices to season foods

Your kidneys balance the amount of sodium stored in your body so if your body’s sodium levels are low, your kidneys hold on to the sodium. If your sodium is high, the kidneys excrete the excess. But if your kidneys can’t get rid of enough of the sodium, it starts to build up in your blood. Since sodium holds water, this causes your blood volume to increase. Your heart must then work harder and the pressure in your arteries increases.

Throughout February, LA Medical has been offering different things you can do to keep your heart healthy. Limiting your sodium intake is one small way you can take care of your heart. You can find more information about heart health in our previous blogs.

Secrets from People Who Never Get Sick

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Find out what those people who never get sick are doing to keep themselves healthy.

Find out what those people who never get sick are doing to keep themselves healthy.

Though we may tally it up to luck, there are some people who just don’t get sick. They may get the occasional cold but never suffer from the flus and fevers that send the rest of us to bed for days. Even with all the medical advances, doctors still can’t give us a definite answer as to what we can do to stay well. It is time to look for solutions from those who seem to be doing something right. LA Medical has a few habits of those who never get sick and how you can incorporate them into your life.

Stress less – Stress has been found to damage the immune system and the heart. Learning to manage stress is important to relieve physical and mental tension that could hinder your wellness.

Eat less – Recent research has found that calorie restriction is linked to lower incidences of age-related health concerns like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Load up on dark leafy greens and vegetables while limiting simple sugars and flours.

Embrace bacteria – Our society has shifted towards a preference for complete sterility. But that may not be as healthy as you would think. Bacteria help our systems stay balanced and these “good germs” can improve your metabolism, enhance immunity and reduce inflammation.

Prioritize relationships – Social support and strong friendships not only make us feel good emotionally, but they also help our health! If you want to give your immune system a boost, strike up two conversations each day with someone you haven’t spoken to before. Try to listen more than you speak and only say positive things.

Nap it out – Sleep deprivation has the same effect on our bodies as stress. An overtired body limits its ability to repair itself and has negative effects on your health. Try to lie down for 20 minutes when you can to keep your immune system strong and well rested.

All of these habits are proactive ways to strengthen your immune system and prevent getting sick in the first place. Some of us just seem to have bad luck when it comes to getting sick, but it never hurts to pick up some healthy habits to try and combat germs. LA Medical wants you to stay healthy and strong year round. Contact us with any health questions or concerns you have.

Delicious Reasons to Eat Cherries

Posted on: February 22nd, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Cherries provide a host of health benefits in addition to being a yummy snack.

Cherries provide a host of health benefits in addition to being a yummy snack.

When you eat a cherry, you aren’t only enjoying their great taste. You are also reaping their health benefits! Cherries are packed with antioxidants and can help with insomnia, joint pain and belly fat.  LA Medical believes in the power of cherries and we have six great reasons why you should too!

Protection from Diabetes – Sweet cherries have a low glycemic index. This makes them a good choice for a fruit snack, especially for those with diabetes.

Helps You Sleep – Drink a glass of cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal. Cherries, especially tart cherries, are a good source of melatonin, which regulates sleep.

Reduces Muscle Pain – Tart cherries help reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. If you are going to be doing a strenuous work out, eat a cup and a half of tart cherries or one cup of tart cherry juice before.

Protect Against Alzheimer’s – The flavonoids and procyanidin in cherries help guard neuronal cells, fighting dementia. Cherries are also rich in antioxidants, making them a memory booster!

Reduces Risk of Stroke – Tart cherries provide various cardiovascular benefits. The pigment in a cherry regulates the genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism. This reduces the risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

Rich in Vitamins and Fiber – Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. This makes them a nutritious fruit that strengthens your body’s natural defenses and improves overall health.

If fresh cherries aren’t available at your grocery store yet, we have some tasty ways you can incorporate them into your diet:

  • Top salads, cereal and yogurt with dried cherries
  • Add tart cherry juice with a splash of lime to sparkling water for a spritzer
  • Add tart cherry juice to a yogurt smoothie for a post-workout recovery drink

February is National Cherry Month! Treat yourself to a tasty treat that will bring you a host of health benefits. Please contact LA Medical if you have any additional questions.

