Archive for August, 2013

Organ donation: gift of a second chance at life

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013


(BPT) – While organ transplantation is a remarkable story in the history of medicine, the need for organs is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.

Any way you figure it, the math doesn’t add up to a promising picture. In 2012, there were more than 115,000 people in the U.S. awaiting an organ transplant – enough to overflow the country’s largest football stadium. Each year, more than 28,000 Americans receive a donated organ, but sadly, more than 6,500 people die each year waiting for an organ.

While many are on the waiting list for years, their number increases at the rate of more than 50,000 people a year, nearly one new person every 10 minutes. Day after day the list and the problem grow. It is, however, a problem with a solution – one that depends a lot on education and selflessness.

Professional snowboarder Chris Klug knows first-hand what the waiting game is like. After being diagnosed with PSC (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis), a rare degenerative bile duct condition, Klug learned that he needed a liver transplant. He spent several years on the waiting list, eagerly anticipating the call that a donor organ had become available.

After a successful surgery and aggressive rehabilitation regimen, Klug won the bronze medal in snowboarding in front of the home crowd in Salt Lake City – just a year and a half after his transplant.

-”I’m so blessed to be here today,” Klug says. “I will forever be grateful for my second chance. Every day I thank God and I thank my donor and his family for the decision to donate.”

A new survey released by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. shows that while 60 percent of people are familiar with their state’s organ donor registry and 57 percent would be willing to donate their organs after they pass away, only 43 percent are actually registered as organ donors and 48 percent don’t know how to register.

“We are very encouraged by the number of Americans who view organ donation positively and are willing to donate,” says David Fleming, president and CEO of Donate Life America. “However, knowing the large number of people awaiting a transplant, we are committed to continuing to educate all Americans on the importance of registering in their state, and ensuring they know.”

Registering to become a donor is a simple process that can be completed online or through many local departments of motor vehicles. Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives. Register today to become an organ donor at donatelife.net/register-now.

 

Courtesy of BPT

Keep prints and color combos looking bright

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Keep%20prints%20and%20color%20combos%20looking%20brightNew York Fashion Week brought out eye-catching trends and bright colors to kick off warm weather fashions that have women shining during work or play times.

Nobody wants these beautiful splashes of color to look dull and worn after just a couple washes. Colors need to keep shining brightly to maintain a fashionable closet throughout the warmer months.

Keep your fashions looking fresh and new all throughout spring and summer with the following laundry tips from Dr. Laundry.

* Keeping colors bright is the perfect job for Clorox 2 Stain Fighter & Color Booster with new TripleSolve Technology. Add this to every load of laundry, along with your favorite laundry detergent to help remove tough stains, maintain color and keep your clothes runway ready. The liquid formula is perfect for pre-treating and removing tough stains, the pack formula contains the brightening and stain-fighting power of Clorox 2 in the convenience of a pack and there is also a powder formula – a must-have addition to any laundry arsenal.

* Vibrant colors could cause potential bleeding in the washing machine. If this happens, the first step to take is to not dry any of the laundry in the dryer, which can heat-set the color transfer. Bleach test the material that suffered from the bleeding by mixing 2 teaspoons of bleach in 1/4 cup of water, and apply a drop of the solution to a hidden part of the clothing. After a minute, blot the spot dry. If you don’t see any change in coloring, the item can be safely bleached. Mix 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of cold water and soak the garment for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Air dry and see if the bleeding color has been removed. If you haven’t had any success, try a stronger product like a color remover – but consider diluting this product first to help protect other colors already built into the fabric.

* Sweat stains can age a shirt very quickly, and with the warmer temperatures, these marks are likely to appear on this season’s fashions. To help remove a buildup of these stains, first put the shirt into a dishpan and pour boiling water over it slowly – targeting the armpit and neckline areas where these stains tend to build up. Try not to handle the shirt – it will be hot. After soaking for a short time, pour as much of the hot water off as you can. Then mix equal parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water into a watery paste. Apply directly to the stains and saturate. Rinse the shirt and follow up with a hot water wash with a good enzyme-containing laundry detergent plus 3/4 cup of bleach.

