(BPT) - Edward Beans could be described as a man with great purpose who makes the most out of all life has to offer. He is a husband, father, business owner and a basketball coach. And, as of five years ago, he is a dialysis patient.
Beans found out he had kidney disease while at a routine doctor visit. His primary care doctor ran a full range of blood tests, including one to measure his kidney function, or glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The results showed Bean's kidneys were failing.
"I was fortunate my doctor checked my GFR, or else I might not have had the chance to make a healthy transition to dialysis," Beans says. "I encourage everyone to ask to have their GFR checked as part of their yearly physical."
Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 31 million adults have been diagnosed with the disease, which is often called a "silent killer" because it can be symptomless until immediate medical attention is needed. Once kidney disease progresses to kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary for survival.
When caught early enough, the progression of kidney disease may be slowed, and in some cases, prevented altogether. A simple GFR blood test can assess if someone has or is at risk of having kidney disease.
Beans recognizes that high blood pressure and poor dietary choices contributed to his kidney disease. In fact, diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease in the U.S. One in three people with diabetes and one in five people with high blood pressure also have kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Moreover, minority populations - particularly Hispanics, African-Americans and Native Americans - are at a disproportionately higher risk of developing kidney disease. Additional risk factors include people with cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol, lupus and a family history of the disease.
Beans, like many people with kidney failure, chooses to live life to its fullest while managing the disease. He remains a committed family man, continues working as a property manager, and volunteers as a children's basketball coach in his community - all while completing dialysis treatments three times a week.
"I'm still coaching, still running a business and still doing everything I want to do. But now I have to factor in time in a dialysis chair," Beans says.
Beans is a good example of how it is possible to live a high quality of life after a kidney disease diagnosis. Staying employed after being diagnosed or while on dialysis has many potential benefits, including lower rates of depression, sustained income and, in many cases, more choices in medical insurance.
"If you choose to be active, you can still take care of yourself and slow it down. I choose to continue to work and coach and spend time with my family because it gives my life purpose."
Take a one-minute quiz to find out if you may be at risk for kidney disease at DaVita.com/LearnYourRisk.
Living with diabetes is no laughing matter, but as many would say, laughter is often the best medicine. This is certainly true for comedic actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who offers these five tips for a healthy smile and managing diabetes with a touch of humor.
5 Tips for Managing Diabetes
This is certainly true for comedic actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2013. In partnership with the American Diabetes Association and Colgate Total through the “Laugh Out Loud” campaign, Brown offers the following tips for a healthy smile and managing diabetes with a touch of humor.
Give Your Smile Some Extra TLC
Befriend Your Dentist
Find Your Tribe
When Brown was a kid her mom would say, “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.” That’s sometimes what people do when they get any kind of health diagnosis. The first response is, “Oh no,” and then you find a way around it.
For more information about the connection between oral health and diabetes, visit OralHealthandDiabetes.com or search #OralHealthDiabetes on social media.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (women walking)SOURCE:
Colder weather and cold and flu season go hand-in-hand. While you may not be able to completely avoid getting sick, you can take some steps to protect yourself and minimize the chances of a serious illness.
Fight Off the Flu
(Family Features) Colder weather and cold and flu season go hand-in-hand. While you may not be able to completely avoid getting sick, you can take some steps to protect yourself and minimize the chances of a serious illness.
The flu is a highly contagious illness that can result in hospitalization and even death. Managing your own risk of exposure to the flu not only protects you, but can help minimize the chances of passing on a potentially dangerous illness to those in higher risk groups. Those with compromised immune systems and risk factors such as age (both the elderly and young babies and children) and other health conditions are at an elevated risk.
Know the signs
Other preventive steps
Treating the flu
Find more cold weather tips for healthy living at eLivingToday.com.
4 Ways to Stretch Your Health Benefits
Avoid surprises. About 91 percent of adults in the United States are confused about what their benefits cover, according to a recent Harris poll. The best starting point is to review your plan so you understand the care and services covered. If you have a high-deductible plan, you will need to pay for most or a percentage of the health costs until reaching the individual or family deductible. Be prepared to pay any copayments or deductibles the plan requires before receiving care. Also, before scheduling appointments, ask for a cost estimate for the appointment, tests or service.
Preventive dental and vision. Many voluntary plans, such as dental and vision, offer preventive exams, such as routine cleanings and vision exams, that are fully covered. That’s because these preventive exams help to maintain and improve overall health and help reduce health costs. Voluntary coverage is affordable and many plans offer added incentives. For example, coverage for LASIK, dental, vision and hearing benefits can increase from one year to the next for those who continue to enroll and use their benefits. Members could earn monetary rewards to use for dental, vision, LASIK, orthodontia and hearing benefits, care materials and services simply by using their benefits and keeping the benefits paid out under a specified amount.
