How You Walk Could Flag Mental Decline

   Sumathi Reddy shared the following story recently in Wall Street Journal:

David Victor is strolling up and down a walkway at a steady pace, reciting alternate letters of the alphabet aloud.

The 20-foot walkway the 73-year-old is on is embedded with pressure sensors that track every step he takes: his velocity, his cadence, how long his foot remains in the air. The measures pop up on a computer screen here in a laboratory at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Later, Mr. Victor will repeat the exercises with a device on his head that measures his brain function in real time.

Gait, or how people walk, is increasingly viewed as an important indicator of health for elderly people. Changes in gait have been associated with an increased risk for falling and other health outcomes. And researchers have discovered that slowing down or walking more erratically can predict later cognitive impairments, even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, more than a decade before symptoms appear.

Roee Holtzer, a professor of neurology at Albert Einstein and Yeshiva University and Joe Verghese, director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain, are collaborating on several research projects to shed light on the relationship between gait and cognition and how to improve them.

“We are treating walking abilities as an extension of brain function,” Dr. Verghese says.

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How to talk to a friend who has Alzheimer’s

Susan Berg  hared the following story in the Wall Street Journal:During a routine trip to my local grocery, I ran into an acquaintance I had not seen in more than a year. She looked great and was her typically upbeat, energetic self. We exchanged hellos. I was not prepared for what came next.”I was recently diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s,” she said.

This warm, accomplished, Berkeley-educated woman, a mother and grandmother who was my go-to person for local political goings-on, great books and recipes, then said, without skipping a beat, “I am doing OK right now, and I have signed up for a clinical trial.”

I hugged her and told her how sorry I was. Told her there are no words.

In a daze, I finished my shopping. Driving home, I burst into tears.

How to act?

It was many months later that our paths crossed again. I saw her across the room at our local synagogue. She was not close enough to say hello. In a way, I was relieved. Would she recognize me? And if not, what do I say?

As many as 5.4 million Americans have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. For friends and relatives, there is the inevitable question of how to act.

“When we are friends with someone with Alzheimer’s and interacting in a variety of settings, we may do our best to do the right thing and say the right thing,” said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association. “But it may not always be the right thing.”

Drew said that Alzheimer’s disease progresses more rapidly in some people than in others. Many who are newly diagnosed stay in the early stage, retaining their personality and people skills, for quite a while, but for others, serious changes happen more quickly.

Christopher Marano, a geriatric psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said that the interval between the initial diagnosis and a significant downturn can range from five to 20 years, but that “people who are diagnosed at a younger age tend to progress faster.” Read more

Are good sleepers born or made?

Advocate Children’s Hospital asked the question, Are some babies just born “good sleepers” while others are not? he answer is no according to Dr. Darius Loghmanee, a pediatric sleep medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

“In our society, we have very strange attitudes about sleep,” Loghmanee said. “We tend to look at it as a separate part of our lives which either magically happens or doesn’t. That is just not the case.”

Sleeping well is a learned behavior and it’s something you continue to learn throughout your life cycle, according to Loghmanee.

“Sleep is not something a parent can control in their baby,” Loghmanee said. “Only an anesthesiologist can put someone to sleep. It is no different than teaching your child the skills needed to do math. You must teach healthy sleeping habits.”

Loghmanee offers parents and caregivers the following tips to help your child become a so-called “good sleeper.”

1. Create a relaxed, happy and comfortable sleep environment. Consider lighting and soothing sensory input, such as mobiles, a sound machine or scents, such as lavender. You want your infant to associate these things with relaxation in their sleep environment. They will also have something consistent to focus on when placed in the crib. (Be careful not to overstimulate them, as well.)

2. Create a bedtime routine. Enjoy a short sequence of events that will help your baby wind down and relax; reading books, singing lullabies or rubbing their back. Learn what activities help your child wind down and incorporate them into the routine. Read more

When to keep your child home from school

Nina Lundberg, MD  whose specialty is Internal Medicine and who provides comprehensive, patient-focused medical care, wrote for Edward-Elmhust Health’s Healthy Driven Blog that every parent knows this scenario: your little one wakes up after a seemingly normal night’s sleep feeling awful, complaining about a sore throat or coughing.

You’re left with the dilemma of trying to decide if your child should stay home from school — and making that decision in a relatively short period of time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids stay home if:

  • They have a fever
  • They aren’t well enough to participate in class
  • They may be contagious to other children

If they’re taking antibiotics, kids should stay home until they’ve had the medicine in their system for 24 hours, even if they don’t meet the above criteria.

