Health Blog

Use This Handy Checklist to Find the Right Caregiver for your Loved One


Most people are aware that the overall population of the U.S. is aging, and that more and more elderly people require partial or full-time care, just to carry out the basic daily necessities of living. The professionals at MD Read more

The Best Spring-time Activities in the Phoenix Area


As much as you've been looking forward to springtime, there might be an elderly loved one in the family who is even more anxious for the arrival of the season. Of course, Phoenix-area residents aren't usually obliged to hibernate Read more

Tips for Keeping Seniors Connected


It's very understandable that seniors of today would feel even more disconnected from the world around them than senior citizens of past generations, especially given the fact that technology is now progressing at such a breakneck pace. AZ home Read more

Tips for Helping Seniors With Their Taxes  


When tax season rolls around, it can be a particularly anxious time for many seniors, and this is true for several reasons. First of all, any income received is often not via employment, so the tax model they were Read more

Recent Hip Replacement Concerns for Seniors

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The Facts of Hip Replacement

hipThe idea of using implants to surgically repair injured or worn joints dates back three centuries. Since the 1970s, modern hip implants restored mobility and quality of life to a number of people. Thanks to modern medicine, many people are living longer lives. Because of this, many hip implant manufacturers like DePuy endeavored to create more durable implants that would provide longer, more efficient performance for younger, active patients.

In 2005, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit released the ASR line of metal-on-metal (MoM) implants that promised increased performance, decreased risk of dislocation and wider range of motion. The devices were popular, and doctors implanted 93,000 of these devices worldwide before they were recalled in 2010.

The recall came too late for thousands of people who suffered complications from the ASR.

Complications from DePuy Hip Implants

Normally, hip implants last about 15 years, but some DePuy hips failed within a year of implantation. The same metal-on-metal design that was supposed to make the hip more durable resulted in painful complications for hundreds of people. Company documents revealed that nearly half of all DePuy ASR implants could fail early and require complicated and painful revision surgery to replace the implant.

The ASR implants use cobalt chromium shells, and all components are made of metal. When these metal parts rub against each other, metal particles flake off and seep into blood and tissue.

Critics say part of the problem is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the DePuy ASR devices though the 510(k) approval process. This means that the government did not require testing before DePuy began selling the implants.

The FDA received almost 18,000 reports of problems with metal-on-metal implants like the ASR from 2000 to 2011. Patients filed lawsuits against DePuy after suffering from severe pain, tissue damage and metallosis – or metal poisoning.

Some of the complications reported include:

  • Groin pain
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Pockets of fluid called pseudotumors
  • Tissue discoloration
  • Tissue death
  • Implant loosening
  • Dislocation
  • Fracture

In addition, the metal particles can travel to other organs and cause damage.

Alternatives to Hip Replacement Surgery

Most doctors recommend hip replacement surgery to people who suffer from osteoarthritis–a degenerative joint disease. For some people who are concerned about hip replacement surgery, there may be alternatives to delay or avoid it by treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Some of these alternatives include:

  • Keeping a Healthy Weight. People who are heavier put more stress on their joints and may wear them out quicker. Losing even just a small amount of weight can decrease pressure on joints.
  • Chiropractic Care. Some clinical studies suggest that chiropractic care can treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis by increasing range of motion, restoring natural movement of the spine, reducing pain and relaxing the muscles.
  • Nutrition. Certain foods can aggravate the inflammation around joints and make them less mobile and painful. Certain foods like garlic, onions, leafy greens and those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation.
  • Supplements. Supplements may also help with joint pain. While many people have heard of glucosamine and chondroitin, study results on this supplement remain mixed for people with osteoarthritis. SAMe (s-adenosyl-L-methionine), on the other hand, is a lesser known supplement that studies show is as effective as Celebrex in reducing pain and improving joint function. This supplement may interfere with certain medications and should only be taken with doctor supervision.

For people who received a DePuy ASR or other metal-on-metal hip implant, the FDA recommends having regular follow-ups with their doctor even if there are no symptoms. If pain is an issue, doctors can use imaging studies and blood tests to check for metal levels and tissue damage.

Bio: Michelle Y. Llamas is a published writer and researcher. She hosts Drugwatch Radio, a health podcast, and writes about drugs and medical devices for Drugwatch.com.

