Health Blog

Healthy Summer Snacks to Help Keep You Hydrated, Cool and Slim


Summer is right around the corner. Many people associate summer with cold beers and hanging out by the pool to keep cool. However, the foods you eat can have a large effect on how you feel in the heat Read more

Natural Ways to Fight Depression This May


Depression is the most common form of mental illness. As much as 26% of the adult population in the United States suffers from depression. Since 1949, Mental Health America has observed that May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Read more

The Benefits of Exercise and an Active Lifestyle


May is National Sports and Physical Fitness month. Now is a great time to spread awareness of the many benefits provided by engaging in an active lifestyle. Many Americans don't get enough exercise in their day to day lives. Read more

7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life


In honor of April being National Garden Month, and this beautiful spring weather, we’d like to share some of the amazing health benefits gardening can bring into your life. Gardening is so healthy that it could, in fact, add Read more

MD Home Health to Welcome 50,000th Patient

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Guess the Date of our 50,000th Patient!

 

50,000th Patient ContestMD Home Health is happy to announce that we are rapidly approaching the day when we will admit our 50,000th patient!

We’re celebrating with a contest to see who can guess the actual day this momentous milestone will occur.

Give it your best shot by filling out the form on our website. The rules are simple, fill out the form with your best guess of when we will admit our 50,000th patient. (Hint: We were at 40,000 patients on January 1, 2011).

There will be a winner for each prize category. Only one entry per email address will be allowed.

Winners will receive a $200 dinner and movie for two or $500 in free home care from MD Home Health, and best of luck guessing the date!

It’s no surprise that MD Home Health is fast approaching their 50,000th patient. They have served the Valley of the Sun for over 28 years, and aided over 40,000 patients.

They take pride in their ability to provide quality medical and non-medical services and care for patients who are in need of gentle, guided care.

Specializing in providing home care services for aging loved ones, MD Home Health caters to giving a personal touch, and their facilitators not only care for patients, but about patients and their families.

Throughout the years, MD Home Health has proven themselves with the full range of services that they provide, including Non-medical, supportive services such as companions and assistance with tasks of daily living are offered through MD Home Assist, and medical-based/skilled home health services, such as nursing and physical therapy are offered through State Licensed & Medicare Certified MD Home Health.

 


Sleep to your Health

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Health Benefits of Sleep

sleepThere are many health benefits of getting quality sleep. A good night ‘s sleep or some quality naptime will greatly improve your health, weight and cognitive ability, just to mention a few! Healthy sleep habits will lead to improved memory, attention and learning, healthy weight maintenance or weight loss and reduced chance of disease.

Cognitive Ability

There have been many studies that have show that a benefit of sleep is improving the brain’s ability to learn and remember more efficiently. Sleep helps us to focus more when we are awake and improves our creative abilities. It also helps our brains to problem solve and promotes better alertness, which greatly reduces the chance of accident or mistake.

Healthy Weight

Sleep benefits our metabolism, blood sugar levels and digestive abilities. A study at the University of Chicago found that people who got enough sleep lost 56% more fat than those who were sleep deprived. It was also found that people in the study who got less sleep felt hungrier for more of the day. This study showed that sleep and metabolism are deeply tied. Getting enough sleep helps our bodies regulate appetite and metabolism controlling hormones. If you want to lose weight or keep a healthy weight, make sure to get enough sleep!

Sleep Benefits: Reduce Chance of Disease

Many diseases can be prevented or cured by getting the proper amount of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep effects the cardiovascular system, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. Not enough sleep also causes inflammation in the body and can lead to arthritis, pre-mature aging and all other kinds of negative disease in the body.  Getting enough sleep reduces our risk for heart disease and type II diabetes. Make sure to get enough sleep to avoid unnecessary disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other hearth disease. Getting enough sleep also enhances our immune systems and makes it less likely that we will catch a cold or other illness.

Sleep is important! There are so many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep each night. Some times we have so many things to do that it is hard to find the time to get enough sleep. Even simple tasks like cooking, cleaning, or elderly home care can take up our precious sleep time. At MD Home Health we offer many services that can assist you with your daily living activities and chores, and make space in your life for more sleep. Whether you or someone you love is in need of home care assistance, we offer medical and non-medical home care to make your life more enjoyable, easy and restful.

Visit our website, MD Home Health to learn more about the services we offer. We would love to help you to have a more relaxing and healthy life.


The Importance of a Healthy Diet in the New Year

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New Year’s Resolution: Bite into a Better Diet

Fruits and veggies are extremely beneficial to seniors and are packed with crucial vitamins and fiber which are an important part to diets not only for seniors, but people in general. With as little as 3 servings of fruits and veggies everyday you can obtain the amount of vitamins needed to stay healthy and prevent future health problems. The beautiful part is that most fruits taste great as they are without any added preparation time or ingredients and can be taken on the go easily. Vegetables often take time to prepare, but can make an average meal healthy and add flavor as well as variety to the meal. An easy and delicious way to eat your daily intake of veggies is to make a tasty salad with dark, leafy greens which have the most vitamins in them. A good size salad with lunch and dinner can extremely impact toward your health. Both fruits and veggies have been proven to improve your health and prevent health problems in the future.

fruits and veggiesWhen it comes to fruits, it is better to avoid juices and stick with good old fashioned whole fruit to obtain your healthy daily intake. Apples and bananas are a couple of the best on the go fruits for seniors. According to Cara Rosenbloom of Canadian Living, apples can help decrease the risk of diabetes as well as asthma because of the antioxidants they have. She also brings up a fun fact about apples that many people may not know about saying “Apples are also a natural mouth freshener and clean your teeth with each crunchy bite.” Rosebloom describes bananas as a very healthy fruit with a large amount of potassium which can bring down blood pressure. These two fruits are great for seniors and can be easily taken on the go or prepared as a side with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Veggies can be easily added to the three daily meals and bring out amazing flavors when prepared well. Sarah Kelsey from She Knows Health & Wellness has broken down the top ten veggies along with their health benefits and I was intrigued by the top two although one may not be considered a veggie all. According to Kelsey, both tomatoes and broccoli are extremely healthy veggies with many added health benefits. Tomatoes are packed full of vitamins and help fight cancer as well as lower blood pressure. Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies out there and helps to fight off different types of cancers and can increase immunity during cold/flu season. It is amazing how beneficial the best fruits and veggies truly can be for seniors.


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.