Archive for March, 2014

Affected by diabetes? Important facts and developments you should know

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

(BPT) – A disease so prevalent that it is labeled an epidemic in America, diabetes affects nearly 26 million children and adults, according to the American Diabetes Association (the Association). As this number grows, so does the urgency of finding a cure.

Health experts around the world research type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes in hopes of discovering a cure. More than 13,000 top scientists, physicians and other health care professionals will share their cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations and other diabetes advances at the Association’s 73rd annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

Although Scientific Sessions is primarily for medical professionals, its core is about improving the lives of people affected by diabetes – shaping the direction of research, technology and care with a focus on treatment and prevention and ultimately finding a cure for this devastating disease.

You don’t need to be a health expert to benefit from the information shared at the conference. A special video News Bureau translates the in-depth scientific findings into an easy-to-understand format available through the Association’s social media channels. Visit to view short briefings and interviews produced onsite last year, as well as information as it becomes available this year at the event.

Staying informed is an important part of managing a diabetes diagnosis. The Association helps those affected by diabetes sort through the information out there and better understand the facts. Here are some of the top myths and misconceptions about diabetes:

Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.

Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Being overweight is just one risk factor; other risk factors are family history, ethnicity and age. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight.

Myth: People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods.

Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” foods generally offer no special benefit.

Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets.

Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. The key to sweets is to have a very small portion and save them for special occasions.

Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.

Fact: You are no more likely to get a cold or another illness if you have diabetes. However, people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots. This is because any illness can make diabetes more difficult to control, and therefore serious complications are more likely to develop.

For more information, visit

Courtesy of BPT

Avoid the flu this season: Tips for keeping your employees and business healthy

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

(BPT) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last year’s flu season began four weeks earlier than expected, resulting in the earliest flu season in a decade.

While the early arrival proved to be tough on families, it was especially difficult for small businesses and start-ups that rely on their staff to stay profitable and productive during the holidays and tax season.

The CDC estimates that each year the flu results in 75 million days of work absences and 200 million days of diminished productivity for businesses nationwide. Cumulatively, the flu costs businesses an estimated $6.2 billion in lost productivity each year, with small businesses proving to be no exception.

To keep your staff healthy and business booming, Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Pharmacy offer the following tips to avoid catching the flu this season:

* Encourage employees to get immunized

Immunizations are a simple and effective way for adults and businesses to protect themselves from catching and spreading the flu. The CDC recommends getting an annual flu immunization as the first and most important step in protecting yourself against the flu.

Get immunized early and persuade your staff to do the same.

Encourage your staff to get immunized by taking them out for lunch and immunizations.

Find a location near you that administers the flu shot. This year, your local Sam’s Club Pharmacy offers scheduled and walk-in immunization appointments for all adults age 18 and over – no membership required. Sam’s Club has also implemented additional options for adults to increase flu protection convenience including increased inventory, trained pharmacists to administer immunizations and a privacy screen at each pharmacy for a more comfortable experience.

* Stop the spread of germs

In addition to getting the flu immunization, simple daily measures can protect you and those around you from getting sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.

* Stay home when sick

If you or a staff member begins to exhibit flu-like symptoms, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from spreading the flu and infecting others.

If you are sick with a flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Additional information about the flu, last year’s outbreak and how to avoid catching the flu this season can be found on the CDC website or by visiting

Courtesy of BPT

Know how to keep young athletes playing safe and strong

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

(BPT) – Playing sports is great for kids. It teaches them the importance of teamwork, helps them stay physically active and creates positive habits that last a lifetime. An injury, however, can sideline young athletes for the season – or longer. A recent study by Safe Kids Worldwide identified measures that athletes, coaches and parents can take to prevent serious injuries so kids can stay in the game.

A sports injury sends a young athlete to the emergency room every 25 seconds in the U.S., according to the report “Game Changers.” Made possible with support from Johnson & Johnson, the report takes an in-depth look at data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to explore the types of injuries sidelining young athletes.

“We uncovered some surprising and disturbing data about how often our kids are being injured playing sports,” says Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “But we also found some inspiring stories from people and programs that are making a marked difference and helping kids learn how to play smart, strong and safe.”

A few of the most eye-opening findings of the report were:

* The most common types of injuries were strains or sprains (33 percent), fractures (18 percent), contusions and abrasions (16 percent), and concussions (12 percent).

* The most commonly injured body parts were ankle (15 percent), head (14 percent), finger (12 percent), knee (9 percent) and face (7 percent).

* While it may not be surprising that the sport with the highest concussion rate is football, wrestling and ice hockey have the second and third highest concussion rates, respectively.

* In sports played by both boys and girls, female athletes were more likely to report concussions than boys.

Safe Kids recommends communities, coaches, parents and athletes adopt four key strategies to help reduce sports-related injuries:

* Get educated and then share your knowledge. Many parents and young athletes dealing with a sports injury say they wish they had known sooner about sports injury prevention resources. Anyone interested in staying at the top of their game can attend a Safe Kids sports clinic or go to to learn more.

