Tips to Stay Healthy This Fall

Fall is here and with the change in weather comes the start of cold and flu season. The common cold and the flu both share some of the same symptoms that make it hard to tell which one you’re coming down with.

Both the flu and a cold are viral infections spread through coming in contact with germs from someone already infected. A cold and the flu both develop in stages where certain symptoms start to emerge as the infection develops in your body.

Common cold symptoms

The cold usually starts off with a sore throat which goes away within a day or two. A runny nose, congestion, a cough, and nasal symptoms appear by the fourth or fifth day of feeling under the weather. A runny nose will also start within the first few days and as the cold progresses, the mucus will become thicker and darker. While a fever isn’t common with a cold in adults, children will sometimes run a low to mild fever for a day or two.

Flu symptoms

Symptoms for the flu are much more severe than the symptoms of a cold. You can come down with the flu within a couple days of coming into contact with the virus. The symptoms usually come on quickly and are much more severe than the symptoms of a common cold. Within the first couple days of coming into contact with the virus, you will start to develop a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and a cough.

Most flu symptoms start to improve over the course of 2 – 5 days, but it is not uncommon for the flu to leave someone feeling run down for longer periods of time.

Is it a cold or the flu?

One of the best ways to determine if it’s a cold or the flu is to check your temperature. While the flu mimics a cold, the flu will also come with a fever above 100 degrees. You will also feel completely miserable and have body and muscle aches as well. The common cold rarely comes with a fever above 100 degrees and while you will be tired and a little run down, you will still have enough energy to go about your day.

Remember, a cold or the flu are spread through direct contact with surfaces where cold or flu germs have been spread. This happens through sneezing or coughing. Person-to-person transmission can also happen when someone touches their nose or mouth and then touches someone or something else.

Cold and flu germs can live up to 24 hours on any hard surface. Make sure you are washing your hands and not touching your mouth, eyes, and nose during cold and flu season. Not only will this keep germs from spreading, but it will help keep you healthy too!

Fitness Apps That Will Change Your Life and Improve Your Health

There are many different aspects to forging and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and sleep. While changing lifestyles and behaviors starts with a choice, the revitalization of daily life does not rest solely on your shoulders. Check out these fitness apps that will empower you to change your life and improve your health.

MyFitnessPal

This app was created with a single goal in mind: to take the guess-work out of an individual’s diet. Often, people go throughout their day without thinking about their food, how many calories may be in that item or the macronutrients that encapsulate that meal. What MyFitnessPal does beautifully is kept a tally of the calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and other micronutrients that a person has consumed in their day. For readers that want to lose weight and count their calories without pulling out a mathematics textbook, this is a life-saving application. Located below is a list of features and functions that assist in users’ weight loss journeys:

  • Comprehensive calorie counter
  • Weight loss targets
  • A community of like-minded individuals
  • Extensive food database
  • Barcode scanner
  • Free and easy to use
  • Available for both iOS and Android devices

Sleep Cycle

A critical component for maintaining a healthy life that many seem to overlook is the importance of rest and recovery. Going throughout a day can take a physical toll on the body and break down connective tissue, muscle fibers and elevate cortisol levels within the system. Failure to recover with a restful nights’ sleep can lead to serious health issues such as depression, debilitating fatigue, mental fog and poor athletic performance.

The Sleep Cycle app was programmed to work with the user’s natural sleep patterns and maximize the amount of time they spend in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep during the night. For individuals that wake up feeling groggy, confused, lethargic and tired, this can be directly correlated to waking up during a REM cycle. Sleep Cycle allows users to wake up in a natural fashion after a REM cycle of 90-minutes has completed. Following this method, users can rise up feeling refreshed, energized and ready to attack their physical lifestyle demands! Every piece of data that presents itself during the user’s night of slumber can be tracked and utilized for recovery.

  • 90-minute sleep window functionality
  • Easy to use
  • Accelerometer to track movements and adjustments during sleep
  • Comprehensive snooze features
  • Intelligent design and intuitive breakdown of each night’s sleep

How To Be Honest With Your Doctor

One of the keys to getting the most out of a doctor-patient relationship is to be honest with your doctor. However, nearly 30 percent of people have lied to their doctor. If you lie to your doctor, then you probably will not be able to get the best care. There are several things that people lie about, and these lies can be harmful.

