Archive | June, 2013

Summer health: stop frequent heartburn

26 Jun
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Summer is here, which means it’s time to pack your bags for vacation, dust off your beach umbrella and fire up the grill. Unfortunately many people will not only feel the summer heat outside with friends, but also inside their chest. Summer is prime time for heartburn.
Barbecue season is the time of the year when people experience frequent heartburn symptoms the most, according to a recent survey by Wakefield Research for PandG, which brings you Prilosec OTC(R). The survey revealed that many frequent heartburn sufferers – those who experience heartburn two or more days per week – are not treating symptoms as effectively as possible, and there is a general lack of understanding about heartburn and available treatments.andnbsp;
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One of the top misconceptions is that all over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn treatments are the same. Although frequent heartburn symptoms can be reduced with antacids or H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors are indicated specifically for frequent heartburn.There are important differences among the available therapies:
* Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) treat frequent heartburn by shutting down many of the acid pumps in the stomach and stopping symptoms before they start. Effects can last 24 hours.
* Histamine2 (H2) blockers partially block production of acid in the stomach. The effect of H2 blockers generally lasts six to 12 hours.
* Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid and provide relatively rapid but short-term relief of heartburn symptoms lasting one to three hours.
Two myths many believe are that drinking milk can help relieve symptoms and that weight gain has no impact on frequent heartburn. In actuality, a glass of milk increases one’s acid production (like any food) and maintaining a healthy weight is one key to treating heartburn.andnbsp;
Dr. Su Sachar, gastroenterologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, says that sufferers do not have to accept frequent heartburn as “normal.”
“One way to treat frequent heartburn is to take a medication that can help block the acid that causes heartburn, so you don’t get it in the first place,” Dr. Sachar observed. “It’s possible that, while taking just one pill a day as directed, a 14-day course of Prilosec OTC can control, and in many cases, eliminate frequent heartburn symptoms.Prilosec OTC may take one to four days for full effect and should not be taken for more than 14 days or more often than every four months unless directed by a doctor. It is not intended for immediate relief.”andnbsp;
People can take measures to avoid heartburn symptoms this summer. Dr. Sachar offers the following tips for those suffering from frequent heartburn:
* Get educated. One of the best defenses is to arm yourself with information. With all the over-the-counter medications available, my patients are often overwhelmed and don’t know what is right for them. Additionally, people often fall prey to the common myth that experiencing symptoms daily is normal, without realizing there are treatments available. The more you know about frequent heartburn, the better you will be able to treat it.
* Talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you. Dr. Sachar recommends over-the-counter PPIs, like Prilosec OTC because it’s possible with just one pill a day to block the acid and stop heartburn before it starts for a full 24 hours of zero heartburn. It’s possible while taking Prilosec OTC. Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn. Do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every four months unless directed by a doctor. Not for immediate relief.
* Quit smoking. Smoking relaxes the valve at the top of your stomach, allowing excess stomach acid to reflux into your esophagus.
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For more information on how to best manage your frequent heartburn or to see if you qualify for a free sample, visit http://www.prilosecotc.com.

Courtesy of BPT

Top 10 tips for staying safe online

26 Jun

Whether playing online games, sending and responding to emails, visiting social networks or checking bank accounts, the average American spends 13 hours per week online, according to a survey taken by Forrester. While the ever-evolving conveniences of online shopping and digital communication often make life a little easier, sharing valuable information over the Internet comes with a considerable amount of risk. Consumers should not only be aware of the dangers of being online, but should also take preventative measures to avoid becoming a victim of online scams or fraud.

Protecting valuable information online is just as important as securing a home, car or personal possessions, says Rebecca Smith, vice president, marketing for Master Lock. It is essential that people educate themselves and take the proper precautions to safeguard their information online, ensuring important account data and passwords are protected within the digital space.

1. Firewalls are your friend: Be sure to activate your computer’s firewalls as they are great tools to provide you with a line of defense against hackers and Internet crime. They watch all the communication occurring between your computer, a network (say at the office) and the Internet and can prevent strangers from accessing your information.

2. Surf and shop safely: While online shopping is a great, convenient tool, consumers should be careful when surfing or shopping on a site they’ve never visited before. Good indicators that a site is secure include checkout pages with lock symbols or sites with the prefix “https,” indicating that a page is encrypted or scrambled.