Step out in the hot runway prints and new color combos, and don’t let those fantastic looks become dull or stained. For additional laundry tips and advice, visit Dr. Laundry’s blog at www.drlaundryblog.com, call the 24/7 stain hotline at 877-STAIN-411 or download the myStain app for on the go solutions.

IMAGE CAPTIONS:
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Caption 1: Tie-dyed prints and vibrant colors were everywhere during the Strut Fashion Show at Spring Fashion Week in New York.


Courtesy of BPT

Proper footwear for weekend warriors

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Proper footwear is important

Being tied to a desk all day combined with overdoing sports activities on the weekend has landed many a participant on the sidelines. Now experts say those who play a hard game of sports once a week, but are inactive the other six days, are even more at fault for the injuries that plague them.

 

“In addition to failing to train sufficiently for the sports they participate in, many weekend warriors also fail to select the proper footwear,” says Ryan Robinson, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist and president of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. “Not wearing the correct footwear can cause problems ranging from minor discomfort such as blisters, corns and calluses to more serious conditions including repetitive stress injuries to the joints and muscles.”

 

Robinson cautions that one pair of running shoes may not serve for all sports. Joggers should wear running shoes which are specifically designed to absorb shock and propel them forward. However, running shoes are not appropriate for a game of basketball, which requires footwear to withstand side to side motions to protect against injury. Choosing footwear appropriate to your sport reduces the risks of injury and helps you play smart.

 

Equally important to wearing activity-specific footwear is replacing shoes at the end of their lifespan, often something weekend warriors neglect to do. The cushioning and supportive materials in running shoes break down over time, even if they’re not being used, leaving the wearer without the support they require. Depending on the use, running shoes typically have a shelf lifespan of 600-700 kilometers, or around 12 months. If you are a distance runner, however, you will need to replace your running shoes more frequently than that.

 

As with all footwear, athletic shoes must fit properly. Shoes that are too long, too short or too wide can affect the function of the foot. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a recreational athlete, get your athletic footwear professionally fitted by foot expert, such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. This simple step will help keep you off the sidelines and in the game.

 

More information on reducing sports-related foot injuries can be found online at www.pedorthic.ca/injury-prevention



Courtesy of Newscanada

Taking Steps to Manage Acid Reflux Disease

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013


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Acid reflux disease (ARD), also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), affects nearly 19 million Americans, and is characterized by heartburn occurring two or more days a week despite treatment and diet changes. Susan had lived with the symptoms of ARD for years until she went to her doctor and was diagnosed.

“I was busy and younger when my heartburn symptoms first occurred,” says Susan, a retired college professor and former clinical researcher from State College, Pennsylvania, who first experienced signs of ARD years ago. “I tried over-the-counter medications, such as antacids, which helped but not enough. I went to the doctor and he explained how acid reflux happens, and suggested that I should work to better manage my stress – which is hard for me.”

 

As time went on, it became harder and harder for Susan to ignore her heartburn symptoms. She began taking steps to better manage her heartburn symptoms, making several lifestyle changes, such as sleeping while propped up and trying to maintain a healthy body weight. Susan also tried to reduce her stress through such things like walking and other exercises.

 
“Working with my doctor, we were able to find a treatment plan that was right for me, which included taking the medication Dexilant,” Susan says. “I began taking Dexilant, and it helped relieve my heartburn symptoms. Each person’s experience with ARD is very personal, so the best thing to do if you have or think you might have acid reflux disease, is to speak with your doctor to find out more about the condition and what might be right for you.” 

 
To help educate people like Susan who have ARD, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., the makers of Dexilant (dexlansoprazole), partnered with celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn on the “Don’t Let it Burn” campaign to raise awareness around ARD and the importance of finding ways to manage their symptoms, including diet and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle tips, music, heartburn-friendly recipes and more can all be found on DontLetitBurn.com.

