Monday, August 29, 2011

Clogged Arteries Interfere with BOTH Heart and Brain Function

You already know clogged arteries contribute to heart disease. But did you know they can also interfere with blood flow to the brain and cause dementia?

Dementia affects nearly 1/3 of those over the age of 80. It includes problems with thinking, reasoning and memory.

Dr. Philip B. Gorelick, director of the center for Stroke Research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, suggested "that people may be able to reduce the risk of dementia by taking the same steps they would take to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, including eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in physical activity."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hold the Bold: Suggestions on Looking Thinner

Image consultant Glam Gals share 5 ways to not look fat after 50. These suggestions are good enough to repeat:

1. Don't use too many bold patterns, especially if you're short and full figured. You may choose, however, a solid pant with a patterned top.

2. No puffy sleeves. They're too young and cutesy and draw attention to puffy arms.

3. Stick to lighter colored (lighter than your skin tone) shoes since darker colored ones make calves and ankles look heavier. No ankle straps.

4. Stay away from wild color combinations and pair your favorite shades with neutral colors like white, taupe or black.

5. No glitz where it shouldn't be. Avoid the rhinestones, etc. around a round middle. You get the idea.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making Thin Hair Look Good

Like sagging skin and wrinkles, thinning hair appears to be a reality with aging. Thus, I paid particular attention when Vibrant Nation and it cadre of experts tackled this age-old dilemma. Here's what they recommend:

1. Identify the best hair loss treatment for you by determining the cause s of the loss with your internist, endocrinologist or dermatologist. You'll need to consider genetics, hormones, thyroid dysfunction, iron or protein deficiency, disease, stress, fad diets or medications or a combination of these factors.

2. Learn where you are losing your hair. There is a difference between a lot of space between hairs vs. a look of overall thin hair.

3. Learn how to keep your hair fuller and healthier. Rogaine can help women who are just starting to experience thinning hair and is widely available over-the-counter. Stay away from shampoos and hair treatments that claim to accelerate or re-grow your hair. However, some shampoos and hair treatments can prevent breakage and give short-term volume, body and lift by minimizing weighing the hair down.

4. There are things women over 50 can do to stop or minimize hair loss and help jumpstart regrowth: these include Rogaine, Propecia (it inhibits production of the hair follicle killer), spironolactone (prevents shrinkage of the follicles), corticosteroid injected directly onto the scalp, 300-5,000 mcg of biotin vitamin B 7. Keep in mind, however, that not everything works for every woman. Oftentimes the solution is a series of trial by error.

5. Get a great hairstyle for fine or thinned hair, choose the right hair color, and use the right blow dry technique, and styling product.
"Quickly rough dry your hair with your blow-dryer on a high heat setting using your hands and fingers to lift and move the hair." Eliminate most of the water before applying a light non-greasy lotion or mousse styling product. Continue to rough dry and then polish the end with a round or flat brush.
Use a permanent color to thicken hair. Go for color variations (highlights) with the darkest color at the scalp.

6. Check out hair transplants, wigs, hairpieces. and fillers (as opposed to extensions). For a receding hairline, famous specialist in supplemental hair John D'Orazio has developed a great filler that tapes on like a bandaid. If you ever look for a synthetic (vs. human hair) wig, make sure it is not too shiny and can be restyled easily.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"The Best of" Travel Itineraries For Mostly European Cities

With the exception of New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Toronto in North America you can get suggestions for trip planning in Europe by logging onto this free recommended website.

First, you'll be asked the date you plan to be there and for how many days.

Then you can base your vacation around your kids, outdoors, culture, or "the best of" for a first-time visitor.

Maybe you want to rest. There are suggestions for you as well as for the ones who want to see everything.

Depending on how much you want to spend, the site provides hotel choices (then you make the reservations on your own.)

After calculating, your days' itineraries are shown. Often you will be traveling "by walking" and the approximate time is included.

A fun site. I suggest you try it.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Doggone It: He Looks Just Like Me!!

You know how they say that your dog looks like you?

According Kim Komando's "Cool Site of the Day," you really can find a dog that most resembles you using a recommended website.

