Aspirin Regimen

College of DuPage Nursing Student Randall J. Rooney wrote for Healthy Lombard that for years now, folks at risk of heart attack have been told to take low-dose aspirin daily for prevention of heart disease. Well, hold on to your hats because things are about to change.

As reported by NY Times1 on March 18th, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) changed their recommendations for aspirin regimens. In their 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease 2, published March 17, the ACC states:

 

Aspirin should be used infrequently in the routine primary prevention of ASCVD because of lack of net benefit.

 

“Lack of net benefit?!”, you might say, “But aren’t I taking my baby aspirin because there IS a benefit??”.

For years doctors have recommended daily low-dose aspirin (100 mg or less) for primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in patients aged 70 years and up. ASCVD, in a nutshell, is the buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries, which chokes off the blood supply to vital organs like your brain, kidneys, and heart, which places you at risk of things like heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Now, aspirin regimens have been recommended for years to prevent the buildup of these arterial plaques because aspirin has the very neat property of making stuff in your blood ‘slippery’. Aspirin is known to prevent blood platelets from aggregating, which is good if you’re at risk of clots (and bad if you’re at risk of bleeding). The same mechanism that prevents platelets from sticking to each other is believed to work on fats in your blood. By making the lipids in your blood more slippery, aspirin prevents them from sticking together and forming plaques on the walls of your arteries. And it does this for a bargain. Aspirin is much cheaper, available over the counter, and has fewer side effects and risks than prescription blood thinners. Read more

Healthy Ways to Combat Caregiver Exhaustion

College of DuPage Nursing Student Silvia Fernandez wrote for Healthy Lombard that it is no secret that anyone who is a caregiver is someone who commits lots of energy to their work. They are selfless of their time, compassion, and caring. A caregiver, time and time again, put so much focus on their client that they are often negligent to themselves.

Unfortunately, the caregiver may eventually experience “caregiver exhaustion”; feeling depleted with symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, stress, or frustration. For those who experience these symptoms, it is time to take a step back and reenergize by taking time for stress relieving activities.

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How to Sleep Well During Pregnancy

Andrea Pisani Babich from Mattress Advisor shared that  the warm feeling of new life growing in your belly; the knowing smiles from family, friends and strangers as they congratulate you on your leap into this miraculous adventure of a lifetime; the anxious anticipation of adding a new person to your family — there is no other time in your life when you will feel so revered and honored as when you are pregnant.

Too bad Mother Nature didn’t get the memo! Along with all the wonders of pregnancy come a few unpleasantries that herald the arrival of the tiny newcomer who is about to rock your world. Frequent bathroom breaks too numerous to count, new aches and pains, unabated nausea, and an ever-widening girth can make this prelude into motherhood challenges. And all of these bumps on the smooth road into motherhood can make a good night’s sleep a thing of the past.

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Urge Your Elected Official to Cosponsor the FASTER Act!

Nearly 32 million Americans live with food allergies and related disorders. These diseases affect their health and quality of life.

That’s why Congresswoman Doris Matsui introduced the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act (H.R. 2117) to improve the health and safety of those living with food allergies and related disorders.  The introduction of the FASTER Actis the culmination of more than a year of legislator education, policy refinement and advocacy by FARE, resulting in legislation that will improve the lives of the millions of Americans with food allergies.

The FASTER Act would:

  • Collect national information on Americans’ exposure to food allergens and the prevalence of food allergies for specific allergens.
  • Update allergen labeling laws to include “sesame” and add new labeling requirements for additional allergens as new scientific evidence emerges.
  • Expand current guidance on patient experience data to include food allergies.
  • Study the economic costs of food allergies.

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What to say to someone recently diagnosed with cancer

Joseph Kash, MD Specialty: Medical Oncology / Hematology with Edwards-Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven Blog we’ve all had that feeling of not knowing what to say and when to say it. When someone you know is diagnosed with cancer, your mind may go blank and you may be at a loss for words.

It is natural to feel awkward, sad, nervous and even speechless during this intimate time. The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to express support and encouragement for your friend.