Sources:

University of Maryland Medical Center. (2011). Osteoarthritis. Retrieved from http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/osteoarthritis-000118.htm

Stanton, T. (2012, May). Metal-on-metal hip implants: The clinical issues. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved from http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/may12/clinical4.asp


Health Benefits of Walking

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Walking to Your Health

WalkingBelieve it or not, something we take for granted every day can actually improve our health dramatically. Walking is an activity that most people probably consider nothing more than an incredibly slow way to get from place to place – especially in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. There are, however, a number of important advantages that walking offers, and it’s fruitful to consider the impact that walking can have on your life and the lives of those around you.

Better Health for You

Health studies have shown that just thirty minutes of walking a day can improve cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, which reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.

A little extra walking can also help manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and joint pain and stiffness. Aside from these long-term benefits, an immediate and quickly evident bonus of walking is a reduction in body fat.

Helping the Environment and Others

What may not be readily apparent is the positive impact that walking can have on the environment. Walking more can mean driving less and using the elevator less, and this translates to energy conservation and a reduction of pollution. A cleaner environment, consequently, means better health for everyone and much lower personal and shared medical costs.

Finding the Right Path

Now that you know the many advantages that a little extra walking can provide, it may be helpful to know some tips about how to get the most out of your walking. For starters, a good walking technique is essential: head up and forward, back straight, stomach muscles slightly tensed, and arms swinging freely. It also helps to turn walking into a healthy habit by incorporating it into your daily routine.

Whether you want to think about walking as an exercise in itself or as a healthy replacement for a faster mode of transportation, the fact is the more you walk, the healthier you are. Plus, less traffic jams. For the people here at MD Home Health, your health is our priority, and we want to provide you with as many options as possible for improving your health.


Sleep to your Health

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The Good of a Good Night’s Sleep

sleepBefore the light bulb was invented, the average individual slept for about ten hours a night, and before the frequent use of candles, the average individual slept for about eleven hours a night. Today, the nightly average of sleep has dropped by a third. Many people would probably consider themselves lucky to even get six hours of sleep a night. Consequently, it’s becoming more and more important that we get the most out of the few hours of sleep that we are able to enjoy. A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining a happy, healthy, and productive lifestyle.

Mood Regulation

You don’t have to do too much research to realize that people are grumpy when they are woken up too early. It’s a near universal trait that humans possess – from preschoolers to seniors. This is because sleep regulates our mood more than we realize. Sleep not only reduces stress and general irritability, but it also decreases anxiety and depression and contributes to greater emotional stability all around. So if you’ve been feeling overly irritable and tense, try sleeping in a little more.

Memory

In addition to improving mood, recent research has proven that sleep is crucial for something called memory consolidation. This process involves the transfer of your short-term memories from your brain’s hippocampus to your cortex, or the outermost layer of your brain. This is important because the hippocampus can only hold so many short-term memories. Therefore, if memory consolidation fails to occur, those short-term memories effectively get deleted and never become long-term memories because they don’t get transferred to the cortex. Thus, the better you sleep, the stronger your memory is.

Weight Loss

Sleep also has an effect on your weight. Dieters who are well rested tend to lose more fat than those who are sleep deprived. Much of this has to do with metabolism, eating habits, and the hormones that control hunger and sleep. Although the body’s metabolism can increase with less sleep, we tend to eat more unhealthily and more frequently when we are awake for longer. Additionally, the same hormones that account for appetite become active when the body is sleep deprived. 

With so much going on in our lives these days, it might not seem realistic to get a good 8-10 hours of sleep a night. At MD Home Health, we’d like to encourage you to at least try out some of these sleep tips for a more restful night of sleep, even if you’re still only getting 5-7 hours a night.


Best Sleep Positions for Back Pains

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Getting Back to Sleep

Sleep PositionsWhen you go to sleep at night, you should expect to wake up feeling rested and pain-free, not achy and tired. If you are waking up with annoying back pains, it probably has to do with your sleeping position. Everyone sleeps in different positions, but not all of these positions are great for your back. Here are the pros and cons of some popular sleeping positions and how you can improve your sleeping comfort so you can get the best out of your sleeping experience.

If you naturally sleep on your back then you’re lucky, because this position is typically best for back pain. Gravity and impact with the ground can exert a lot of strain on your vertebrae, but lying flat on your back helps relieve pressure on both your spinal column and your hips. If you’re still experiencing pain in this position, try positioning a pillow under your knees to help retain the natural curve of your spine, and for more comfort, add a small pillow or cushion under your lower back – especially if your back has a significant curve.