Medical screenings. Routine health screenings, such as mammograms, immunizations, colonoscopy procedures and prostate cancer screenings, which may be covered fully or in part by your medical coverage, can help you stay healthy and lower health care costs.
Get paid to save. Many employers encourage employees to save money by matching a percentage of the amount the employee contributes to the plan. If available, enroll in a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account to set aside money to pay for health care costs.
Learn more about the questions to ask when reviewing benefit plans at ameritasinsight.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Being sick isn’t fun, but missing out on family vacations or parties for the big game because you are sick is even worse. Getting a flu shot, washing your hands frequently and disinfecting hard surfaces are just a few things you can do to avoid getting sick.
Don’t Miss Out this Cold and Flu Season
Getting a flu shot, washing your hands frequently and disinfecting hard surfaces are just a few things you can do to avoid getting sick. Additionally, Clorox partnered with epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor at Columbia University, to share some basics about the flu virus.
What is the Flu Virus?
Most people who get the flu virus tend to recover within a few days to two weeks, barring any complications. Anyone can get the flu virus, but young children, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older and people with lung disease or weakened immune systems tend to be more susceptible to more severe or longer-lasting symptoms.
Flu v. Cold
Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
Missing out is never fun, so help stop the spread of germs and protect yourself this flu season. Learn more about disinfecting hard surfaces at Clorox.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - Whitney was only 19 years old, home from college freshman year, when her mother noticed spots on her arms and elbows. As any parent would be, Whitney’s mother was concerned and suggested her daughter see a dermatologist. That visit revealed her diagnosis of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Little did Whitney know, this would be a lifelong battle that would impact all aspects of her life.
Plaque psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells, causing patches of thick red skin and silvery scales affecting approximately 6 million Americans.1
“When I was younger and my psoriasis was flaring, it was very embarrassing and shameful,” Whitney said. “People didn’t understand that I was not contagious. I can remember being turned away by hair stylists who didn’t want to cut my hair and being refused a pedicure. My friends and boyfriends didn’t understand what was going on with me and I could feel them pulling away at times.”
After talking with her doctor about her symptoms, she prescribed a biologic treatment called STELARA® (ustekinumab).
“I went through some very challenging times with my psoriasis symptoms. Starting treatment with STELARA® helped me to take control of my disease and start to create new memories with my family and friends,” said Whitney. “With clearer skin, I was able to walk down the aisle in a strapless wedding dress, and it was amazing!”
Eventually, Whitney would also be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis causing joint pain, stiffness and swelling that affects approximately 30 percent of people with psoriasis.2 STELARA® (ustekinumab) also is approved to treat psoriatic arthritis and, over time, Whitney’s joint pain and swelling have diminished significantly.
Visit www.STELARAINFO.com to learn more about STELARA®
WHAT IS STELARA®?
STELARA® is a prescription medicine approved to treat adults 18 years and older with moderate or severe plaque psoriasis that involves large areas or many areas of their body, who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet light alone or with pills).
STELARA® is a prescription medicine approved to treat adults 18 years and older with active psoriatic arthritis, either alone or with methotrexate.
STELARA® (ustekinumab) works by targeting an underlying cause of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – an overactive immune system. It blocks two proteins called IL-12 and IL-23 that may play a role in plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
STELARA® (ustekinumab) is a prescription medicine that affects your immune system. STELARA® can increase your chance of having serious side effects including:
STELARA® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. While taking STELARA®, some people have serious infections, which may require hospitalization, including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses.
• Your doctor should check you for TB before starting STELARA® and watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with STELARA®.
• If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated for TB before and during treatment with STELARA®.
You should not start taking STELARA® if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
Before starting STELARA®, tell your doctor if you:
- think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection such as:
After starting STELARA®, call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of an infection (see above).
STELARA® can make you more likely to get infections or make an infection that you have worse. People who have a genetic problem where the body does not make any of the proteins interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interleukin 23 (IL-23) are at a higher risk for certain serious infections that can spread throughout the body and cause death. People who take STELARA® may also be more likely to get these infections.
STELARA® may decrease the activity of your immune system and increase your risk for certain types
of cancer. Tell your doctor if you have ever had any type of cancer. Some people who had risk factors for skin cancer developed certain types of skin cancers while receiving STELARA®. Tell your doctor if you have any new skin growths.
Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS)
RPLS is a rare condition that affects the brain and can cause death. The cause of RPLS is not known. If RPLS is found early and treated, most people recover. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening medical problems including: headache, seizures, confusion, and vision problems.