Here are a few options for what to say someone newly diagnosed:

  • “How are you doing?”  You can’t go wrong when asking a person how they are feeling. Keep it about them, not you. Let them tell you, on their terms, where they are in the process.
  • I am here for you.” Cancer can be isolating. Reassure your friend by letting them know you care and you aren’t going anywhere.
  • “What can I do for you?” Be attentive and specific about ways to help. Offer to drive with them to doctor appointments or provide dinner during the week.
  • “I’m sorry to hear you are going through this.” Show empathy and provide a shoulder to lean on. Being compassionate not only will comfort your friend but will also show them you truly care.
  • “I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I am here for you.”  Honesty is the best policy. Admit that you are unsure of what to say. Speak through body language by placing your hand over your friend’s hand or give your friend a hug.
  • The best medicine is often listening to someone to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Listen to your friend’s words and follow their lead. If your friend is open regarding treatment options, engage in conversation and ask questions. If they are giving vague and short responses, do not pry for deeper information. Read more

Know the signs of stroke

College of DuPage Nursing student Nikola Wisniewska wrote for Healthy Lombard that troke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States and it can happen to anybody. Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke and leaves their loved ones behind. (CDC, 2019). It is a scary and awful disease. People who have an increased risk for stroke include the elderly, those who have had a stroke or stroke-like symptoms, and people with a family of stroke history.  Health problems that increase the risk of stroke include; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking. According to the National Stroke Association, a stroke or a “brain attack” develops when a blood clot blocks an artery, or a blood vessel breaks, cutting off blood flow to an area of the brain. When this occurs, brain cells begin to die causing brain damage. When brain cells die, abilities controlled by that part of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, memory, and movement. Read more

NOCC Video Newsletter

Counties with more trees spend less on Medicare

 

DIANA YATES  | LIFE SCIENCES EDITOR, U. OF I. NEWS BUREAU shared with Children and Nature Newsletter that a new study finds that Medicare costs tend to be lower in counties with more forests and shrublands than in counties dominated by other types of land cover. The relationship persists even when accounting for economic, geographic or other factors that might independently influence health care costs, researchers report.

The analysis included county-level health and environmental data from 3,086 of the 3,103 counties in the continental U.S.

Urban and rural counties with the lowest socioeconomic status appeared to benefit the most from increases in forests and shrubs, said University of Illinois graduate student Douglas A. Becker, who led the new research with Matt Browning, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at the University of Illinois. Read more

Shopping for Food That’s Good for You

The  National Institute on Aging shared that if you have a choice of where to get your groceries, pick a store that is clean and well supplied. If it is also busy, the stock is probably more likely to turn over quickly and items won’t be near their sell-by or use-by date. But don’t depend on that—always check the dates.

Many people say a successful trip to the grocery store starts with a shopping list. Throughout the week, try to keep a list of food and supplies you need. Keeping to a list helps you follow a budget because you will be less likely to buy on impulse. A prepared grocery list (PDF, 111K) will help you choose healthy types of foods.

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Parents and children: The power of play

Stress Health, an initiative of the Center for Youth Wellness based in San Francisco’s Bayview district, asks,  “Did you ever wonder if you should have spent more time checking homework than playing tag or shooting hoops with your kid on the basketball court?”

Well, cross that worry off your list. It turns out you gave your child one of the best possible gifts for adulthood: the power of play.

And that’s especially important these days, when kids are glued to their cell phones, kindergarten has replaced play with workbooks and a lot of elementary schools have gone so far as to slash recess.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics has an important message: It’s time to put the play back in childhood.

Playtime that stimulates young brains and gets young bodies moving is too important to lose. The exercise kids get when playing helps protect them against obesity and makes it easier for them to learn and concentrate during school.

In addition, play can have special benefits for children who’ve had a tough childhood marked by abuse, neglect or other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). A recent report from the Academy notes that the mutual joy and shared bonds that parents and children can experience during play can calm the body’s response to stress. That makes play a healthy antidote to aggressiveness and uncontrolled emotions. Read more