* Teach children how to prevent injury, including staying hydrated, warming up with exercises and stretching, protecting injury-prone areas like pitching arms and knees, and getting plenty of rest between games and throughout the year.

* Make sure kids know not to suffer in silence. Injured athletes may not report how they’re feeling because they’re worried they will let down their team, coach or parents if they ask to sit out a game or in practice. In reality, speaking up about an injury can help ensure the child suffers no serious, long-term effects – and can return to play sooner.

* Half of coaches who responded to a Safe Kids survey admitted they’d been pressured by a parent or athlete to keep an injured child in the game. Support coaches when they make injury-prevention decisions that protect the wellbeing of the athlete.

“Most states have laws to protect young athletes from injuries or repeat injuries,” Carr says, “but parents and coaches are the front line of protection for our kids. Working together, we can keep our kids active, healthy and safe so they can enjoy the sports they love for a lifetime.”

Courtesy of BPT

Ask the Pharmacist: Controlling asthma during allergy season

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

(BPT) – The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and pollen counts are soaring … and that means millions of Americans are dealing with the sneezing and wheezing that comes with seasonal allergies. While allergies are sometimes considered an uncomfortable nuisance, for the 25 million Americans with asthma, seasonal allergies can trigger serious attacks that if not managed properly could lead to a visit to the ER. In fact, asthma is responsible for half a million hospitalizations each year – 60 percent of which are caused by patients not taking their medication as prescribed.

“We know that most asthmatics – more than half, actually – do not take their asthma medication properly, and that is leaving their condition uncontrolled and increasing their risk for an ER visit due to an asthma attack,” says Paul Reyes, Express Scripts pharmacist and host of the Ask the Pharmacist radio series. “The biggest mistake asthma patients make is stopping their therapy when they feel better, not realizing that their condition will worsen if they don’t use their mediation as prescribed.”

Asthma is a chronic condition caused by inflammation in the airways and lungs that makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing, which often occurs at night or early in the morning. Many factors can inflame an asthma patient’s airways, including infections, pollutants, weather changes and external allergens such as pollen, pet dander, cigarette smoke or dust mites. Studies show that 70 to 80 percent of asthma patients have seasonal allergies, thus increasing their risk for an asthma attack during peak allergy season.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. Of the 25 million Americans who have asthma, 7 million are children, with lower income children being at particularly high risk. A number of environmental factors, including living in an urban area, have been shown to contribute to the prevalence of asthma.

Reyes offers some important tips for preventing and controlling asthma attacks:

* Know the triggers: Keep a journal of substances that cause symptoms, or ask your doctor about a test to discover which allergens affect you. Knowing what your triggers are and, whenever possible, avoiding them, can reduce symptoms and risk of an attack. If seasonal allergens are affecting you, talk to your doctor about adding a seasonal allergy medication to your asthma therapy regimen.-

* Understand your therapy: Asthma therapy can be complicated and difficult to maintain, and often includes different types of mediations each with unique instructions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure how to use your medications. They can help you understand how medications work, and if you use an inhaler, how to use it properly. Also, keep your child informed about the basics of his or her condition and work with the child to make sure he or she knows how to use the medication and what should be done in the event of an emergency.-

* Take as directed: Follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist and do not stop therapy without consulting your physician first. If you are feeling better and are not experiencing symptoms, that means your medication is working and you need to continue using it as prescribed. Set reminders so you don’t forget to take your medication. If a home-delivery pharmacy is an option, this can help ensure an adequate supply of medication is always on hand.

* Care for kids: If your children are enrolled in school or daycare, make sure their caregivers are provided with detailed instructions on how your children’s asthma medication works and when they need to take it. If your child spends time away from home with family or friends, make sure that he or she continues to take the medication as prescribed. Asthma symptoms often become more pronounced in the early morning or late at night, so consistency will help your child stay on track with his or her medications and reduce the risk of an attack.

For more resources and information, visit Express Scripts’ Healthcare Insights blog at

Courtesy of BPT

Dressing for success on campus: a guide to college fashion

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

(BPT) – College students are cash-strapped and time-crunched. So how can they look fashionable while juggling their studies, campus activities and a part-time job? Integrating basic items into their wardrobes is a start – and adding pops of color with accessories can transform a standard outfit into a standout style.

Building off fashion staples

“For both guys and girls, jeans, jackets and T-shirts are, of course, all staples for a college student’s wardrobe,” says Peggy Blum, fashion program coordinator at The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston.

Blum says that this fall, “blue is heralded as the new black.” Warm reds and oranges, pastels, taxi cab yellow and loden green are also trendy hues.

And while skinny jeans still rule the denim world, expect to see them in neon colors, or with printed or bleached treatments. Blum recommends that students seeking a more comfortable fit choose a “boyfriend” jean, which features more relaxed styling.

Blum suggests that college students invest in bold-striped T-shirts, with stripes that vary in width. She adds that prepster-style shirts are a fresh look for both men and women this fall.

Also in style – wide-leg jeans and an overall masculine look, says Emilia Valle, program coordinator for fashion at The Art Institute of Houston-North, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston.