Serious Allergic Reactions
Serious allergic reactions can occur. Stop using STELARA® and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms such as: feeling faint, swelling of your face, eyelids, tongue, or throat, chest tightness, or skin rash.
Before receiving STELARA®, tell your doctor if you:
• have any of the conditions or symptoms listed above for serious infections, cancers, or RPLS.
• ever had an allergic reaction to STELARA® or any of its ingredients. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
• are allergic to latex. The needle cover on the prefilled syringe contains latex.
• have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). People who take
STELARA® should not receive live vaccines. Tell your doctor if anyone in your house needs a vaccine. The viruses used in some types of vaccines can spread to people with a weakened immune system, and can cause serious problems. You should not receive the BCG vaccine during the one
year before taking STELARA® or one year after you stop taking STELARA®.
• have any new or changing lesions within psoriasis areas or on normal skin.
• are receiving or have received allergy shots, especially for serious allergic reactions.
• receive or have received phototherapy for your psoriasis.
• have any other medical conditions.
• are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STELARA® will harm your unborn baby.
You and your doctor should decide if you will take STELARA®.
• are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. It is thought that STELARA® passes into your breast milk.
Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take STELARA®.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
When prescribed STELARA®:
• Use STELARA® exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
• If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may give your injections of STELARA® at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject STELARA®. Do not try to inject STELARA® yourself until you or your caregiver has been shown how to inject STELARA® by your doctor or nurse.
Common side effects of STELARA® include: upper respiratory infections, headache, and tiredness in psoriasis patients; joint pain and nausea in psoriatic arthritis patients; and upper respiratory infections, redness at the injection site, vaginal yeast infections, itching, urinary tract infections, and vomiting in Crohn’s disease patients. These are not all of the possible side effects with STELARA®. Tell your doctor about any side effect that you experience. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Please read the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for STELARA® and discuss any questions you have with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
1. About the National Psoriasis Foundation. (n.d.) https://www.psoriasis.org/about-us. Accessed July 24, 2016.
2. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriatic Arthritis. https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriatic-arthritis. Accessed November 3, 2016.
(c) Janssen Biotech, Inc. 2016 11/16 057315-160728
(BPT) - Every year in the U.S., there are more colds than people. Annually, nearly 320 million Americans catch 1 billion colds, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Seven in 10 people will turn to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to help them feel better — and many of these medicines may contain acetaminophen.
In fact, acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drug ingredients to reduce pain and fever, found in more than 600 OTC and prescription (Rx) medicines. When used as directed, it is safe and effective. However, taking more than the maximum daily dose (4,000 milligrams) is an overdose, and can lead to liver damage.
“Family members play an important role as caregivers when administering medicines safely,” says Mark Gibbons, director of programs and operations at Caregiver Action Network, a member of the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC). “It’s important to double check all medicine labels to be sure you’re not accidentally doubling up on acetaminophen.”
Each year, acetaminophen overdose causes about 26,000 hospitalizations. It’s important to know the dose that is right for you and your loved ones. With the arrival of cold and flu season, the AAC’s Know Your Dose campaign offers some helpful tips for preventing illness and safe medicine guidelines if you do get sick.
You can do a lot to protect yourself and your family from getting sick, including:
* Get vaccinated for the flu. It’s the best way to minimize the chance you'll get the flu and spread it to others. Even if you got a flu shot last year, you need to get one this year, too. Each year’s shot is different, specifically designed to prevent the strain of flu expected to be most prevalent this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend anyone 6 months and older get vaccinated.
* Be diligent about washing your hands regularly. Each time you wash, scrub for at least 20 seconds — about how long it would take to run through two renditions of “Happy Birthday.”
* Avoid actions that spread germs, like touching your face, especially the eyes, nose and mouth. If you do get sick, stay home from school or work to avoid spreading germs to others.
* Maintain good health habits, including getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious food. All these actions help build your immune system.
Know your dose
If you or a family member does fall ill, you may decide to treat symptoms with medicine, which might contain acetaminophen. To ensure you’re using acetaminophen safely, follow these steps:
* Always read the label on any medicine you take. Be sure you understand and follow the dosing instructions.
* Know if your medicine contains acetaminophen. It’s important to know which of the medicines you’re taking contain acetaminophen so you can ensure you’re not taking too much.
* Take only one medicine that contains acetaminophen at a time. Taking more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen could put you at risk for exceeding the maximum daily dose.
If you have questions about an OTC or prescription medicine that you’re taking, talk to a healthcare provider.
To learn more, visit KnowYourDose.org and follow @KnowYourDose on Twitter.
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