Beyond Wrinkles: Fixes for Later-in-Life Skin Issues

Barbara Stepko, AARP,  shared that whether you’ve coasted for decades with a flawless complexion or bumped along with a breakout or two, most people find that at a certain age their skin demands some extra attention. Years of sun exposure may bring discoloration. Your skin barrier, designed to latch onto moisture, weakens, causing dryness and irritation. Collagen begins to break down, leaving you with a lackluster look. And what’s with those spots that seem to pop up overnight? If you’re not loving what you’re seeing in the mirror, read on for doctors’ best advice to make age spots, redness and more history.


What it is. Basically, a less charming form of blushing. The main symptoms of this inflammatory skin disease are redness, broken blood vessels (which appear on the cheeks and nose but can find their way to the forehead and chin) and, in some cases, acne-like bumps. It’s typically found in fair-skinned adults, usually women. In a survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society, 39 percent of the participants said their rosacea first appeared after the age of 50.

What causes it. The exact cause is unknown though the condition tends to run in families. “It’s also thought to be brought on by hyperactive blood vessels underneath the skin’s surface,” says Elizabeth Martin, a Birmingham, Alabama–based dermatologist. Another possible cause: microscopic mites, called Demodex, that release bacteria into the skin when they die, which can lead to inflammation. “Everyone has these mites inside their skin, particularly on the face, but people with rosacea can have an overconcentration,” says Martin. Studies show that people with rosacea may have more than 10 times the Demodex mites on their skin as those without the condition. Read more

Updated cholesterol guidelines

The American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines state that A lifetime approach to lowering cholesterol is still key to reducing cardiovascular risk

Statement Highlights:

  • High cholesterol, at any age, can increase a person’s lifetime risk for heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle is the first step in prevention and treatment to lower that risk.
  • The 2018 guidelines recommend more detailed risk assessments to help health care providers better determine a person’s individualized risk and treatment options.
  • In some cases, a coronary artery calcium score can help determine a person’s need for cholesterol-lowering treatment, if their risk status is uncertain or if the treatment decision isn’t clear.
  • While statins are still the first choice of medication for lowering cholesterol, new drug options are available for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke and are at highest risk of having another. For those people, medication should be prescribed in a stepped approach, first with a maximum intensity statin treatment, adding ezetimibe if desired LDL cholesterol levels aren’t met and then adding a PCSK9 inhibitor if further cholesterol reduction is needed.

More personalized risk assessments and new cholesterol-lowering drug options for people at the highest risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are among the key recommendations in the 2018 cholesterol guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Read more

Prevent Rotavirus

Rotavirus causes diarrhea and spreads easily among infants and young children. Some children may get severe diarrhea, become dehydrated and need to be hospitalized. Protect your child with rotavirus vaccine.

Rotavirus disease is common among infants and young children. Rotavirus can cause severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Some children with rotavirus disease lose a lot of fluids and become very dehydrated. As a result, they may need to be hospitalized and can even die.

Rotavirus spreads easily among children. A child can get rotavirus by accidently getting (stool) poop into their mouth from another child who has rotavirus. This can happen if a child puts their unwashed hands or a contaminated object, food, or liquids into their mouth. In the United States, children are more likely to get rotavirus from December to June.

Rotavirus Can Cause Dehydration

Symptoms of Dehydration

  • Decrease in urination
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Feeling dizzy when standing up

A dehydrated child may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

Prevent Dehydration

You can help prevent your child from getting dehydrated by having them drink plenty of liquids. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are helpful to prevent and treat dehydration. These are commonly available in food and drug stores. If you are unsure about how to use ORS, call your doctor.


Children are most likely to get rotavirus disease in the winter and spring (December through June).

Protect Your Child with Rotavirus Vaccine

The best way to protect your child from rotavirus is with rotavirus vaccine. Almost all children who get rotavirus vaccine (85 to 98 percent) will be protected from severe rotavirus disease. Most vaccinated children will not get sick from rotavirus at all.

There are two different rotavirus vaccines. Both are given by putting vaccine drops in an infant’s mouth.

  • Rotateq® – Infants should receive three doses of this vaccine—at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of age.
  • Rotarix® – Infants should receive two doses of this vaccine—at 2 months and 4 months of age.
  • Children should receive the first dose of either vaccine before they are 15 weeks old and all doses they turn 8 months old.

