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Diet sodas okay for diabetics, but study sheds some doubt

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Diet sodas are still okay as an alternative to sugary soft drinks for people with diabetes. However, a new study sheds some light on whether frequent consumption can harm the eyes.

Published online in the Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology journal, a new study reports a link between adult patients with diabetes who drink more than four cans of diet soda weekly and a higher incidence of developing proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).

The study’s researchers sought to determine how diet soda consumption often marketed as a healthier alternative to regular soda might influence the risk of eye complications.

Diabetic retinopathy, a progressive retinal disease, is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults.

PDR, the effect of uncontrolled retinal swelling from leaking blood vessels, can go unnoticed by patients and–if left untreated–cause severe vision loss or blindness. However, early detection and regular, comprehensive eye exams can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.

According to the study, researchers selected 609 diabetics Ñ nearly a quarter of which had PDR from the Australian Diabetes Management Project and analyzed their food consumption, including soft drinks.

They found individuals consuming four or more cans of diet soda weekly had more than a two-fold increased incidence of PDR.

Even so, diet soda consumption was not associated with higher odds of less severe diabetic retinopathy or any level of diabetic macular edema.

Health

Three tips to make living with arthritis easier

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Arthritis can make it difficult to perform a variety of tasks, from getting dressed in the morning to washing dishes at night. Here are three ways you can improve your quality of life if you have arthritis.

1. Keep moving. Regular exercise is essential for maintaining joint function and bone density and can help relieve arthritis symptoms. Plus, exercise promotes better sleep and helps with weight management.

2. Maintain a healthy diet. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet — which involves replacing sugary, refined foods with fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats and whole grains rich in antioxidants — has been shown to help reduce arthritic pain caused by joint inflammation. If you’re overweight, a low-calorie diet is essential for shedding pounds; weight loss can reduce pressure on your joints.

3. Make your home accessible. Small adjustments made to your home — such as using a shower stool or keeping items on lower shelves — can ease pain and stress. Look for ergonomic equipment and assistive devices that can be used at home to improve your grip and avoid unnecessary bending or reaching.

Finally, ask for help from family members and friends if you need it and continue to meet with your doctor regularly to address ongoing health concerns.

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Your nutritional needs at different stages of life

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Did you know that your nutritional needs change as you get older? Here’s a brief guide to some of the nutritional requirements at different life stages.

Babies
At the beginning of their lives, babies get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or infant formula. Around six months of age, solid foods should be introduced, prepared so they’re safe for infants to consume. These solid foods should be rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals and in particular, iron. Infant cereals, puréed beans and finely minced fish and meat are all good sources of iron for babies.

Children
To grow and develop, kids require a wide variety of nutritious foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean meats. The more they’re encouraged to try new foods, the more likely they’ll be to maintain a balanced diet later in life.

Teenagers
Around puberty, children start to require more energy, which should come from nutrient-dense foods like wholegrain breads, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish and lean meats. Teens, especially girls, should also make sure to get enough calcium through dairy products like low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.

Young adults
As people begin their adult lives, it’s important that they develop good eating habits by consuming a variety of nutritious foods. They should limit their intake of fat, sugar and salt and make sure to eat plenty of foods that are rich in iron and calcium.

Pregnant and nursing women
Pregnant women require increased amounts of folate, iron, vitamin B12 and iodine. They also need to make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin C. When breast-feeding, women should make sure to eat a highly nutritious diet, especially foods rich in folate, iodine, zinc and calcium.

Seniors
As people age, they need fewer calories but just as many nutrients to stay healthy. Seniors should eat a wide range of foods that are nutrient dense rather than high in calories. They should also make sure to consume plenty of fiber, limit their salt intake and get lots of vitamin D.

Talk to a nutritionist about the recommended diet for someone at your stage of life.

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ADHD in girls versus boys: why girls often go undiagnosed

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, girls aren’t less prone to ADHD, rather, their symptoms differ and are less easy to recognize.

Research shows that while boys tend to demonstrate hyperactive behaviors and externalized symptoms of ADHD—running around indoors, acting out, fidgeting, etc.— girls more often exhibit inattentive behaviors and internalized symptoms like anxiety.

Because girls’ symptoms are less noticeable, parents and teachers often don’t recognize them as signs of ADHD. As a result, many girls with ADHD aren’t diagnosed until well into their teens and twenties. In some cases, it’s misdiagnosed as a learning disability or mood disorder.

Undiagnosed ADHD in girls can lead to low self-esteem and mental health issues like depression, anxiety and eating disorders. They’re also more likely to struggle in social situations and personal relationships.

Some common symptoms of ADHD in girls include low self-esteem, appearing withdrawn, anxiety, forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, messiness and a tendency to daydream.

