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Archive for June, 2013

Diabetes Fact or Fiction

June 29, 2013

Even though diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States, false assumptions about the condition are out there. For instance, are you under the impression that people with diabetes can’t eat anything sweet? This is a myth. People with diabetes can eat sweets, they just have to be careful about the amount of sweets they consume.

Let’s get to the bottom of some other common diabetes myths below.

Fiction: If you eat too much sugar, you’ll eventually get diabetes.
Fact: Eating too much sugar is not the cause of diabetes. Rather, the development of the disease is thought to be caused by a combination of both genetic and lifestyle factors. Plus, having a high level of sugar in the bloodstream isn’t the same as the refined sugar you buy at the grocery store. However, eating too much sugar can lead to being overweight or obese, which can contribute to the development of diabetes.

Fiction: People with diabetes have to eat different diets than people without diabetes.
Fact: Individuals who have diabetes should eat healthy diets that contain well-rounded foods, like whole-grains, lean protein, vegetables and fruit. This is the same type of diet that we should all strive to eat.

Fiction: Diabetes is contagious.
Fact: No, you can’t “catch” diabetes from someone else. It is not an infectious or contagious disease. Although the exact cause of diabetes is not yet known, we do know that it cannot be spread from person to person.

Fiction: There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.
Fact: Actually, there are more than two types of diabetes. The main types include type 1, type 2, and gestational. Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy.

Fiction: Only people with diabetes need insulin.
Fact: Every human needs insulin, regardless of whether they have diabetes or not. Insulin helps the body convert food into energy and without it, our bodies cannot function properly. Another important point to note is that diabetes patients use insulin to help manage their diabetes. It is not a cure for diabetes.

Fiction: You can’t prevent diabetes complications.
Fact: Every person with diabetes has the power to help prevent or delay diabetes complications through self-care treatment that keeps blood sugar levels under control. Having regular medical checkups can also help prevent dangerous diabetes complications from developing.

 

Diabetes Screenings

Because there is no known cure for diabetes, it is important to do everything you can to lower your risk factors for the disease before it develops. Proactivity can influence your health in a positive way.

Life Line Screening offers glucose screenings that help individuals learn if their blood sugar levels are normal, moderately high, or very high according to the American Diabetes Association guidelines. People over age 45 should have a glucose screening every 3 years, especially those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

Learn more about what diabetes screenings can reveal about the state of your health. Don’t wait until you’re faced with a disease that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life. Take preventive action now.




Study: Aging in U.S. Expected to Increase Heart-Related Health Costs

June 28, 2013

Recent research reveals that healthcare costs associated with heart problems are expected to increase dramatically. Specific findings show that the costs linked with heart failure among Americans is expected to more than double by the year 2030.

Numbers associated with these findings reveal that Americans with heart failure will go from 5 million in 2012 to 8 million by 2030. The cost of treating such a high number of Americans with heart failure is expected to rise from $21 billion to $53 billion over the same time period.

Because the number of people predicted to develop heart failure is expected to increase so dramatically, the rise in healthcare costs to provide treatment for these patients is inevitable. This is because as the population ages, treatments are helping patients with heart failure live longer.

This increase is just one example of the added pressure on the nation’s $2.5 trillion healthcare system. Americans are aging every day and more than 77 million baby boomers are currently at or above the age of 65.

Heart failure is a serious condition that often stems from other cardiovascular problems, like hypertension or coronary artery disease. It can cause the heart to work harder, become stressed, and eventually stop working properly. The condition usually includes warning signs of fatigue, trouble breathing and more.

Heart Failure Prevention

While heart failure is a major problem in the United States, early prevention and awareness can help bring the number of affected Americans down. Lowering major risk factors for the conditions that lead to heart failure is a smart way to try to prevent dangerous heart problems from ever developing.

“If we had an environment where people focused more on their health at earlier stages in their life, their risk of heart failure later in life would be lessened dramatically,” said Nancy Brown, AHA’s Chief Executive, in a Reuters article.

After a person has been diagnosed with heart failure, they are usually required to change their diet, take medications, and undergo surgery for an implantable pacemaker or defibrillator device.

Taking care of your heart now, rather than later, is the best option to take for early prevention. Making an effort to keep your heart strong through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, not smoking, and keeping an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol can benefit your heart in significant measures. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action now. Learn more about heart disease screenings that can identify your risk today.

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Heart-Healthy Dessert Recipe: Fudgy Cream Cheese Brownies

June 27, 2013

When you think of brownies, do you immediately label them as unhealthy? While this is true most of the time, here’s one brownie recipe that you can label as heart-healthy and not feel guilty eating.

These fudgy cream cheese brownies from Health.com make smart substitutions for unhealthy ingredients, like saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, a person requiring 2,000 calories per day should eat less than 16 grams of saturated fat per day. This is just one example, as calorie requirements per person may vary depending on weight, height, and amount of physical activity.

These gooey brownies actually contain less than 3 grams of saturated fat per serving. Not only that – this dessert uses a calorie-free sweetener, making it a delicious, lower-sugar alternative compared to traditional brownies. When eaten in moderation, these brownies can stay under your daily recommended saturated fat intake and you can keep your heart from feeling the negative effects of a diet high in fat.

