Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season
(Family Features) People who have suffered from the flu know how exhausting the fever, chills and upset stomach can be. Your dog may be at risk for the same symptoms. One type of canine influenza virus – CIV H3N8 – has been around for years, and a new type (CIV H3N2) was identified in Chicago in March 2015. Since then, the virus has spread to more than 25 states, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Center.
CIV H3N2 is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and from contact with contaminated objects, such as toys, clothing, water bowls, etc.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs frequently in contact with other dogs are at high risk of infection. This includes dogs that are boarded, enrolled in day care and visit groomers or dog parks.
“I take my dogs to dog parks and because they’re social, I’m concerned they’ll catch the virus and it will spread in those areas,” said Kelsey Risher, a Chicago-area owner of two active dogs.
Most dogs recover in two to three weeks. However, because CIV H3N2 can be difficult to diagnose and in severe instances may be fatal, effective prevention is critical.
In November 2015, Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company, was the first to be granted a conditional license for a vaccine for CIV H3N2.
“I’ll be telling clients I recommend the vaccination,” said Dr. Scott Rovner, a Chicago veterinarian. “I’ll be vaccinating my own two dogs who go to day care. I think it’s going to be a great product to help slow down and lessen the clinical signs that we see with our patients.”
Preventive measures to help protect your dog include:
By following these simple measures and consulting your veterinarian, this flu season can be easier for your canine companions.
Visit DogFluFacts.com for more information about preventing canine influenza.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(BPT) - The days have grown shorter and the weather has become colder. Approximately 45 million Americans are negatively affected by the change of seasons and darkening of the summer light. They experience a drop in energy, have trouble getting up, feel down, crave carbs and become irritable or withdrawn. The severity of these symptoms can range from mild, but tolerable, to severe and debilitating. It not only affects their health, but it also affects their everyday life.
The problem typically starts gradually as the days become shorter in late summer or fall, and peaks midwinter in regions where there may be just nine or 10 hours of daylight. Researchers believe these seasonal mood changes are caused by the decreased amount of daylight people are exposed to during the fall and winter months, and that sunlight acts as a signal that synchronizes our body’s circadian rhythm. When we do not receive that morning light signal, the winter blues may occur.
Numerous studies have identified several ways that can help alleviate the symptoms caused by this sunlight deficiency. Here are six tips to help you deal with the winter blues.
Get more light. Get outside during the day as much as possible. Just 15 minutes of sun on your face and hands two to three times per week is enough for many people.
Purchase a bright light therapy lamp. Patients are advised to sit in front of a specially designed light box that emits about 10,000 lux of UV-filtered white light, most often in the morning for 20-30 minutes. Bright-light therapy has been found to be the treatment of choice. The clinically-proven Day-Light Classic by Carex Health Brands or the more compact Day-Light Sky, can be found in retail stores or purchased online.
Get some exercise. Regular exercise, in the mornings, can be a natural energizer that can help maintain a positive outlook.
Watch your diet. A healthy, well-balanced diet relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrates provides the nutrients needed to stay active and alert.
Take part in social activities. Stay in touch with friends and family to avoid isolation. This might include a sunny vacation.
Get some sleep. Maintain a regular sleep schedule to keep your circadian rhythm in balance.
For moderate to severe winter blues, some people may need to seek professional help. One option often used by health care professionals is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). A trained therapist can help a person develop behavioral tools to deal effectively with the winter blues. Success rates for CBT are high and the skills learned can be utilized whenever symptoms begin to appear.
Winter blues may continue into April. If symptoms are severe, look to your doctor for help as mood changes can have a severe impact on your daily life.
(Family Features) If the idea of diving into a new year has you feeling more exhausted than invigorated, it may be time to introduce some new strategies to help keep busy days from feeling overwhelming. Proper exercise, balanced nutrition and quality rest can make it easier to adapt when life demands you give a little bit more.
Everyone’s life demands are different. Some may be looking to push through a late night workout or make it to the office for an early meeting, while others are looking to enjoy an outing to the park with their kids at the end of the day. These tips will help fuel, inspire and accomplish whatever your personal “one more” is.
Begin with a bang. With a busy day ahead, it can be tempting to rush out the door and skip breakfast. However, countless studies have shown this first meal of the day is extremely important. Skipping out on a balanced breakfast can drag you down all day, both mentally and physically. Being hungry later in the day may also make you more likely to overeat or nibble on high-calorie snacks. For those mornings when you’re crunched for time, grab a protein-rich ready-to-drink shake or sandwich with egg, cheese and lean meat to give yourself sustained energy for the rest of the day.
Work in a workout. In addition to helping ward off disease and manage your weight, regular exercise helps lift your mood by stimulating feel-good chemicals in the brain and boosts energy by helping your body work more efficiently. A combination of aerobic or cardio activity (walking, jogging or running) and muscle-strengthening activity (lifting weights, resistance training or yoga) is the winning formula, according to the most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. After your workout, refuel with a rich and creamy Premier Protein Shake, available in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberries and Cream, with 30 grams of protein, only 160 calories and just 1 gram of sugar.