Lie: I am Following a Healthy Diet

You have to be honest with your doctor about your diet. If you lie and say that you have a good diet and your lab work does not reflect that, then your doctor will know something is wrong. You may end up being prescribed more medication, which can be harmful. If you tell your doctor that your diet has not been the best, then they can help you make changes.

 

Lie: I Don’t Smoke Anymore

Ten percent of smokers have lied to their doctors and told them that they quit smoking. They stated that they did not want to be lectured by their doctors. However, if you are still a smoker, then your doctor needs to know this. If you lie, then you may not be able to get the right treatment for conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Smoking also increases your risk of developing heart disease, which is something that your doctor needs to know.

 

Lie: I am Taking all my Medications

Many people will either change their dosage or stop taking their medication without consulting with their doctor first. Lying to your doctor about your medication can be risky. Your doctor may prescribe you more medication, which can result in serious health problems.

Let your doctor know if you stopped taking the medication because of the side effects. You may be given another medication. Your doctor may also give you a different medication.

 

Lie: I Don’t Drink

Moderate alcohol consumption will likely not harm your health. However, if you are consuming more alcohol than you should, then you will need to tell your doctor that. Excessive alohol intake can raise your blood pressure and lower your blood sugar. Keep in mind that even if you do not drink every day, you can still be putting your health at risk. Frequent binge drinking can increase your risk of health problems. Furthermore, alcohol use can affect certain medications.

Urgency or Emergency? E.R.s Aren’t Always The Best Place To Seek Treatment

Picture this: You need a doctor, but your regular physician isn’t available. Maybe it’s a weekend, or the middle of the night. Maybe he or she is off for the week, taking a well-deserved vacation. Where do you go for medical attention?

In the past, the obvious solution has been to visit the Emergency Room. But that’s not always the best choice. Rising healthcare costs mean that the ER is simply too expensive for non-life-threatening concerns. Additionally, Emergency Rooms, as their name suggests, prioritize emergencies. For some ER patients, immediate treatment is as a matter of life or death. Unsurprisingly, then, if you show up with a twisted ankle or a stomach virus, or even a broken bone, you might find yourself stuck in the waiting room for a long time.

In a situation like that, you’re likely better served going to an Urgent Care Center. Urgent Cares treat more routine illnesses and injuries. They can take care of broken bones, administer stitches, and treat coughs and fevers. They don’t deal with life-threatening emergencies, so they don’t have to prioritize anyone, meaning that your wait time is much shorter. And they tend to be significantly cheaper. The average cost of a trip to an Urgent Care Center is $150; the average cost of a trip to the ER is $1354.

How do you know which to go to? Hospitals estimate that more than half the patients in the ER don’t need to be there. However, if you are severely injured, you need to go to the ER. If you need an ambulance, you need to go to the ER (ambulances don’t go to Urgent Cares.) And if you are having trouble breathing, or experiencing chest pain, sudden numbness, fainting, or seizures, go to the ER, as these things can be symptomatic of something serious.

Also, check with your insurance provider. While Emergency Rooms are generally cheaper, some insurance providers help pay for hospital visits but not visits to the Urgent Care. Or, they may only pay for Urgent Cares that are associated with a hospital. Urgent Cares are a great resource, but unfortunately, they do not work for all insurance plans.

Lastly, don’t get confused by free-standing ERs. These can seem like Urgent Cares, since they’re not part of a hospital complex. However, they function just like regular ERs, so people with non-emergency cases will be met with the same wait times and high costs that they would encounter at a regular hospital.

Patients & Hospitals Are Turning to Urgent Care Facilities For Aid

Extraordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things | Roger Stanmore MD, JDIf you’ve been paying any attention to the American health care system, you’ve probably noticed the rise in Urgent Care Centers.

These facilities offer medical services primarily to people who either cannot access their primary care physician or do not have one. Most patients are sick or injured, but not badly hurt enough to require emergency care. Commonly treated issues include fevers, stomach pains, diarrhea, and minor cuts and sprains. Many Urgent Care Centers also offer services such as vaccinations, blood tests, and STD testing.

Urgent Care Centers fill a much-needed niche. They help reduce wait times in Emergency Rooms, save patients money, and give ER doctors and nurses the space to focus on real emergencies. Many Urgent Care Centers began outside of the hospital system, seeking to offer a solution to overcrowded ERs. But just because Urgent Care Centers aren’t Emergency Rooms doesn’t mean that they can’t be affiliated with hospitals. In fact, many hospitals are now realizing it may be advantageous, both for themselves and for the patients, to team up with Urgent Cares.

