February is HEART Month. Maybe that is because Valentine's Day is in the middle of it, but the American Heart Association wants to remind you that heart disease is still the number one killer and consumer of nearly $313 billion per year. I always knew that affairs of the heart can be dangerous and expensive.
Let's review a few things that you need to do to take care of yourself. Prevention is more efficient and less expensive than treatment.
First, eat sensibly. Research and experience both support eating six small servings per day as a way of maintaining your metabolism and controlling your weight. Avoid excess salt and watch her cholesterol intake. Fiber will help in a number of ways, including elimination of excess cholesterol.
Conquering the Cough
Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC
Question: A recent upper respiratory illness has left me with a residual cough. I have not had any fever for the last two weeks, but the cough really bothers me. It makes me sound sick and keeps me awake at night as well. What can I do to make sure this does not progress to pneumonia?
Coughing is a lifesaving reflex in which the body is trying to cleanse its airway. It is associated with everything from upper respiratory infections and postnasal drip to bronchitis. At this time of the year, especially with the wild fluctuations in Griffin’s temperature, we can be concerned about any respiratory illness, especially among the elderly or those whose immune systems may be compromised by other conditions.
As the new year begins, new portions of Obamacare are being enacted. New taxes, fines, and penalties await like predators in the night. The law has been illegally and unconstitutionally modified by the President fourteen times in executive orders, making it more challenging just to understand the current version.
With all the lies, scandals, misleading statements, loss of health coverage among innocent bystanders, surprises, a disastrous and incompetent rollout, and “unintended consequences,” it is hard to know what to expect. You may be entering the new year with some anxieties about Obamacare. Your diagnosis? You may be “Obamascared.”
You already know that the Healthcare.gov is scandalously flawed. You have heard that even if you can get through to enroll, your privacy is at serious risk, as the vulnerability to hackers is significant. The risk of identity theft and fraud is unacceptably high.
The new year is here, and with it comes a new set of concerns. Many of us have lost our health care benefits as a result of Obamacare. Millions more will lose health benefits this year as the hidden realities of this atrocious law unfolds. Even as it happens, doctors and hospitals announce that they will not participate in Obamacare policies, confirming the falsehood of “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Medicare patients are not exempt, as that program was ravaged to pay for Obamacare. There are so many worries and concerns!
If you attempt to enroll in an Obamacare policy on the ill-fated website, you risk identity theft with significant exposure to hackers. If you attempt to enroll on paper, you must deal with known criminals (SERCO) who have defrauded the British government for the same services. If you decide that you don’t want any part of this nightmare, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will come after you with a fine, or a tax, depending on the political persuasion of the observer. Of course, if you protest the actions of the IRS, you may be targeted with an audit.
Most businesses have a seasonal shift in their volume. The lawn care industry is busier in warm weather. Painters are busier in dry weather. Retailers are busier at Christmas.
The health care industry has its own seasonal surges. For example, you will find a spike in certain kinds of depression during the winter months when the sun is less visible. The weight loss industry will be busier in January because many will make resolutions to remove the weight they gained during the holidays. Obstetricians will be busier a few months after a brutally cold winter.
In my practice, the Christmas season will bring more low back strains. People are rushing to shop. Getting into and out of a vehicle can be stressful on the structures of the pelvis and lumbar spine. As shoppers flock to stores and fight long lines and traffic, stress mounts, and with it muscle tone increases. People walk on hard concrete floors with improper arch supports until their feet ache, and the inevitable change in gait aggravates the knees, hips, and low back.
Christmas is almost here. In fact, retail stores began the season by displaying Christmas products before Halloween, to the dismay of many. It is coming fast, and with it comes stress in physical, social, spiritual, relational, and psychological forms. How can we cope with all of this? How can we stay fully functional and get all the shopping done?
Consider treating your shopping like an athletic event. In fact, as you contend with crowds, it may become just that, but I digress. When preparing for a 5K run, for example, there are things you would do. For example, stay hydrated. Increase your water intake. It will keep you from overeating and help combat the diuretic effects of caffeine, soft drinks, alcohol, and salty foods. You’ll feel better.
Remember that when you are stressed, your muscles may be tight and relatively inflexible. You are more prone to injury, especially when tired, so pace yourself. Be more careful than usual about what you lift and how. If you hurt something, call me.