If your child is vomiting or has diarrhea, she should stay home until she has had no symptoms for 24 hours. If they are running a temperature, most schools want kids to stay home until they haven’t had a fever for 24 hours as well.

Ultimately, your child’s physician is the best person to ask if you aren’t sure whether your child should go to school. But using common sense, along with the AAP guidelines, will ensure you make the right choice. Read more

Thyroid Cancer is the Fastest-Growing Cancer in America

Cheryl Bond-Nelms, wrote in the AARP Real Possibilities Newsletter that nearly three out of four cases of thyroid cancer are found in women.

Although the death rate from cancer in America is down 25 percent since 1991, there is one type of cancer rapidly increasing in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has tripled over the last three decades, making it the fastest-growing cancer.

The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck, shaped like a butterfly. It produces hormones that enter the bloodstream and affect the metabolism, heart, brain, muscles and liver, and keep the body functioning properly and effectively.The estimates for cases of thyroid cancer in America for 2017 have increased, and rates are higher in women than men, according to these figures published on cancer.org.

In 2017, there will be an estimated 56,870 new cases of thyroid cancer — 42,470 in women and 14,400 in men.
An estimated 2,010 deaths will result from thyroid cancer — 1,090 in women and 920 in men.
Women account for nearly three-quarters of thyroid cancer cases. The exact cause of most thyroid cancers is unknown. Research has concluded that better imaging technology has increased the number of thyroid cancer cases diagnosed.

“Much of this rise appears to be the result of the increased use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past,” the American Cancer Society says.

What are the signs or symptoms related to thyroid cancer? The American Cancer Society lists the following on cancer.org:

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Where Does Fat Go When We Lose It?

MICHAEL DE MEDEIROS asks for POPSUGAR, Where does the fat go when we lose weight? Do the fat cells burst and flush out? Do we expel it during bathroom breaks? Do little fairies fly in at night and swipe away all that unwanted jiggle? Let’s get into the science, dispel some myths, and answer some (fat-)burning questions.

First of all, there is a difference between weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss is an overall decrease in the number on the scale. This could be from water loss, muscle loss, fat loss, or even getting a drastic haircut (and no, we’re not referencing your bangs in high school). Fat loss, however, is the amount of body fat we lose, and this is done when the body burns off more calories than it consumes in a given day.

According to certified personal trainer Heather Neff, “To lose fat, you need to rev up your metabolism with plenty of exercise and good nutrition.” But you can’t live without fat. It’s as indispensable to your body as muscle, blood, and bone!

Sounds crazy, right? The truth is that fat doesn’t make you fat, as many have been led to believe; “it helps to burn fat and aids in so many body processes,” Neff said. Fat is the delivery system for hormones. It is essential for brain function, muscle growth, and so much more. Now before you jump for joy on the way to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts, I have the unenviable task of making it clear that we’re talking about healthy fats that can be found in foods such as avocados, eggs, lean meats, organic dairy, nuts, seeds, bananas, and others.

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OTC Meds That May Cause Serious Side Effects

Barbara Brody, wrote for Silver Sneakers by Tivity Health, that most of us reach for over-the-counter (OTC) medication without giving it too much thought. When you have a throbbing headache, you pop a few Advil. When you’re feeling constipated, you chew on some Ex-Lax. And when you have a lousy cold, you grab whatever bottle promises the fastest relief.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with using these and other types of OTC drugs, it’s a mistake to think that there’s no downside. “OTC drugs are remarkably safe when used as directed, but they are not harmless,” says Eric P. Brass, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “These are real drugs, many of which were available by prescription only in past years,” he says. “You must read the labels carefully and follow all the directions.” (If you need help understanding labels, check out the FDA’s guide.)

You should also check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking an OTC medication, even though you don’t need a prescription to get it. Many drugs are metabolized differently in seniors—meaning your body might process it more slowly or quickly than it did when you were younger—which could lead to side effects if you don’t adjust the dosage for your age.

Additionally, older people are often already taking one or more medications for a chronic condition, and adding an OTC med to the mix without getting an expert’s okay could cause you to have a dangerous interaction. In fact, research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that this problem has increased substantially since 2005, and that 15 percent of older adults may be at risk for a major drug-drug interaction.