Today there are about 7,100 Urgent Care Centers in the United States. Of those, 22% are owned by hospitals, and 15% more are in partnerships with a hospital. Hospitals can send patients to Urgent Care Centers for follow-up appointments. They can also advertise their affiliated Urgent Cares and encourage patients to visit Urgent Care Centers for non-emergencies.

From patient’s perspectives, Urgent Care Centers that are affiliated with hospitals are more likely to accept Medicare or offer financial aid, while also being considerably cheaper than regular hospitals. And while non-affiliated Urgent Cares usually allow patients to send any information gathered at the center to patients’ regular physicians, with affiliated Urgent Cares the sharing is usually more streamlined.

Also, in general, patients are also more willing to trust an Urgent Care associated with a hospital, especially if that hospital has a good reputation. Unaffiliated Urgent Cares may offer good services, but since the whole concept of Urgent Care Centers is still relatively new, affiliated centers have the advantage of familiarity.

It’s uncertain exactly what role Urgent Care Centers will play in the future. New technologies, such as self-diagnosis and self-check-up technologies, will likely be adopted by Urgent Cares even more quickly than they will by more traditional hospitals and independent physicians. And with the shifting climate surrounding American health care, much is still an unknown. Nonetheless, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Urgent Care facilities are here to stay.

Patients & Hospitals Are Turning to Urgent Care Facilities For Aid

Extraordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things | Roger Stanmore MD, JDIf you’ve been paying any attention to the American health care system, you’ve probably noticed the rise in Urgent Care Centers.

These facilities offer medical services primarily to people who either cannot access their primary care physician or do not have one. Most patients are sick or injured, but not badly hurt enough to require emergency care. Commonly treated issues include fevers, stomach pains, diarrhea, and minor cuts and sprains. Many Urgent Care Centers also offer services such as vaccinations, blood tests, and STD testing.

Urgent Care Centers fill a much-needed niche. They help reduce wait times in Emergency Rooms, save patients money, and give ER doctors and nurses the space to focus on real emergencies. Many Urgent Care Centers began outside of the hospital system, seeking to offer a solution to overcrowded ERs. But just because Urgent Care Centers aren’t Emergency Rooms doesn’t mean that they can’t be affiliated with hospitals. In fact, many hospitals are now realizing it may be advantageous, both for themselves and for the patients, to team up with Urgent Cares.

Today there are about 7,100 Urgent Care Centers in the United States. Of those, 22% are owned by hospitals, and 15% more are in partnerships with a hospital. Hospitals can send patients to Urgent Care Centers for follow-up appointments. They can also advertise their affiliated Urgent Cares and encourage patients to visit Urgent Care Centers for non-emergencies.

From patient’s perspectives, Urgent Care Centers that are affiliated with hospitals are more likely to accept Medicare or offer financial aid, while also being considerably cheaper than regular hospitals. And while non-affiliated Urgent Cares usually allow patients to send any information gathered at the center to patients’ regular physicians, with affiliated Urgent Cares the sharing is generally more streamlined.

Also, in general, patients are also more willing to trust an Urgent Care associated with a hospital, especially if that hospital has a good reputation. Unaffiliated Urgent Cares may offer excellent services, but since the whole concept of Urgent Care Centers is still relatively new, affiliated centers have the advantage of familiarity.

It’s uncertain exactly what role Urgent Care Centers will play in the future. New technologies, such as self-diagnosis and self-check-up technologies, will likely be adopted by Urgent Cares even more quickly than they will by more traditional hospitals and independent physicians. And with the shifting climate surrounding American health care, much is still an unknown. Nonetheless, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Urgent Care facilities are here to stay.

 

10 Ways to Improve Personal Wellness

10-Ways-to-Improve-Personal-Wellness---Roger-Stanmore-MD,-JD-compressorThe state of being in good health must be actively pursued. That’s a given. If you want to make steps toward living a fulfilling and well-balanced life, as well as overcome diseases, it’s essential that address physical, mental, and social well-being.

Optimal health has no single fix-it supplement, but committing to a number of actions on a daily basis will help to boost your health and derail illness. Read on to learn ten ways to improve personal wellness:

Exercise and Dance: Sedentary lives are unhealthy, but more than that taking time out to move around will improve personal wellness. Engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity each day, which will prove overall health and lead to weight loss.

Be Nicotine-Free: Challenge yourself to abandon poor habits. If you find that this is a difficult obstacle to overcome, chat with your doctor about medications, and seek support from your network.