The only drawback (!) is that the dog (rescued) is in New Zealand. Still, the site is fun.

Kim said the dogs that resemble her were cute. Mine, however, looked like the mutt that I am!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Be First For Your Colonoscopy

People ages 50 and older should be screened for colon cancer. Often this means that the patient would undergo a colonoscopy.

During colonoscopy, doctors look for abnormal growths, polyps, by "inserting a tiny camera into the rectum. The camera is attached to a tube that can also be used to remove polyps before they turn cancerous."

When you set up your appointment for a colonoscopy, get a first appointment. That's when your doctor is most alert.

Dr. Brennan Spiegel of UCLA suggested that "a repetitive procedure...can lull you (the physician) into complacency over a long work shift."

In a 4-month study of 28 colonoscopy doctors, "for each hour that lapsed throughout the day, there was a four percent reduction in the number of polyps the doctors spotted."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hotel Rooms' Nasty Little Secrets

What nasty little germ is awaiting you in your hotel room and what you should do to get rid of it before it harms you. Use disinfecting wipes abundantly.

A sparkling clean room is deceptive. Lots of hidden germs are lurking on "clean surfaces."

Telephones, toilets, shower floors, travel guides, light switches, faucets, door handles, remote controls and clock radios breed germs. Forget the bath. Drink from sealed cups only. Clean the ice bucket. Remove the bedspread. Take care around upholstered chairs and curtains.

And don't be shy about asking for another room should yours be unsanitary.

Monday, August 8, 2011

FDA's New Website Can Save Your Life: Recalls

As of April, 2001, consumers can search the FDA's consumer-friendly website for food and other product (including drugs and cosmetics) recalls. Consumers are provided data from news releases and other recall statements; date, product brand name, product description and reason for the recall are displayed.

A video is provided to help identify recalled products.

Flickr shows the recalled products in photos.

The procedure carried out by the FDA is explained.

Friday, August 5, 2011

UD: Universal Design, the Wave of the Future

Building or remodeling a house that ages with you is a smart way to go. Lifespan design or universal design (UD) is the design of product and environments that are usable by most people regardless of their age or abilities. Because UD is so desirable and accessible to all stages of development, it adds value to your home.

The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University illustrates some of the factors of this current and future plan:

1. Living spaces are useful and appealing to all. There is a no-step entry, a lever-handled front door, mirrors placed at medium height, no changes in floor heights.

2. UD allows for a variety of usages. A bedroom, full bathroom and laundry room should be located on the main floor and away from living areas. Use paddle-handled handles at the kitchen sink. Employ a small rolling cart in the kitchen for additional workspace. Install pull-out work boards at different heights. Pocket doors give privacy but not the akwardness of getting around a door.

3. Getting around the house should be intuitive. Use shower smart handles. Adjust shelving, install lazy Suzans and D-shaped drawer pulls.

4. Essential information is presented clearly. This means more keyless locks and universally designed appliance controls.

5. Avoid potential hazards by installing handrails on both sides of the staircase. No curbs on shower stalls. Use grab bars. No-slip and other tightly woven materials are preferred.

6. Very little physical force is necessary. Pull switches and controls are placed low for the wheelchair-ridden.

7. Put kitchen outlet and garbage disposal controls are preferred.

8. Purchase front-loading washers and dryers.

9. Raise or adjust toilet seats.

10. Use a molded seat in the shower stall.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Prozac and Aspirin Don't Mix: Study Shows That the Use of NSAIDs With SSRIs Inhibits the Effectiveness of Antidepressants

If you are taking antidepressants such as Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft (common antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs) and also taking painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen (common painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs), then you may be reducing the effectiveness of the antidepressants.

A study authored by Jennifer Warner-Schmidt at the Rockefeller University claimed a much poorer depression treatment outcome for patients taking both kinds of drugs simultaneously.

Until a double-blind real clinical trial is performed, however, scientists can't figure in dosages and time courses.

Dr. Charles Nemeroff, the Leonard M. Miller Professor and chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, claims that "depressed patients with chronic pain are difficult to treat" so "if it is possible that drugs that treat pain in any way antagonize the effects of antidepressants, it's really important to know because of the widespread use of both agents."