The main takeaway is that OTC doesn’t equal safe, and just as with prescription meds, you need to have a health care provider guide you based on your age, personal health history, and other medications (including supplements) that you’re taking. With that said, here are a few categories of OTC meds you should be especially cautious about.

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CVS Hides the Candy, Chips.

With permission from Sharon Terlep at the , Healthy Lombard is happy to share the following story that was published in the WSJ on June 28, 2017.

Kevin Heath was wandering around his local CVS pharmacy in search of licorice for his wife, stymied that the candy display was no longer in its usual spot at the front of the store.

With help from a store employee, he found the treats in a section farther back. “Eh, I’m retired. I can take a little extra time,” said the 66-year-old from North Arlington, N.J.

Meet the new CVS Health Corp. CVS -1.56% Three years after eliminating tobacco products from its shelves and adding “health” to its name, the company is taking more steps and moving most junk food away from the storefront, banning sales of low-protection sunscreens and eliminating foods containing artificial trans-fats.

The changes are part of CVS’s effort to stand apart from rivals by focusing on health-care goods and services, said Helena Foulkes, who runs the company’s retail business. It puts the company on a different path than its main competitor.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. says it isn’t a retailer’s job to keep shoppers from their vices and that consumers should be able to make unhealthy choices if they want to. But like CVS, it is trying to boost sales by appealing to a more health-conscious shopper.

Walgreens sells cigarettes but offers smoking-cessation help in the form of specially trained pharmacists and quitting aids. It is keeping candy up front but has added fresh fruit and vegetables in other parts of the store. It also has a loyalty program that rewards shoppers with points for exercise and health monitoring that can be used on purchases. Read more

Healthy Natural Tips for You and Your Family and Friends

Carrie Raab, atYL Oil Lady , shared the following “Back To School” healthy hints because it seems that the new school year environment is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. That means, here comes the runny noses, coughs, sneezes and colds that kids spread in the classroom and in the school hallways. While you most likely don’t have control of your child’s classroom, you do have control over your own home environment and your kids health.  While you have been busy getting their school uniforms/outfits,books,backpacks,and plethora of school supplies ready, I want to remind you of the benefit of essential oils for keeping everyone healthy.  I want to share with you some back to school healthy tips.

Back to School Healthy Tips

1Nutrition

Nutrition is vital in your overall well-being. Your children need to be eating a diet full of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The more they can stay away from processed canned and packaged foods and restaurants, the better. We are what we eat! Most of our illnesses come from the foods we eat, the products we put on our skin, and the medicines we take. Make sure your kids are getting plenty of immune-system supporting antioxidants in the form of vegetables and fruit.  I love supporting my children’s diet with 1 ounce of NingXia Red and a good multivitamin that has whole fruits, grains and vegetables-this helps on those days when their diet is lacking in the nutrients it needs. Also, give your child probiotics to help support the immune system and provide good gut intestinal flora, which will also ward off harmful bacteria.

Click here for 25 healthy snacks for children.

2Regular Hand Washing

Teaching your children to wash their hands regularly will help fight off germs they come in contact with. Also, teach your children to cough or sneeze by covering their nose and mouth first. Many germs are spread this way. To help prevent picking up some of these pesky little germs, regular hand washing is great. While at school, you cannot always get to a sink, so this is where Thieves Waterless Hand Gel Purifier  comes in handy! The ones you buy at the store contain toxic chemicals, so go natural and use thieves gel purifying hand sanitizer.

 3. Sleep

Getting good rest at night is so important not only for the next day but for the days and week ahead. Do you know how important rest is? A good night’s sleep lays the foundation for physical and mental development as well as supporting a healthy immune system. Do your children struggle with going to sleep? I know transitioning from summer time with no morning wake up routine to a school morning routine is difficult in my household.  This is where essential oils can help! What we love to do at night is massage our kids feet with lavender, peace and calming, grounding, valor, and other oils that signal the brain to relax and help improve their quality of sleep. 

4. Nervous

A new year at school can be an exciting yet stressful time, especially for students starting kindergarten or entering middle or high school. Instead of putting harmful chemicals- over the counter and prescription drugs into their body, go natural and use essential oils. A few good oils to use to help with occasional nervousness are Valor, Peace and Calming, Lavender, or Stress Away. These oils will not cause your children to be drowsy, they will balance the systems in the body, naturally, and allow them to focus on their school work and be at peace.

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