 
“It is very important for patients to be proactive and understand that if they experience symptoms of heartburn frequently, they should reach out to their healthcare providers to find out if what they’re experiencing is acid reflux disease, and if so, what courses of action might be possible to manage this condition,” says David A. Peura, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine. “When I work with ARD patients, we counsel diet and lifestyle modifications, but often for many patients, a medication is also needed to manage the symptoms. One treatment option I prescribe for my appropriate ARD patients is Dexilant because it can offer up to 24 hours of heartburn relief.”

To learn more, visit www.DontLetitBurn.com. You can also hear from celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, and get tips, helpful information and facts about acid reflux disease, including:

 
 Acid reflux disease can occur in both men and women, with varying severity of the disease among patients Lifestyle modifications are part of a treatment plan to help manage a patient’s acid reflux disease.

Some include:

Avoid common trigger foods, such as fried or fatty foods, citrus foods, onions, and tomato-based foods as well as alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks, chocolate, peppermint and spearmint Maintain a healthy body weight Eat small, frequent meals rather than large amounts of food at one time

Try not to wear tight-fitting clothing around your waist Elevate the head of your bed 6-8 inchesBe smoke-free

About Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) 30 mg and 60 mg delayed release capsules

 
Persistent heartburn two or more days a week, despite treatment and diet changes, could be acid reflux disease (ARD). Prescription Dexilant capsules are used in adults for 4 weeks to treat heartburn related to ARD, for up to 8 weeks to heal acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus (called erosive esophagitis or EE), and for up to 6 months to continue healing of EE and relief of heartburn. Individual results may vary. Most damage (erosions) heals in 4-8 weeks.

 
Important Safety Information
Dexilant may not be right for everyone. Do not take Dexilant if you are allergic to Dexilant or any of its ingredients. Serious allergic reactions have been reported. Tell your doctor if you get any of the following symptoms with Dexilant: rash, face swelling, throat tightness, or difficulty breathing. Symptom relief does not rule out other serious stomach conditions. People who are taking multiple daily doses of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medicines for a long period of time may have an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Low magnesium levels can happen in some people who take a PPI medicine.

 
The most common side effects of Dexilant were diarrhea (4.8%), stomach pain (4.0%), nausea (2.9%), common cold (1.9%), vomiting (1.6%), and gas (1.6%). Dexilant and certain other medicines can affect each other. Before taking Dexilant, tell your doctor if you are taking ampicillin, atazanavir, digoxin, iron, ketoconazole, tacrolimus, or methotrexate. If you are taking Dexilant with warfarin, you may need to be monitored because serious risks could occur. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional. Please see accompanying Prescribing Information for Dexilant. 

 
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

 
To hear more from Spike and to learn about the treatment option Dexilant, please visit DontLetitBurn.com.



Courtesy of BPT

Is your showerhead making you sick? Water softeners provide health and economic benefits

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013


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Hand sanitizer, flu shots and regular exercise are just some of the ways Americans build their immunity to protect themselves from harmful bacteria and illness. But many may be missing a simple step for preventing health problems.

There’s nothing like a nice hot shower to remove dirt and grime. But shower heads are moist, warm, and dark, and those that spray hard water are especially ripe for bacterial growth.

In fact, newly published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicated that shower heads that sprayed hard water had a prevalence of bacteria linked to pulmonary, or lung-related, disease. The study reported the results of shower heads analyzed across nine U.S. cities.

Just as Americans take other preventative measures to protect themselves from airborne illnesses, there’s a simple way to ensure your shower head doesn’t make you sick.

Water softeners dissolve the minerals, like calcium, magnesium and iron that are normally found in hard water. Left untreated, these minerals leave a residue build-up in the shower head, which plays host to bacteria.

“Water softeners break down the minerals in the water and the accumulated minerals are flushed down the drain,” says Jerry Poe, technical director at North American Salt Company, the producer of Nature’s Own and Sure Soft brands of water conditioning products. “Using a good water softener is an easy way to protect your family from harmful bacteria and certain potential pulmonary problems.”

But the advantages of water softeners go beyond health benefits. They’re also good for homeowners watching their pocketbooks.

The Water Quality Association, in partnership with the Battelle Institute – an independent research and development organization – examined the economic impact of water softeners. The group wanted to understand the effects water softeners had on the efficiency and lifespan of water heaters.