Boys’ symptoms are more likely to include hyperactivity, excessive talking, difficulty sitting still and physical aggression.

(These are just generalizations and some girls with ADHD exhibit hyperactive behaviors while some boys may respond to the disorder by becoming quiet and withdrawn.)

If you’re a parent or teacher, keep in mind that hyperactivity isn’t the only way that ADHD manifests in children. Look out for all possible signs of ADHD and get a professional diagnosis if necessary.

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A brief history of National Nutrition Month

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Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors National Nutrition Month to raise awareness about the importance of developing healthy eating habits. This year, National Nutrition Month will be honored as its own theme to accommodate a diverse range of topics in advocating for the importance of good nutrition.

National Nutrition Month began as National Nutrition Week in 1973. It was started by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) — now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — as
a way to raise awareness about the profession of dietetics while educating the public about good nutrition. Growing public concern about the topic of healthy eating led to the event’s transformation into a month-long event in 1980.

Over the years, National Nutrition Month has covered a variety of health and food-related subjects. The campaign’s first slogan was, “invest in yourself — buy nutrition.”

In the late 1970s, the ADA created a mascot to help promote its messages to children: Nutribird, a cartoon bird with lettuce for a body and a carrot for a beak.

During the 1990s, National Nutrition Month became increasingly focused around calls to action involving the federal dietary guidelines. And, with the emergence of the internet, it became possible to share information about the event more widely than ever before. Today, it’s one of the most celebrated health campaigns in the United States.

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A satisfying sex life is possible at any age

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Your sexuality doesn’t come with an expiration date, and in fact, many older people enjoy having an active and fulfilling sex life. To join the ranks of sexually satisfied seniors, you already have the tools you need, including the following:

• You know yourself. A lifetime of sexual experimentation has probably taught you what you like and what you don’t like in bed. Don’t be shy to share this information with your partner to ensure that both of you have a good time.

• You’ve got time. Retired (or semi-retired) life leaves you more time for leisure activities. Dedicating more energy into your sex life will make it more pleasurable and rewarding. If you’re not in a relationship, take the time to peruse online dating websites dedicated to older adults in your area.

• You’re desirable. Your body may have changed over the years, but you’re as desirable as ever. Your eyes, smile and personality are fabulous. Take pride in your appearance by pampering your skin, eating well and staying active.

• You have resources. If you need medical assistance to have a more satisfying sex life, there are many health professionals who can help. A sexologist, pharmacist or doctor can help you decide if you’d benefit from sex therapy, hormone treatments or a medication like Viagra or Cialis.

With a little self-confidence and a great partner, you’re sure to have a great time between the sheets. A healthy sex life is good for your health and mental well-being, no matter what your age.

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Asthma inhalers get smart

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Your asthma inhaler is going online.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first inhaler that can measure how much and how well you use the inhaler — and send the data to you and your doctor.

The new inhaler is approved for use in people aged four years and older.

According to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, patients will download a mobile app that connects via bluetooth to the ProAir Digihaler. Sensors in the inhaler will detect how often patients use the inhaler and how effectively they breathe in. That data is sent to the app. Patients can then share data with their doctor.

The ProAir Digihaler contains albuterol sulfate powder for inhalation, helping to relax the patient’s airways so they can breathe easier. It also delivers a warmer, less forceful, longer-lasting spray that allows patients more time to inhale and provides a consistent dose of medicine when needed.

Teva said its Digihaler would be available in 2019 through a small number of programs but a national launch is planned for 2020.

No information was immediately available on cost.

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Mar
25
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all-day 2nd annual Car Giveaway event @ Auto Care Clinic
2nd annual Car Giveaway event @ Auto Care Clinic
Mar 25 all-day
2nd annual Car Giveaway event @ Auto Care Clinic
PURPOSE: We are seeking nominations for someone in need of a good, used vehicle to get back and forth to work, school or medical appointments, who can afford to own a vehicle, but can’t afford[...]
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10:00 am Grab Some Clay and Create @ The Kiln Doctor, Inc.
Grab Some Clay and Create @ The Kiln Doctor, Inc.
Mar 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Grab Some Clay and Create @ The Kiln Doctor, Inc.
March 26th & 28th | Stop in any time between 10am-12pm or 3pm-5pm. Each week we create 5 unique projects that you can choose from. Pieces will be fired and ready for pickup in a[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing with Graphite ... @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing with Graphite ... @ Art in the Valley
Mar 26 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing with Graphite Pencils @ Art in the Valley
This four week course (Tuesdays 1:30-4:00 p.m.from March 5 through March 26, 2019) with instructor Elena Maza, will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings of leaves, flowers, the[...]