“The look for the returning college student is definitely a coat or jacket with a strong masculine look. From pastels – yes pastels even in fall – to traditional men’s fabrics and some punk flair, this upcoming season is full of overcoats to complete a strong polished style,” Valle says.

Accessorizing: from shoulder bags to footwear

Army style, denim and long shirt-style jackets are an easy way to accessorize an outfit, according to Blum. “For girls, pink coats are predicted to be a hit this fall straight from the runways.”

Other must-have accessories include printed smartphone cases, sporty sneakers or cut-out oxfords and strong gold-tone neckpieces to complete the look while complementing a summer tan.

Blum adds that college students are trending away from backpacks and moving toward all-day bags. “A streamlined multipurpose tote will fit any student’s daily must-haves and is appropriate for campus to work or travel.”

Valle mentions that choosing a large leather tote will add a touch of class to a student’s overall look. “A large leather tote will work fab and still keep you in style.”

Thrifty looks: fashion on a budget

Students on a tight budget might wonder how they can incorporate fashionable pieces into their wardrobe. Valle suggests mixing old and new to create a fresh, budget-friendly look.

“Remember, consignment and thrift stores can make a fashion budget stretch longer, and of course you can help out the planet in the process by recycling someone else’s retro fashion pieces,” she adds.

And the runway trend toward disheveled grunge styles should be helpful to those seeking recycled pieces. “A nod to grunge every now and then works this season,” states Blum.

The do-it-yourself trend is also extremely popular with fashionable, budget-conscious college students. “Thrifting at second hand shops, yard sales, or swapping clothing is a cost-effective way to remain fashionable on a budget,” she says.

Looking fashionable while attending college doesn’t have to be time-consuming or budget-breaking. By choosing a few staple items and adding colorful accessories, students can make it to class on time and on-trend.

Courtesy of BPT

Tips to help kids stay dry and confident through overnight occasions

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

(BPT) – For the estimated 6 million-plus American children who experience bedwetting, sleepovers, sleep-away camp and vacation can trigger embarrassment, not to mention stress and worry for parents. Compounding the problem, many parents don’t understand that bedwetting is a developmental phase that occurs as a child grows, and few consult their pediatricians about their concerns. In fact, a survey conducted by Strategy One found that 43 percent of parents incorrectly believe they can train their kids out of bedwetting.

“Many parents are unaware that bedwetting is a developmental condition, and not something a child can be trained out of,” says pediatrician Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman. “Most children will stop wetting the bed on their own as they physically mature – until that happens, learning to manage bedwetting can cause stress between a parent and child, and ultimately impact the child’s self-esteem and confidence.”

It’s important for parents to find coping strategies, and consistently comfort and reassure their children. Dr. Nadoolman and mom blogger and author Meagan Francis offer guidance on how parents can handle bedwetting during common overnight occasions.

1. Slumber party success

If your child agrees, talk to the host parents. Make sure they understand your child’s bedwetting is a medical condition that he or she can’t control. Arrange a private place to store GoodNites Underwear and a private spot for your child to change into them. Stash a dark plastic bag in his backpack to make disposal easy and discreet. Avoid bed-sharing with family or friends. Instead, have your child bring a sleeping bag.

2. Camp confidence

Bedwetting is so common, there’s a good chance other kids at camp will also be managing the problem. Since camp is often the first time a child is away from home alone, talk to camp counselors and administrators ahead of time – with your child’s agreement, of course. Discuss what accommodations you can make to ensure your child’s GoodNites Underwear are stored and discarded privately and discreetly, and that your child has a secure place to change into them.

3. Family vacation fun

Compassion from the rest of the family will go a long way toward easing a child’s bedwetting stress on vacation. Remind siblings to treat each other with love and respect. Since vacation disrupts routines, plan itineraries that allow children plenty of time to settle in at night and stick as closely as possible to their regular sleep schedule.

4. Spending time with grandparents

Trust the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, and explain the situation to Grandma and Grandpa. Answer any questions they may have, and emphasize the need to be sensitive to your child’s feelings. Pack Bed Mats to ensure sheets stay dry, and consider leaving a package at Grandma’s house for future overnight visits.

5. Adventures in overnight babysitting

Overnight babysitters need to be especially responsible and compassionate when caring for children as they cope with bedwetting. If your child is comfortable with it, discuss his or her situation with the sitter ahead of time. Make sure the sitter understands that bedwetting is a common developmental condition, and not sign of your child acting out. If your child isn’t OK with the sitter knowing about his situation, make sure he understands how to change his own protective garments and PJs.

6. Less stress from out-of-town guests

Before guests arrive, make sure to prepare a sleeping place for them that is separate from your child’s. Keep your child’s nighttime routine and don’t let visitors hinder the process. Remind siblings to respect your child’s privacy and not discuss nighttime wetting in front of guests.

Though many parents fear their child will never outgrow bedwetting, the experts affirm that worrying is not the answer. It’s best to comfort and reassure kids after every incident and know that bedwetting is a developmental phase that most children will outgrow on their own.

“Your role as parent is simply to help your child manage the condition and let them know it is just a bump in the road,” Nadoolman says.

For more advice on bedwetting, visit

Courtesy of BPT