Supplement a Healthy Heart

Posted on: February 19th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Lifestyle changes are the most effective ways to reduce risk of heart disease. But there are some medications and nutrients that can provide benefits as well.

Lifestyle changes are the most effective ways to reduce risk of heart disease. But there are some medications and nutrients that can provide benefits as well.

Since February is American Heart Month, LA Medical wants to provide information about some ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease since it is the leading cause of death in the United States. While we usually focus on cholesterol and blood pressure, there are other factors that play into heart health. Antioxidant support, anti-inflammatory support and correction of vitamin and mineral imbalances are also important factors. While lifestyle changes are the most effective ways to reduce risk, there are some medications and nutrients that can provide benefits as well.

Your heart beats constantly and therefore uses a lot of oxygen. That also means that the heart experiences oxidative stress. This is why you need antioxidant support from vitamins A, E and C. But before you go out and stock up on these vitamins, remember that they need to be balanced with other nutrients like vitamins B and D, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. If you had to pick a single vitamin to take, vitamin D is a good place to start. Vitamin D deficiencies are to blame in almost every disease, including heart disease.

More and more studies are showing that omega-3 fatty acids are important for every body system including immune, cardiovascular, nervous, and endocrine. Marine sources like fish oil are the best way to get these cholesterol-reducing fatty acids.

There are many more supplements that have been shown to benefit heart health. Always discuss supplementation with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you are being treated for any chronic conditions. Remember, supplements and pills are not meant to replace the lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise, hydration, sleep, and stress reduction.

LA Medical is using American Heart Month as an opportunity to give information and advice about keeping your heart happy and healthy. Check out our other blogs about how to Show Your Heart Some Love and Use Exercise and Nutrition to Manage a Healthy Cholesterol.

Use Nutrition and Exercise to Manage a Healthy Cholesterol

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Good nutrition and exercise are the best ways to maintain a healthy cholesterol and overall heart health.

Good nutrition and exercise are the best ways to maintain a healthy cholesterol and overall heart health.

Having high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes. Throughout this month, LA Medical wants to give you some more information about keeping your heart healthy.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the blood that builds up on the walls of your arteries. This narrows the passageways through the artery, preventing blood from flowing freely to the heart. Since blood carries oxygen to the heart, a clogged up artery keeps oxygen from the heart. This increases your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.

So what can you do to about it? Diet and exercise are the best ways you can manage your cholesterol.

Nutrition

  • Eat plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains at every meal.
  • Enjoy healthy fats found in olive oil, avocadoes, fish, and nuts. These fats boost your good cholesterol levels while decreasing your bad ones.
  • Get your fiber from whole grains, fruit, beans and vegetables. Fiber will lower your risk of heart disease.

Activity

  • Take a brisk 30 minute walk 5 days a week to lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Find an exercise partner! Peer pressure from a friend keeps you accountable for daily workouts.
  • Jog or walk at inclines on the stairs or treadmills to boost good cholesterol levels.

If you have high cholesterol already, don’t give up! You can lower your cholesterol over time by maintaining healthy diet and exercise habits. If you don’t have high cholesterol, make healthy choices now to keep your risk low. Prevention is often easier than treatment.

LA Medical is celebrating American Heart Month by offering information about ways you can keep your heart healthy. Check out our previous post about how you can Show Your Heart Some Love.

5 Tools to Communicate Effectively with Your Doctor

Posted on: February 15th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Having good communication with your doctor is a critical step to a speedy recovery.

Having good communication with your doctor is a critical step to a speedy recovery.

Does it sometimes seem like you and your doctor speak different languages? The common person does not understand most medical terminology and this can cause miscommunication between doctor and patient. Time spent with your doctor is often limited, so you don’t want to waste the opportunity. In order to communicate effectively with your doctor, LA Medical recommends that you try a couple of these tactics.

Write Down Your Questions – Come prepared with questions and jot down the answers while you are with your doctor. This way, you won’t forget what questions you have nor will you forget the details of the answer.

Ask for Explanation – If you don’t understand or are surprised by something your doctor tells you, ask for clarification. It is better to ask while you are at the appointment than wonder about it later.

Be Honest – Although some symptoms and reasons for visiting may be uncomfortable to talk about, it is important that you tell the truth. Even if your concern is small, tell your doctor about it. Early detection is always best.