Millions of Infants Have Been Vaccinated

Millions of infants in the United States have gotten rotavirus vaccine safely. However, some studies have shown a small increase in cases of intussusception from rotavirus vaccination. Intussusception is a bowel blockage that is treated in a hospital and may require surgery. It is estimated that risk of intussusception is 1 in every 20,000 infants to 1 in every 100,000 infants after vaccination. Intussusception is most likely to happen within the first week after the first or second dose of rotavirus vaccine.

CDC continues to recommend that infants receive rotavirus vaccine. The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the small risk of intussusception. Thanks to the rotavirus vaccine, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of children who are hospitalized or visit the emergency room because of rotavirus illness in the United States.

Paying for Rotavirus Vaccines

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. However, you may want to check with your insurance provider before going to the doctor. If you don’t have health insurance or if your insurance does not cover vaccines for your child, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program may be able to help. This program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to vaccines. To find out if your child is eligible, visit the VFC website or ask your child’s doctor. You can also contact your state VFC coordinator.

Did You Know?

Fewer children get rotavirus vaccine compared with other childhood vaccines. . Rotavirus vaccine is very effective, especially against severe disease. By vaccinating their infants, parents can protect their children against rotavirus, which is very contagious and causes outbreaks.

Learn about past outbreaks of rotavirus that affected unvaccinated and vaccinated children, and caused severe disease and the death of a child. Learn more about rotavirus outbreaks.

Eight Tips for Better Digestive Health

Dr. Veronica Broton, Family Medicine Physician at Edwards Elmhurst Health shared that these days, it seems more people than ever are experiencing digestive issues, such as gas, bloating and upset stomach. This is often due to lifestyle factors – convenience is king and people are dining out more and consuming processed foods.

However, there are many issues that play into digestive health. Here are eight simple things you can try to feel better:

  1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  2. Avoid processed, fatty foods
  3. Eat fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Get regular exercise
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Avoid or limit alcohol
  8. Lower stress levels

Probiotics are another option that may help improve digestive health, but studies aren’t conclusive.

Read more


Ashley Brewer shared with Healthy Lombard that the holidays can be an extremely happy time of the year for most everyone, but for those in recovery from substance abuse and/or alcoholism, it can be a time of high stress and fear of relapse triggers. It is not uncommon for addicts/alcoholics to relapse during this time of year for a multitude of reasons, but generally, a relapse is linked to three main reasons:

  1. Complacency
  2. Lack of a plan/exit plan
  3. Overwhelming Emotions

In this article, I will share tips to help those in recovery from addiction not only understand the importance of maintaining their recovery programs but also, ways to be mindful of the ever-present triggers that surround us on a daily basis, not just around the holidays.

What is an Addiction Trigger?

“A “trigger” of addiction involves any high-risk situation or stressor that sparks off a thought, feeling or action to use drugs/alcohol. This spark, which is experienced as a temptation or desire to use, is called a “craving” or “urge”. So in short, triggers lead to cravings and urges to use.” – Dr. Chad Coren PsyD CAADC

With that being said, one can see how important it is to have specific tools in play, as pretty much anything can be a trigger depending on the person and can affect each individual differently. Whether it is external such as people, places, things, or situations, or internal such as thoughts, emotions, or physical issues, it is imperative for each addict/alcoholic to narrow down what triggers them specifically. I have outlined some of the tools below that will assist you in guarding yourself and your recovery program. I’m not an addiction professional, but I am a recovering addict and have definitely had my share of stumbles along the way. My hopes are that you won’t have to learn the hard way like I did, as we are never guaranteed another shot at recovery if we choose to go “back out there.”

Read more

5 fitness myths debunked

Happy woman with gimnastic ring at gym looking at camera

Candice KryzaniakNSCA, a personal trainer at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness shared in their Healthy Driven Blog that there are a lot of misconceptions about cardiovascular exercise, fat loss, weight loss, nutrition, and resistance training. Read on and learn the whole truth about common fitness myths.

Myth #1: Cardiovascular exercise is the only way to lose fat.

  • Truth: Cardiovascular exercise is a factor to aid in fat loss, but is not the only answer. A combination of cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, and a well-balanced diet can produce fat loss results. Cardiovascular exercise is important for everyone and should not be ignored. The benefits of cardiovascular exercise include: strengthening your heart, managing chronic diseases, aiding in fat loss, reducing stress, improving mood, and improving in sleep. A personal trainer can help you learn more about the right kind of cardiovascular exercise for you.