Nutrition, First: Unhealthy foods, such as sugars, salt, and flour, tastes good –but they simply aren’t very good for you. Visit your local grocery store and purchase greens, fresh cuts of meats, and steer clear of carbs.

Put Your Sleep on the Books: Shoot for a rigid sleeping schedule that will endorse an active lifestyle. Each night, sleep 7-9 hours. Do you best to disable distractions. This means you need to turn off your phone, turn on your sound machine, and put on the sleep mask. That relaxing rest will energize you.

Schedule Preventative Screenings: Call your doctor and make plans to screens for any identifiable diseases. Also, learn what immunizations you need to receive.

Alleviate Stress: Lessening your stress can truly elevate your life. If you focus on eliminating stress by sleeping more, eating well, shedding poisonous relationships, and expressing gratitude, you’ll prevent mental and physical consequences.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: By reducing one’s physical mass by 5-7 percent, an overweight person can improve overall health and reduce health risks. There are a number of apps, programs, and organizations are looking to help the public meet and maintain health goals.

Build Community: Sometimes it’s impossible to go it alone. You’re bound to experience ups and downs, but if you find a supportive network, you’ll find that health goals are achievable. Partner with friends and family members for encouragement and accountability.

Establish Important Goals: When you’re setting goals for yourself, be sure to make sure they’re realistic and attainable. This means making a schedule and a plan and making move to make measurable efforts to find the success that you hope to achieve.

Choose to be Positive: Nothing’s easy, but that’s okay! Beat away negativity by confronting challenges, treating others with kindness, and seeking support from others. More than that, find mental health support and meditate –which will help you to achieve balance.

7 Tips For Keeping Your Cool During An Emergency

7 Tips For Keeping Your Cool During An Emergency | Roger StanmoreEmergencies can rouse panic and unrest in just about anyone, and moments of urgency can rattle even the most composed individual. Whether you face immediate life or health risks, emergencies are worsened by an improper reaction to acute injury or illness, possibly yielding long-term damage.

Each year, thousands fall victim to burns, seizures, heart attacks, and other types of emergencies. These life-changing tragedies and unthinkable moments require a level-head and a split-second response, especially when you feel yourself begin to disorient due to fear. In the case that it’s you or someone you love who requires immediate attention within and outside of the home, the most helpful piece of advice you need is to remain calm. However, there are some other pieces of advice you should take to heart during a moment of difficulty.

Take a Beat

You may not want to react too quickly. In fact, sometimes another person’s life may depend on you offering the proper response, not simply a rash one. Immediately ask yourself what’s the most efficient way to alleviate risk and stress during a time of crisis.

Take a Breath

Failing to breathe properly can interrupt the movement from oxygen to the brain, resulting in a loss of focus. Breathing deeply can quiet the urge to hyperventilate or pass out. Keep calm and make.

Keep Your Mind on Task

It’s critical that your mind remains with those who are in need. If you see that one person may be injured and they’re fine, survey your area to be sure that no else has been hurt.

Devise A Plan of Action Today

Ahead of any incident, always be prepared in case an emergency arises. Don’t wait for a tragedy to strike, create evacuation plans, prepare a first aid kit, learn CRP, and know the best exit routes in case there’s a fire.

Voice of Reason

Keeping calm is vital, but managing to keep others calm and offering them positive guidance demonstrates bravery. It’s incredibly courageous to overcome your fear to boost the morale of everyone involved in the situation. Mindfulness can improve through practice.

Reduce Stress

Squeezing and releasing all of the muscles in your body isometrically in three successions will reduce stress and call you.

Communication

Clear communication is essential, offering everyone involved a clear picture of what’s at stake. Taking the time to speak evenly to an injury party can reduce stress, and lead to a quick resolution.

Remember to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) basics, as well as all-important first aid basics, so that you’re prepared for ahead of a life or death situations. Additionally, locate all fire extinguishers, as well as fire exits. Above all else, remember to call 911.

Finding Affordable Care When Traveling

Finding Affordable Care When Traveling - Roger StanmoreWeekend excursions and treks to incredible destinations can be stressful. What’s more, they can potentially put you at risk of falling ill or becoming a victim of injury. Whether it’s a matter of eating bad seafood or taking an unfortunate tumble down a flight of stairs, you’ll likely want to prepare yourself with health insurance options that won’t be limited when you need care the most. It’s terribly important that you’re completely competent when it comes to knowing if your insurance company will help you to access service, or if you’ll have gaps in coverage. There are a number of tips you should consider whether you’re traveling domestically or nationally:

Figure Out Your Coverage Beforehand…

Chat with someone from your insurance company ahead of leaving your area to learn about the extent of your medical coverage when you’re in another state or another nation.