Sleeping on your side is another popular position, but unfortunately it leaves your top leg unsupported, which can rotate your spine and contribute to back pain. To solve this problem, you can place a pillow between your legs for support, which will help align your hips and spine. Similar to the side position is the fetal position. So if you try a support technique similar to the side position, then you’ll really be sleeping like a baby.

Finally, there are the stomach sleepers. Sleeping on your stomach can cause undue stress on your back, neck, joints, and muscles. It can be hard, however, to change your sleeping habits after years and years of the same position. So if you’d rather not try side sleeping or back sleeping, you can reduce the back pain associated with stomach sleeping by placing a pillow under your hips for support. Just be careful not to strain your neck too much.

At MD Home Health, we know the importance of sleep and comfort, and we hope that these tips on sleeping positions will help you on your way to getting the restful, pain-free sleep you deserve.


Senior Health Trends

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Healthy Friends in Senior Trends

For seniors, especially “baby boomers” currently entering retirement age, the future can seem uncertain and a little stressful: What will my quality of life be like? Will I have support for my medical needs? Will anyone look after me? Unfortunately, these concerns are valid, because while people are living longer, the health complications associated with aging have become more prominent.health trends

A number of health trends have gained ground in response to these growing concerns. Luckily, many of these trends have proved quite beneficial for an aging body, improving quality of life dramatically for seniors. However, other trends should be approached with a certain amount of skepticism, or at least moderation. At MD Home Health, we’re here to help you choose which trends to follow and which ones to avoid.

Functional Fitness

The strenuousness of everyday activities is something that a lot of people take for granted, but as we age, performing these normal physical feats can become somewhat daunting and even dangerous. As a result, an exercise regimen for seniors known as “functional fitness” has developed, which involves doing exercises that mimic daily activities. This trend is important for seniors to pay attention to, because the strain is minimal and the exercises are specific, directed, and immediately useful.

Yoga

When people say that everyone and their mother are doing yoga these days, they aren’t kidding. But does this mean that seniors should be doing yoga? Intensive yoga can be quite dangerous and painful for seniors, because it can require heavy muscle exertion and endurance that may be difficult for seniors whose muscle mass has decreased significantly. A light yoga regimen tailored to seniors, however, will decrease joint stiffness and relieve aches and pains.

“Senior” Diets

A lot of fuss is made about diets for seniors, but how beneficial are they really?

– Gluten-free: Cutting barley, wheat, and rye from your diet can, in fact, help prevent celiac disease, but it’s important to remember to replace the iron, calcium, and fiber that you’re sacrificing by cutting gluten products.

– Vegetarian: Cutting meat will reduce your cholesterol and saturated fat intake, but you will be missing out on some important vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin B-12, calcium, zinc, and iron, so supplements may be necessary.

-Vegan: Cutting animal products altogether will reduce your natural vitamin and mineral intake even more, so more supplements will be required. Also keep in mind that increasing your reliance on soy products will increase your sodium levels.

-Juicing: Juicing is not so much about cutting foods out as it is about conveniently adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and this is a trend that we can wholeheartedly endorse. 

Getting older shouldn’t be a scary thing. In fact, it should be something we look forward to, because we’re living longer than ever. And just because we’re older doesn’t mean we have to feel that way. At MD Home Health, we want you to feel healthy and happy.For those who need a helping hand at home when it comes to older loved ones, be sure to use MD Home Health for all your home health needs.


Lean, Green, Vegetable Machine

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Be a Lean, Green, Vegetable Machine

In this day and age, it’s hard to eat healthily. With fast food being as convenient and cheap as it is, going to the grocery store or the farmer’s market for some fresh vegetables at a considerably higher price seems somewhat time consuming and illogical. Plus, it’s difficult to even decide what vegetables to get and how to prepare them. Part of this decision process can be made easier by knowing a little about vegetables, what they do for our bodies, and how to get the most out of them.  veggies green

Broccoli, for example, is incredibly low in calories but high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The phyto-nutrients that it contains help ward off a variety of cancers while its high concentration of Vitamins A, C, and K boost eye and immune function. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to prepare raw or cooked, and most people are familiar with its taste, appearance, and preparation.