Bring a List of Medications – Having a complete list of medications, supplements and vitamins helps your doctor make the right decisions regarding treatment. Even if the supplements you take are natural, they can still affect the development of other medications.

Bring a Loved One – You may not always catch everything your doctor says. Ask someone to come to the appointment with you to act as another set of ears and help you comprehend everything. This can be especially useful if there is a new diagnosis or treatment involved.

You and your doctor should be acting as a team working towards the same goal so good communication is vitally important. Be sure that you are honest with your doctor about medications, pain and medical history. This will help them give you the excellent treatment you deserve. LA Medical wants to be involved with your treatment process. We provide a variety of home medical equipment, home health aids and supplies. Contact us today!

4 Signs That You May Have a Thyroid Problem

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Unfortunately, many thyroid complications go undiagnosed. Evaluate your health to see if you have any of these common symptoms.

Unfortunately, many thyroid complications go undiagnosed. Evaluate your health to see if you have any of these common symptoms.

Are you gaining weight, irritable and unable to concentrate? These could be signs of a problem with the little butterfly-shaped gland in your neck. The thyroid, though small, can have a big impact on many bodily functions. At least 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, half of which go undiagnosed. If you are a woman, you are as much as 10 times as likely as men to have a thyroid problem. With this issue plaguing so many people, LA Medical saw it fit to point out some symptoms you may have of a poor-performing thyroid.

You’re exhausted – Low energy is an issue associated with many conditions, including hypothyroidism. This is a disorder that results in too little of the thyroid hormone being released. If you are tired all day after a full night’s sleep, your thyroid may be underactive.

You feel fidgety and nervous – Feeling anxious is often associated with hyperthyroidism. This is when the thyroid gland is overactive. If you feel worried and like you can’t relax, your metabolism and whole body may spiral into overdrive.

You have painful muscles – If you experience mysterious or sudden pain in your arms, legs, feet, or hands, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. If your thyroid is producing too little of the hormone, nerves can be damaged over time.

You have gained weight – Weight gain alone can be caused by many things. However, it is also one of the leading causes that drive women to see a doctor about a potential thyroid disorder. Gaining some extra pounds may be a sign of an underactive thyroid. On the flip side of the coin, a sudden weight loss could be a sign of hyperthyroidism.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, see your doctor for thyroid disorder testing. Your thyroid is a major body regulator and it is important that it is working correctly. If thyroid problems are causing you pain, LA Medical carries heating pads, orthopedic aids and other products that could be a solution for you.

Show Your Heart Some Love

Posted on: February 10th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
February is American Heart Month. Use this as motivation to get your ticker into great shape.

February is American Heart Month. Use this as motivation to get your ticker into great shape.

Love is in the air throughout the month of February. How about showing some love to your heart? February is a good time to take a look at how well you are treating your ticker. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in developed countries. But there are some things you can do to keep your heart healthy. LA Medical has some tips that will help you understand the lifestyle changes you can make to prevent heart disease.

Manage diet and weight – Poor diet and exercise habits often lead to obesity which can be damaging to the heart.

Quit smoking – Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your body, including your heart. Smokers often develop heart disease decades earlier than they otherwise might. In addition to heart disease, you also increase your risk for cancer, lung disease and premature aging.

Manage cholesterol – Blood lipids, like cholesterol, are important factors in cardiac risk. Maintaining a healthy balance between diet, lifestyle and medications will help keep cardiac risk low. Your cholesterol levels should be tested at least every five years.

Control Your Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is common and often comes with no symptoms. This means it is vital that you have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at a pharmacy, doctor’s office or drug store.

Control Blood Sugar – Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and other insulin resistance disorders lead to high blood sugar in addition to other metabolic problems. These all increase your risk of heart disease.

If someone in your family has heart disease, you are more likely to develop it as well. But by taking some measures to keep your heart healthy, you can greatly decrease your chances. If you need to make some lifestyle changes, don’t become overwhelmed. Take it slow. Each small step you take is one step closer to a healthy heart. LA Medical wants you to take care of yourself and we believe you can! We have different products that can help you do so. Check out our online catalog for solutions to your health-related needs.