3. Download security software: There is a wide variety of security software available that automatically updates itself and can protect your personal computers from viruses, spyware and other online threats that are constantly in play. Sign on and scan your computer for viruses and other malware once a week to ensure your information stays safe.

4. Create strong passwords: Short, easy-to-remember passwords, are typically not complex enough to prevent being hacked. When creating passwords for online bank accounts and other sites, use passwords with at least 10 characters that are a combination of letters, numbers and most importantly, symbols. It’s also a good idea to change your password on a monthly basis to keep it secure.

5. Be cautious – always: Internet fraud and online crime are a constant threat to all Americans who interact online or store anything digitally. Be cautious and avoid posting any personal information online, do not open email messages from strange addresses and never give your browser permission to remember your passwords.

6. Shut it down: We all know that with many advances in technology, one can be connected at all times. However, being online 24/7 comes with risks. Attackers and/or viruses are more likely to target your computer if you are always connected. Therefore, it’s good to shut down once in a while and take yourself offline.

7. Back it up: Whether it happens by accident, a natural disaster or because of an equipment malfunction, computers and networks crash and can leave your information exposed or just lost altogether. Consider backing up all of your most important information at least twice a month and rest easy knowing it is stored safely in more than one place.

8. Use parental controls: Children use the Internet as frequently, if not more, than adults. Many Internet browsers offer the option to set parental controls. Check out your options to restrict the websites viewed on your computer and protect the settings you select with a password your kids won’t be able to figure out. This way, you’re keeping your information, and more importantly, your children safe from various online dangers.

9. Lock up your valuable info: Every time you step away from your computer, you should know all of your most important information is secure. Consider utilizing a secure, online storage application or website, such as the free Master Lock Vault, to house all of your passwords, account numbers and essential information and documents under one easily accessible, yet completely secure location. Storing this information online is safer than keeping hard copies or a non-protected file on your computer. Services like the Vault can act as an encrypted digital safe deposit box and give users peace of mind that their vital information is locked up tight.

10. Two is better than one: User authentication, also known as two-tier or device authentication, should always be enabled if offered by sites that collect your secure or private data at registration. With this enabled, you may receive an email or text message with a verification code to complete your account set-up. While this may seem inconvenient at the time of sign-up, the extra protection is well worth this extra step.

For more advice on online safety and security, visit http://www.masterlock.com or http://www.masterlockvault.com.

Courtesy of BPT

High temperatures increase health risks for people with diabetes

4 Jun

For the nearly 26 million Americans living with High%20temperatures%20increase%20health%20risks
diabetes, high temperatures and increased sun exposure can pose particularly dangerous health risks. During warm weather, experts caution that people with diabetes must take extra care to avoid serious, heat-related conditions.

“Heading to the beach, the pool or the park is a great way to cool down and stay in shape when the temperature rises, but people with diabetes may not realize the heat can place them at greater risk for serious, heat-related illness,” says Dr. Deneen Vojta, senior vice president and chief clinical officer of UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA). “Diabetes actually impairs a person’s ability to sweat, which means that hot, humid weather can dangerously reduce the body’s regulation of blood sugar levels. That’s why it is critical that people with this disease take proper precautions to avoid conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Vojta offers seven simple tips that may help people with this disease to stay active, healthy and safe when temperatures are high:

1. Check your blood sugar levels often. Changes in activity and heat levels can affect your body’s insulin needs.

2. Wear sunblock. Sunburn can tax your body and trigger increased blood glucose levels.

3. Stay cool. Take regular breaks from the heat in air-conditioned areas or designated cooling centers, if possible. Make sure to exercise in an air-conditioned place or exercise during early morning and evening hours when temperatures are cooler.

4. Keep medication and supplies cool and away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures and sunlight can have a damaging effect on diabetes medication such as insulin, causing the drug to break down or become less effective.

5. Stay hydrated. Dehydration stresses the body and affects glucose levels.andnbsp;

6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in high temperatures. Both alcohol and caffeine have diuretic effects that can increase risks of dehydration.

7. Be alert for common signs of heat exhaustion. Signs of serious health-related illnesses can include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and fainting.

Vojta advises that people with diabetes should be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and seek medical attention right away if they experience symptoms.

Additional resources on managing and preventing diabetes can be found by visiting the websites of the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) and the National Diabetes Education Program (ndep.nih.gov/resources). UnitedHealth Group also offers a range of helpful tips and information on the disease at http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/diabetes.

Courtesy of BPT