Allergies or a Cold? – An Early Allergy Season May Make It Hard to Tell

MedExpress Urgent Care Advises on The Differences and Symptoms

The sun is shining. And you’re miserable. Runny nose, aches, sneezing. This cold keeps hanging on but you aren’t sure why. But is it a cold? According to MedExpress Urgent Care, a neighborhood medical care provider with more than 250 centers in 20 states, an early allergy season paired with a late cold and flu season can cause symptoms such as runny noses, sinus pressure, and headaches to overlap − making it difficult to tell the difference between late winter colds and early spring allergies.

“It’s easy to understand how cold and allergies symptoms can be confused, particularly during ‘in-between months’ such as March and April,” said Dr. Dheeraj Taranath, Regional Medical Director, MedExpress. “If you notice that you typically develop a ‘cold’ during this time of year, your cold may, in fact, be allergies, which can begin as early as February.”


5 Tips to Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Allergy sufferers may have a few more weeks of reprieve before allergy season is well underway, but according to Dr. Taranath of MedExpress, individuals suffering from allergies can help prepare themselves for the upcoming season by:


  • Keeping windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from getting into the home once warm weather hits.
  • Showering and changing clothes before bed to remove allergens that might cause irritation overnight.
  • Regularly monitoring local allergy forecasts for high pollen counts.
  • Avoiding early morning outdoor activity − a peak pollen time.
  • Avoiding dry, windy days, which can send pollen flying into eyes and nostrils. A walk after a rainstorm can provide relief since rain washes away pollen.

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Fitness Tips from Go4Life

The National Institute on Aging asks, “Did you know that people with chronic conditions such as heart disease and arthritis can benefit from regular exercise?”

In some cases, regular, doctor-approved exercise can even improve conditions such as:

  • Heart health—For a healthy heart, exercise or be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week. Follow a heart-healthy diet and keep a healthy weight.
  • Type 2 diabetes—You can take small steps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes such as being active and making smart food choices. If you already have type 2 diabetes, exercise and physical activity can help you manage the disease and help you stay healthy longer.
  • Arthritis—Regular exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. It also can help with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints.
  • Osteoporosis—Your bones and muscles will be stronger if you are physically active. Weight-bearing exercises done three to four times per week can help prevent osteoporosis.

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Make fitness “me time” during pregnancy

Mary BielawskiACE certified personal trainer shared in the Edwards Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that when you’re pregnant, your body is constantly working hard growing another little human being. It’s very important to take excellent care of your ever-changing body during this special time.  As long as your doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner gives you the OK to exercise, you should carve out time to exercise and stay active throughout your pregnancy.

Here are some helpful tips to stay active, keep moving, and create a healthy physical routine:

  • Walking. This is such an easy, inexpensive way to stay active!  Try to walk at least once a day or as many days per week as you can (I know some days are harder than others. Thank you, pregnancy symptoms!). Walking outside not only helps your circulation, but you also get that added bonus of breathing fresh air, which is especially refreshing if you’ve been feeling queasy. Too hot or too cold out for you? Take your walks indoors to your gym or to a mall.
  • Stretching. With your muscles, tendons and ligaments stretching and pulling in every direction to support your growing baby, adding some light-to-moderate stretches could ease that discomfort. You can also use this time while you stretch to quiet the mind. Create a comfortable space somewhere in your home (mine is in my bedroom) with a yoga mat, blankets, pillows, etc. Sometimes you might feel like binging on a Netflix show. In that case, perform a few stretches while watching TV. Start with a few different stretches, repeat each stretch 2-3 times. Once you get in a routine, add more stretches.

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Plan to Stay Safe, Mobile, and Independent

The Center for Disease Control asks, “How would you get to the grocery store if you suddenly found yourself unable to drive? Would you be able to get to doctor appointments, social engagements, or church? Does your community have reliable public transportation or rideshare services?”

Mobility is the ability to get where you want to go when you want to go there. Many people make financial plans for retirement, but not everyone plans for the mobility changes that may come with age. One in four Americans now 65 years old will live into their 90s. It makes good sense to plan for what’s ahead.

CDC developed the MyMobility Plan to help older adults address possible changes and stay safe, mobile, and independent longer. This planning tool is aimed at adults nearing retirement age and provides information and tips in three main sections:

  • MySelf – a plan to manage personal health to maintain mobility and stay independent
  • MyHome – a home safety checklist to help prevent falls
  • MyNeighborhood – a plan to get around in the community

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Relieving Nausea with Ginger

College of DuPage Nursing Student Mary Budner researched that Ginger is a type of root that can be found through various means in several products. Ways to take ginger include; fresh, dried, powdered, candied, pickled, as a type of tea or juice, and – you can even put ginger jam on your morning toast.