Kale is a part of the same vegetable family as broccoli, and it has become a trendy leafy green due to its exceptionally high density of vitamins and antioxidants. Just 100g of kale leaves will provide 200% of your daily Vitamin C dosage and a whopping 700% of your daily Vitamin K dosage. It also contains vital minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron, all of which are important for your blood, muscles, and brain cells to continue functioning properly. The taste can be a little bitter, but it makes for the perfect foundation for a mixed salad. Plus, it’s relatively cheap and much healthier than lettuce.

The artichoke is another green vegetable that packs quite a healthy punch despite its rich, buttery texture. Besides fiber, artichokes contain folic acid, which helps synthesize DNA and prevent neural tube defects in a fetus during pregnancy. Artichokes also provide over a quarter of the recommended daily amount of copper, which is crucial for the production of red blood cells. While creamy enough on their own, it’s okay to indulge a little and dip your artichoke leaves and heart in a light butter sauce. You won’t even notice that you’re eating a healthy, green vegetable.

Now that MD Home Health has taught you a little more about some of the health benefits that green vegetables have to offer, it’s time to go out and give them a try. Try replacing your French fries with one or all of these veggies and you’ll start feeling better immediately – physically and psychologically. Remember, a dollar can go a long way if you choose the right vegetables and treat your body right.

 


Senior Tips for Health

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Senior Health Tips

As we age we go through an array of changes physically, mentally and in life which for some can be a very daunting task, but it does not have to be. healthAt MD Home Health, we feel that maintaining your health is absolutely critical to living a lasting life full of joy. There are many of the changes we face during our lives as seniors.  Finding a way to get through the tough changes happening as you age is crucial.  Our senior health tips will allow you to live your life while maintaining your health no matter how old you are.

Eating healthy is a critical part to maintaining a healthy life as you age into senior years. Many changes occur as you age that can affect you. It takes longer to digest or process food, your metabolism decreases and your taste and smell even change. With these changes in mind, it is crucial to stay on top of your diet and here are some tips to do just that.

Increase the amount of vegetables, grains and fruits that are high in fiber. With your digestive system continuing to slow down as you age, fiber becomes increasingly important. Foods with a lot of fiber will not only help with digesting, but give you more energy as well.

Watch the portions you eat for each meal and avoid over eating.

Avoid dehydration. The changes happening throughout your body as you age make it easier to become dehydrated. With that said, it is important to stay hydrated and drink fluids, especially water.

As people get older, they often exercise less or not at all. The truth is that exercise is extremely important and will always benefit your health, especially for seniors. Exercising throughout your life will make it much easier to maintain as you get older.

An excellent way to begin exercising is walking. It is cost effective as it literally costs you nothing, not to mention it is a proven method of exersice.

If you are just beginning to exercise then it is critical that you start slow, boosting the level of workout as you go.

Whether you prefer to exercise in a group hiking or you prefer to do it yourself swimming, there is an exercise out there that will fit perfectly for you.

Sleeping becomes increasingly more difficult at we get older which can cause many different health problems and make it a struggle to function properly. Having bad sleeping habits can dramatically increase the risk for poor sleep quality.

Melatonin is naturally produced by the body and is a hormone that helps you to fall asleep. Avoiding artificial lights in the evening will give your melatonin a natural boost and prepare your body and mind for sleep.

Going to bed earlier is always helpful and will allow you more time out of the artificial light to boost your melatonin and get to sleep.

Make your evening bedtime preparation a habit or even a ritual that you consistently stick to every night.

For more information regarding senior health tips visit us at mdhomehealth.com  and set up a

 free consultation with our experts.


Fruits and Veggies with the Best Vitamins

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Fruits and Veggies Vitamin Guide

There are numerous fruits and veggies that not only provide you with the vitamins you need, but taste great as well. With all of the options available to make sure you get the nutrients necessary to stay healthy it is easier than most would think to enjoy healthy food. Here is a list of different vitamins and the fruits or veggies that have them.veggies and fruits

Vitamin A can be found in an array of fruits and veggies and is easy to incorporate into your meal. It is crucial to you vision, immune system and reproduction as well.

  • Orange fruits and veggies like mango or apricots and carrots or pumpkin.
  • Dark green veggies like spinach or collard greens are very rich in vitamin A as well.
  • Tomatoes are also high in vitamin A.

 

Vitamin B helps the body process protein as well as carbohydrates and there are many that can be eaten with breakfast or lunch.

  • Whole grains are a huge of source of vitamin B.
  • Cereals with whole grains are an easy breakfast full of vitamin B
  • Bread has it as well and can be eaten with sandwiches for lunch.