Educate yourself on how much medical care will cost, as well as out-of-network costs. Download your health insurance company’s app, and look to folks like ZocDoc, which facilitates access to digital appointment books.

Budget For Out-Of-Pocket For Medical Care Expenses

If you’re traveling, you should put aside a little extra money in case you’ll need to  visit with an out-of-network doctor.

If you budget for a higher bill, you’ll feel like you’ll be able to manage payment. It’s important that domestic and international travels assess health care costs.

When Refilling Prescriptions…

Traveling isn’t foolproof. In fact, something that often happens when moving from one area to another is forgetfulness, or  a failure to retrieve or refill your medicine.

If this happens, make sure to call you doctor or pharmacy promptly and explain your situation. Your doctor then will be able to arrange for your prescriptions to be retrieved from a nearby pharmacy. You can also visit a doctor at an urgent care facility or ER if you are unable to reach your physician.

Supplemental Health Insurance?

For some travelers, the idea of supplemental healthcare is attractive. This is certainly true for those who are spending months in different nations.

Several weeks ahead of a departure, look into separate plans and figure out if temporary insurance that will cover you during the length of your trip is a good idea for you.

Emergency Care or Urgent Care?

The Affordable Care Act ensures that health insurance plans cover emergency care as an essential health benefit, which is awesome!

However, it’s important to recognize that hospitals and ER clinics tend to charge a premium for identical service you could receive from from a physician’s office or urgent care clinic. In fact, treatment and services at ERs or clinics are five times more expensive than urgent care facilities.

Call the number on the back of your insurance card and chat with experts about your condition and where you should go.

Telemedicine for Non-Emergency Injuries…

For travelers who are busy or simply unable to visit a doctor’s office, telemedicine is an incredible option. Users can pay a flat fee for each visit, and they can use their webcams or camera-enabled devices to receive a diagnosis. They can help diagnoses and offer treatment for sinus issues, the flu, sore throats, or respiratory infections.

The online consultation is the least expensive out-of-network option, granting access to physicians who are able to prescribe medications.

Prevention…

What’s just as important as access to healthcare is access to information that teaches the importance of prevention. Gauge the risk of potential injuries, consider your mental health, exercise, and eat healthy meals, so that you’re in your best shape when you’re traveling or on vacation.

The Survival Guide for Those Seeking 24-Hour Urgent Care

An_ambulance_in_KievVisiting a 24-hour urgent care center may seem a bit strange, particularly when they’re placed between an Arby’s and a Chick-fil-A. However, these medical way stations offer legitimate care. 24-hour urgent care centers may be few and far between, but particularly outside of metropolitan areas, but they exist, offering assistance to those who don’t warrant an ER visit and don’t have access to one’s primary care doctor. The all-day potential access to non-emergency health care is important for communities seeking health assistance. Here are few tips to consider when your 24-hour care center:

Contact Your PCP: Although you won’t likely be able to reach your doctor or staff late in the evening, you will likely reach an answering service, which will be able to direct you to a preferred urgent care center. In-network urgent care can save you the trouble of going of waiting to your PCP.

Online Doctors: If you’re not able to leave home and you’re interested in avoiding urgent care facilities, then you should consider telemedicine. Chat with an online doctor first and decide if an in-person visit is required, or learning if your needs can be met through a virtual visit.

Consider Local Reviews: Yelp and Google don’t simply list ratings for restaurants, they also rank health care facilities and urgent care centers. Urgent care centers tend to be privately owned and operated, which is why customer experiences differ from location to location. Research different locations before choosing one.

Have Your Insurance Card on Hand: Urgent care centers accept many major insurance providers. Having your insurance card in your pocket will mean that your visit will be covered by your insurance. Also, if urgent care centers don’t accept your particular type of insurance, you can get an estimate of services and decide if that price is within your budget.

Bring entertainment: Whether you bring a book, a puzzle, or music, have something on hand to enjoy while you wait for your time to visit with the doctor. While visits can be as little as three minutes or as long as an hour; waiting times may vary. Before you go to the urgent care center be sure to call the center and ask about wait times.

There are numerous urgent care facilities in and around Alabama, consult your Yellow Pages to locate the nearest 24-hour urgent care center.