Here is the recipe from Health.com:

Ingredients

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 square)

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie stick margarine, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup “measures-like-sugar” calorie-free sweetener
  • 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk

 

Preparation

Beat sugar and margarine with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour and cocoa, beating well. Pour into an 8-inch square pan coated with cooking spray.
Beat cream cheese and sweetener with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add milk; beat well. Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate mixture; swirl together using the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
Tip: Don’t use reduced-calorie or fat-free tub margarine in this recipe because those products contain water, which will make the brownies gummy.




5 Things You Should Know about Alzheimer’s Warning Signs

June 26, 2013

With more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and the majority being over age 65, it’s important to know as much as we can about the condition – especially its earliest warning signs. This form of dementia has no known cure, making preventive action all the more vital.

Recently, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America compiled a list of the top 10 things you should know about Alzheimer’s disease. There are multiple factors that you might not be aware of that could have an impact on early diagnosis and treatment. Let’s explore five of the top ten items below:

#1: Don’t mistake aging as an excuse.
Sure, we all experience some level of memory loss, cognitive decline and behavioral changes as we get older, but don’t mistake Alzheimer’s disease as a “normal” part of the aging process. It’s not. Even though older age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, the condition is not something we should excuse as simply a part of getting older.

#2: Keep an eye out for patterns.
Forgetting something, like a person’s name or paying a bill, is normal when it happens every so often. However, consistently forgetting a person’s name or forgetting to pay a bill for months at a time may be a red flag of a more serious cognitive condition.

#3: Symptoms don’t guarantee an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Many Alzheimer’s symptoms can mimic the symptoms of other health problems. For example, memory problems may indicate vitamin deficiencies, depression, or thyroid conditions. It’s important to consult a physician about any symptoms you may have so a proper diagnosis can be made.

#4: Every person is different.
While general warning signs of Alzheimer’s may be consistent, every person may experience their own unique symptoms at different times in the progression of the disease. In addition, other people might experience symptoms but try to hide them so they’re less noticeable. Every Alzheimer’s case is unique.

#5: Symptoms can be both cognitive and behavioral.
When most of us think of Alzheimer’s disease, we think of memory loss, confusion, misplacing items often, trouble doing everyday tasks, and other thinking difficulties. Alzheimer’s symptoms may also consist of behavioral changes, like unexplained mood swings, anxiety, anger, depression, and sleeplessness.

There are more factors you should know about Alzheimer’s disease that you can read about here. Remember that with a condition like Alzheimer’s, whose exact cause remains a mystery and a cure has not yet been discovered, the best thing you can do is proactively understand and be on the lookout for early warning signs. Catching any disease early, including Alzheimer’s disease, provides the best chances for more successful treatment.

Learn more about other diseases, like heart disease, that can be caught early through a proactive approach. See how the power of prevention can benefit you.




VIDEO: Screening Services

June 25, 2013

How much do you know about the screenings offered by Life Line Screening? An easy way to learn more about our screening services is through our informational video. Discover the multiple screening and laboratory services provided by Life Line Screening that are designed to identify your risk for life-altering health conditions before they occur.

Our screening services are conducted in community locations that are convenient for you. Also, a board-certified physician examines all screening results before they are sent to each customer. Learn more information like this by watching our video below and by browsing our preventive health screenings section.

To access other videos on preventive health screenings or healthy living, visit Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel.

For those without video capability, the text is provided below.

Screening Services

Here is the audio text to the video:

“Life Line Screening provides a number of screening services. Vascular screenings for stroke risk include a carotid artery screening and a check for atrial fibrillation. We also provide a screening for P-A-D, peripheral arterial disease, also known as hardening of the arteries, and a check for abdominal aortic aneurysms. A check for osteoporosis risk is also offered.

In addition to these important tests, Life Line Screening offers a variety of laboratory services, including tests for cholesterol, glucose which is diabetes risk, C-reactive protein, an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, kidney function, and liver function.

Along with these tests, Life Line Screening also offers a comprehensive risk assessment with a personalized report called 6 for Life. It tells you your risk for six major diseases, including stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and heart failure.

We also provide biometrics, such as blood pressure, waist size, and body mass index, and a heart attack risk score that tells you your risk of having a first-time heart attack or dying of heart disease in the next ten years.

Other tests may be available, as well. If at any time during the screening process you would like to add another test, or ask a question, please do so. Our staff is happy to help.

When your screenings are completed you will be able to leave the screening event. You may have some of your lab test results in hand. Other results will be sent to you by mail or email within 21 days.

Your screenings will be reviewed by one of our board-certified physicians, with the exception of the 6 for Life health assessment, where your screening results are run through a clinically-based predictive program. Your results packet is specific to you and your age and risk factors and is signed by your reviewing physician. Be sure to share these results with your personal primary care doctor.

If we find a condition today that requires urgent attention, we will notify you immediately. Otherwise, you will receive a complete report in the mail or email in 21 days.

As you’ve just seen, your screening is an important step in your wellness plan and Life Line Screening will continue to work with you to maintain the most valuable asset you own – your health. At the appropriate time, Life Line Screening will contact you to schedule your next visit. For many people, that is approximately one year later, but keep in mind not every test is needed every year.

We urge you to stay in touch with us through our community, www.lifelonghealth.com and our Facebook page, where you can start discussions with other people interested in preventive health, get answers to questions, read informative articles and learn about discounts, special offers, and more. Joining and subscribing to our free E-newsletter is a great way to stay on top of new research, health tips, and in depth stories that can touch your heart, tickle your fancy and intrigue your mind.

For more information about Life Line Screening, or to schedule an appointment, visit www.lifelonghealth.com today.”




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