Vitamin C is in a lot of tasty fruits and veggies that can be great snacks or additions to dinner.

  • Eating fruits that are citrusy like kiwis and oranges.
  • Drinking citrusy juices (not concentrate)
  • Bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage and even potatoes are a source of vitamin C.
  • Romaine lettuce, spinach or leafy green veggies like that as well.

Fiber can be a crucial part of your diet as you age and can be found in many foods that can help your food digest faster. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and help with blood sugar management.

  • Bran cereal with raspberries in the morning is a tasty high fiber breakfast.
  • Black beans and lentils are also great sources of fiber that can be easily added into dinner.
  • Vegetables like artichoke and cooked green peas.

It may seem like a daunting task to change your diet and add new fruits and veggies to improve your health, but incorporating them into your daily meals will make it a lot easier. Cooking the vegetables will not only bring out the best of their nutrients, but add more flavors to it as well. For more information on healthy fruits and veggies contact us at MD Home Health and let our experts do what they love.


Benefits of Walking for your Health

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Benefits of Walking

walkingWalking is one of the most common forms of exercise and has been for a long time due to the incredible health benefits associated with it. It is not a strenuous exercise and allows you to easily work at your pace while improving your health along the way. Although walking keeps exercise simple, it is still very effective. At MD Home Health we recommend just 30 minutes of walking per day to start and guarantee it will benefit your health.

Physical activity has been proven to be one of the top ways to stay healthy. Statistics show that exercise on a regular basis can assist in preventing heart problems, diabetes and even cancer. Walking not only improves the strength of your muscles, but your bones and joints as well decreasing the chance of arthritis. One of the more obvious health benefits of walking is that it is great for losing weight, which has become an increased problem in the United States.

Simply moving, rather than sitting for long periods of time can produce drastic health benefits. Becoming more active physically has many benefits and there are so many ways to do it. If you like to watch TV shows after work, you can record them and fast forward the commercials so the show will end sooner. With that extra time you can go and take a nice walk to let your food digest and get you ready for bed. Even things like checking the mail everyday can be extremely helpful for seniors.

It is recommended to exercise continuously for a longer amount of time to achieve the most out of your workout while improving your cardio and respiratory health.  It can seem like a daunting task and can be impossible to accomplish on some days based on schedules alone, but the benefits are completely worth it. More physical activity can reduce the chance of many health problems including heart disease, colon or breast cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Staying healthy is extremely important and will not only make you feel better, but improve and offer you a long lasting life. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of walking or any other health information, contact us at mdhomehealth.com and our experts will assist you.


In the Mood for Healthy Food

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Healthy Food for a Healthy Mood

mood healthy eating, mood food healthy foodEating healthy is not always easy. Constant temptations for inexpensive, convenient fast food make it difficult to make the right food choices when it comes to your health. Luckily, we’re here to help make it easier, because you don’t have to be a celebrity health nut or experienced chef to start choosing the best foods for your body. 

Your path toward healthier eating starts with leafy greens. The problem that people often run into with vegetables, however, is not so much the flavor but the difficulty that comes along with trying to cook them. For busy people on the go, leafy greens are easy to leave out. An effortless way to incorporate darker greens into your diet more is to start using them in your sandwiches instead of iceberg lettuce. Many of these darker greens have antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are associated with eye health, in addition to vitamin K, which is good for bone growth and warding off cancer.

Though whole milk may provide you with your necessary intake of vitamin D and calcium for your bones, it also contains an unhealthy amount of fat, and is therefore probably not your healthiest choice. Other dairy products like yogurt have less fat and can provide you with these essential bone-fortifying nutrients while protecting your gums against disease and helping with your digestion. For a healthy breakfast that can easily replace a quick bowl of sugary cereal, consider adding flaxseeds and granola to your yogurt to get both heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

Fish like salmon and trout will also give you a healthy dose of omega-3s that will offer the added benefit of improved brain health. Though fish might seem like a hassle to prepare at first, grilling it with a few herbs and spices should take no more than ten to fifteen minutes. Plus, its versatility gives you a range of options when considering what to do with your leftovers. You can have a classic grilled salmon dinner or a delicious grilled salmon sandwich for lunch (don’t forget your leafy greens!). For an extra healthy treat, try substituting a high-fat, high-sugar dessert with fruits that are just as sweet but also rich in vitamin C. Following some of these simple tips from the experts at MD Home Health will put you on the path to a healthier you.