Myth #2: Fat loss can be localized.

  • Truth: We would love to do a thousand crunches for a flat stomach and endless amounts of bicep curls for more muscular arms, but unfortunately our bodies do not work that way. The term “toning” is also a misconception as well. Our muscles are already “toned” because if they were not, then we would not be able to move. Our muscles are hidden under layers of fat, and with total body exercise, healthier eating, and cardiovascular exercise, our bodies begin to diminish the layers of fat over time.
    Read more

Please Thank A Veteran Today

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Autumn Health Care Checklist: Top 5 to-dos

Teri Dreher, RN, CCRN, iRNPA, BCPA, is an award-winning RN patient advocate and a pioneer in the growing field of private patient advocacy who wrote for the Daily Herald Newspaper that ‘Tis the season to not only anticipate the holidays and brace for winter but to handle some essential annual healthcare activities.

They’re too important to delay or shortchange, so take out your calendar and get ready to check these off your to-do list one-by-one this fall.

1. Get your flu shot
It’s simple: if you don’t want to get the flu — or give it to your loved ones — get your flu shot now.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, last year’s flu vaccine reduced America’s risk of infection by about 50 percent. Considering that about 150,000 people are hospitalized from the flu every year, and tens of thousands of people die from it, this is a precaution you can’t afford to take. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot by the end of October. That’s because it takes two weeks to fully take effect, and flu season runs from October to May. So, hustle over to your doctor’s office, clinic or local pharmacy — or, if your employer offers on-site vaccines, be the first in line.

2. Sign up for your 2019 health plan … thoughtfully
This is the time of year when most Americans sign up for their coming year’s health insurance.
Unfortunately, because few people enjoy dealing with insurance, too many of us rush through the plan selection process. Yes, it can be confusing (America’s health care system needs work). But remember: this is a decision you and perhaps your family will live with all year long.
So don’t wait until the last minute and rush through enrollment. Put aside an evening or two to educate yourself on all your plan options.

Read more

Smoking at Home

The Team at  Porch recently surveyed 1,000 people to see how they felt about smoking in the home and uncovered some surprising trends.  In an article they posted at they stated that shared that by now, you probably don’t need anyone telling you smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. With the U.S. implementing “no smoking” laws, running mass media campaigns designed to educate people on the dangers of cigarettes, and increasing access to quitting helplines and solutions, the number of adults who still smoke regularly has declined dramatically in recent years.

But it hasn’t stopped everyone, and there’s more than just smoking combustible cigarettes. In fact, many people now have relatively easy access to marijuana as mainstream acceptance (and laws)surrounding it continues to evolve.

Have you ever wondered about smoking on more than just your health? We surveyed over 1,000 people—smokers and nonsmokers alike—about their perceptions of smoking around the house, whether involving combustible cigarettes, vaporizers, cigars, or marijuana. Keep reading to see what we learned.

How dangerous does it seem?

When asked how well they understood the dangers of smoking to their health, both men and women rated cigarettes as the most dangerous form with ratings of 4.4 and 4.6, respectively. Most people perceived other exposures to smoking, like cigars and secondhand smoke, as less dangerous, though. All tobacco smoke (including secondhand smoke), however, contains dangerous chemicals that have been linked to cancer and lung and heart conditions, as well as other oral and dental diseases. Read more

New flu recommendations

Advocate Children’s Hospital shared with the Daily Herald that fall may have just arrived, but a warning has already been issued about the upcoming flu season.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released flu vaccine recommendations for the 2018-2019 flu season that advise all children ages 6 months and older receive a flu shot as soon as possible, and no later than the end of October.

They also recommend the injectable flu vaccine be used as the first choice for children rather than the nasal spray vaccine, which has not provided consistent protection against all strains of the flu virus in past years, per the AAP. The nasal spray has limitations on who can use it, and due to unclear effectiveness, especially against influenza A, the injectable form is preferred.

“The very best defense against the flu is the annual flu vaccination, and the sooner your child is vaccinated, the sooner they will be protected,” says Dr. Shrinal Vyas, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a sad reminder of what can happen when children are not vaccinated. Last flu season, 180 children died of flu-related deaths, and thousands more were hospitalized.

The CDC reports that about 80 percent of children who died had not been vaccinated. Read more