Battelle Institute researchers tested gas, electric and tankless water heaters. The results made a strong case for soft water and water softeners.

The gas and electric water heaters maintained their predicted 15-year lifespan when scientists used soft water. But with hard water, the heaters showed up to a 25 percent decrease in efficiency over the lifetime of the appliance.

Tankless heaters using soft water also maintained their original efficiency rating over a 15-year span. But, when the tankless appliances heated hard water, substantial mineral build-up prevented them from functioning after less than two years of equivalent water use.

And, when it came to cost, researchers at the Battelle Institute found soft water delivered savings of almost 60 percent, compared with water heaters using hard water.

Shower head performance also was examined by researchers. Those spraying hard water saw a 75 percent decrease in flow rate in less than 18 months due to hard water mineral deposits. Soft water showerheads maintained their consistent flow and stream over time.

“You wouldn’t think the simple act of taking a shower could play such an important role in your family’s health,” says Poe. “But if your home has hard water, using a softener can help protect your family from dangerous bacteria and potential health problems, and it can save you money and prolong your appliances’ lifespans at the same time.”

Courtesy of BPT

The secrets to successful outdoor entertaining

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013


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What makes an outdoor party great? It’s simple: Keep guests comfortable.

 
When friends and family gather at your place for a party this summer, what will they remember most about your backyard? The lovely landscaping and delicious food you served, or uncompromising weeds and stinging bugs? Make that lasting impression a positive one by creating an outdoor environment that’s both comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.

 
No pest zone

 
Nothing ruins a party faster or more thoroughly than unwanted stinging bugs or prickly weeds. Take the proactive route and prevent these pests from showing up at the party.

 
Before the invitations are sent out, make a sweep of the yard and look for pesky weeds that could cause discomfort for guests. Keep unwanted plants like poison ivy, thistles or sand burrs from ruining the fun. In addition, it’s always a good idea to head-off any annoying pests like wasps, mosquitoes, fleas and ticks to keep them from assaulting party guests. 

 
Refreshments

 
An easy way to set the party mood is by choosing a menu appealing to everyone. Casual or formal, food can be easy to prepare and enjoyable for everyone to eat. Consider your guest list and the event that you may be celebrating. Be aware of common food allergies as well as any vegetarian or vegan friends. Make your menu simple by providing guests with a little variety and by relying on fresh produce. Locally grown fruits and veggies are abundant this time of year and are appealing to most people – even dieters. Use fresh fruits and veggies to make easy appetizers, salads, entrees, side dishes or even desserts.

 
Drinks are essential to great outdoor entertaining as well. Whether you are entertaining children or adults, the drinks you choose can set the mood. A signature drink is always fun. Try refreshing lemonade for the kids or a festive sangria for adults. Also, be sure to provide lots of ice-cold water to prevent dehydration in the heat of summer. Offer herb cuttings for garnish or float edible flowers in pitchers.

 
Seating

 
Nothing is more inviting than a comfortable seating area. Offer shady areas to help establish comfy conversations and be sure to provide ample seating for all your guests. Pull out all your folding chairs, borrow outdoor chairs and tables from neighbors, rent extras if needed and get creative. Ottomans, large buckets, logs, straw bales or even coolers can make great seats. As long as the surfaces are clean and sturdy, a cushion can always be added for a little extra comfort. Make sure to dust off and spruce up existing seating for a fresh look as well.

 
Lighting 

 
Nothing sets the tone of a party better than lighting. This important element can make a world of difference. Candles or torches can do double duty by providing soft, illuminating light and helping to keep bugs at bay. Purchase candles or oils with citronella to discourage mosquitoes from making an appearance. In addition, solar lights or battery-powered lanterns can bring some much-needed illumination to dark corners of the yard. Strings of electric twinkle lights can make the less-remote areas sparkle for guests as well.

 
In anticipation of a big event, you’ve compiled the guest list, pulled together a menu, made sure there was enough seating, set the mood with lighting and gotten rid of the uninvited pests. Let the partying begin.



Courtesy of BPT