Ginger has been studied for the relief of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. A study published in July of 2012 by the National Institutes of Health investigated how ginger may help to avoid nausea in patients who were receiving chemotherapy.

Of the 576 study participants with an average age of 53 years, any amount of ginger significantly reduced the severity of short-term nausea. Slightly more ginger helped prevent nausea even more; using a daily dose of 0.5g to 1.0g of ginger was enough to significantly reduce the effects of short-term nausea in these adults.

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Pregnancy and Oral Health

The Center for Disease Control shared that Healthcare professionals: use Protect Tiny Teeth, a free set of resources, to talk to pregnant women and new moms about the importance of oral health.

One way to prevent cavities in young children is to improve pregnant women’s oral health. Pregnancy may make women more prone to periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. Oral health may be considered an important part of prenatal care, given that poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby. Protect Tiny Teeth includes a mix of attention-grabbing materials to spark awareness that oral health should be part of prenatal care, and tips on how pregnant women and new moms can protect their oral health and the oral health of their infants.

Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease

Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.1 If periodontal disease is

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Hey brother, could you spare…a limb?

College of DuPage Nursing Student Thomas Peck asks, “Ever imagine being able to use your computer to create a 3D model of an airplane, a car, a house or even a leg?” I know it sounds like one of these items does not belong, but the advancement of
3D printing has taken us a long way from its advent in the 1980s.
The way that 3D printing works is that design is imputed into a computer program. The computer sends the images to a printer. This printer takes a material, oftentimes a resin, and creates layer upon layer until there is an actual 3D object. As I stated earlier, the technology was originally designed to create prototypes for office complexes, housing developments, airplanes, cars, and
the list goes on and on.
Now, fast-forward to today. Why limit this technology to the urban and general consumer market? Why not take this technology and directly apply it to the healthcare sector, improving the lives of individuals? Well, according to the FDA and the Cleveland Clinic, this is a major focus for 2019.
According to both of these institutions, 3D printing is the new now! There have been breakthroughs that couple diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI, with 3D printing, in order to produce personalized artificial limbs. These limbs can be molded to fit a specific person, which not only helps an individual with mobility, but it helps to increase mental health by increasing self-esteem. After all, who doesn’t want to be able to feed themselves, dress, or simply be able to perform daily hygiene?

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Benefits of Yoga for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Harry Cline,

a nursing home administrator shared that he has seen the enormous mental and physical health benefits yoga and meditation can provide the elderly… but outside a nursing home setting, he imagined it’s sometimes hard for seniors to know how to get started.  So he was very kind and composed the following article to share with Healthy Lombard:

Seniors can improve their overall health and well-being by introducing positive activities into their routines. Exercise, including yoga, can help improve physical and mental health. Some seniors are closely connected to the people who provide their care. Increasingly, these caregivers are family members, and the rigors of providing attentive care to a senior can cause them mental and physical problems. Yoga can provide a double benefit for seniors and their caregivers, helping to strengthen not only their bodies but also their bond. Perhaps best of all, it’s easy to get started and doesn’t require any expensive equipment. You can easily set aside space or room for practicing yoga and mindfulness by choosing an area away from high-traffic spaces, adding a few nature-inspired decor items, and removing clutter, which is known to increase stress and is the last thing you want to focus on during your yoga practice.

How yoga increases physical health

Yoga poses take muscles through natural ranges of motion to invigorate, stretch, and flex muscles and joints. The physical results are a greater range of motion, reduced joint inflammation, increased muscle strength, and pain relief. Read more

What can a caregiver do from far away?

The National Institute on Aging shared that anyone, anywhere, can be a long-distance caregiver, no matter your gender, income, age, social status, or employment. If you are living an hour or more away from a person who needs your help, you’re probably a long-distance caregiver.

You may ask yourself—what can I really do from far away? Long-distance caregivers take on different roles. You may:

  • Help with finances, money management, or bill paying
  • Arrange for in-home care—hire professional caregivers or home health or nursing aides and help get needed durable medical equipment
  • Locate care in an assisted living facility or nursing home (also known as a skilled nursing facility)
  • Provide emotional support and occasional respite care for a primary caregiver, the person who takes on most of the everyday caregiving responsibilities
  • Serve as an information coordinator—research health problems or medicines, help navigate through a maze of new needs and clarify insurance benefits and claims

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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.

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