Power with protein. Your body gets energy from three main sources: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Protein plays a major role in repairing damaged cells, tissues and muscle. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and vegetables, but the best sources deliver lots of protein without a lot of fat, carbs and sugar. A protein-based snack is a good way to recharge during the day. Premier Protein 30-gram bars and Fiber Bars are smart, easy and gluten-free options that are available in an array of flavors to provide sustained energy with fiber, calcium and protein to help curb hunger.
Keep up on sleep. Quality sleep – and an adequate amount of it – is critical to your overall wellbeing. While you’re sleeping, your body is hard at work healing and repairing from the day, as well as regulating your hormonal balance and protecting your immune system. At the same time, your brain is also recharging to help your mental function, including learning aptitude, problem solving and emotional health. Most adults need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal performance.
Visit premierprotein.com to learn how you can get the sustained energy to help you accomplish “one more” thing each day.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(BPT) - When you’re constantly bombarded with messages and news about the latest anti-aging treatments and methods, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. How can you maintain a skincare routine when the rules seem to be ever-changing? It might be simpler than you think. By separating the hype from reality, you can come up with a core skincare routine to perfectly suit the skin you’re in.
“As you age, your skin changes,” says Dr. Jeanine Downie, board-certified dermatologist from Image Dermatology P.C. in Montclair New Jersey. “When it comes to supporting skin and its care, women (and men) need to understand that aging is complex, and it varies greatly by individual. Genetics, tanning and smoking also influence the health of your skin.” She also noted that with skincare, there are a range of choices to consider, such as topicals, injectables, cosmetic treatments, surgery and even oral anti-aging skincare supplements. Additionally, Dr. Downie shares it’s important to adjust your skin care routine throughout the years, what worked in your and twenties may not have your skin glowing into your thirties and beyond.
Many women don’t know where to start. Meaning, what types of anti-aging skincare products might be right for them and what the choices are when it comes to anti-aging products.
She provides her tips for aging beautifully from your 20s to 50s and each decade in between:
20s: Preserve and protect. It’s never too early to start aging prevention. Hectic schedules, late nights out and days spent on the beach can wreak havoc on your skin. This stress shows up in the form of dark circles, under-eye bags, and dull or puffy skin. Fine lines begin to creep up as early as your late 20s, so a quality skin care routine is key. Start with a glycolic acid based cleanser and an oil free moisturizer. Dr. Downie recommends a separate sunscreen with an SPF 30 or above, rain or shine, January through December, regardless of your ethnicity. Sunscreen only works if you reapply it every two hours, according to skincancer.org. Sun protection forms the foundation of any anti-aging skin-care plan, according to the American Academy of Dermatology and The Skin Cancer Foundation, as the sun’s rays make our skin age more quickly – so regular use of daily sun protection is essential at all ages.
30s: Exfoliate. Once you hit your 30s, your skin’s natural exfoliation process begins to slow down. The growth factor in your skin also decreases. This means that you start to lose a teaspoon of collagen from your face every year by the time you are 30. Continue with your glycolic acid base cleanser. You also need an oil-free make up remover. Using an eye cream both day and night might help to increase moisture and suppleness around the eye area. Dr. Downie recommends a dual-pronged approach to help address some of the first signs of aging using topicals plus IMEDEEN Derma One, an anti-aging oral supplement that provides nutrients from within, targeted to the dermal skin layers where creams and lotions can’t reach. This supports hydration and helps to create a radiant glow.
40s: Strengthen. As you enter your 40s, your estrogen levels begin to change, resulting in dryer and thinner skin. Anti-aging products and creams with ingredients like retinoids and peptides are must-haves and always make sure to apply sunblock. Moisturize with serums containing growth factors and hyaluronic acid. Exfoliate - use a gentle face cleansing brush to help get rid of dead skin cells. Be sure to extend your skin care down to your neck and décolleté (upper chest) area. There are specifically formulated products to soothe and ease discoloration in this area. While you work hard to care for your skin on the outside, add IMEDEEN Time Perfection. This age-adjusted anti-aging supplement formula helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, so add it to your daily routine to nourish your skin from within. Nourishment from within supports the whole body, including the back of hands and upper chest.
50s: Beyond Hydration and Prevention. You should already be on a steady anti-aging regimen. As soon as you count 50 candles on your birthday cake, moisturizing should be your top skincare priority. Look for products with retinoids, peptides, alpha hydroxy and amino acids. You should be keeping vigilant with your sunscreen and moisturizers. You could always consider laser treatment surgery, Botox with filler or other non-invasive treatments. IMEDEEN Prime Renewal, the anti-aging skincare formula for women 50 and older, is a dietary supplement that helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots as it protects and repairs the skin, stimulating collagen production, and is a convenient addition to your daily skin care regimen.
Most important, Dr. Downie reminds that true beauty comes from within, so embrace your age throughout your life. Try to avoid excessive sun exposure (and indoor tanning as these rays may accelerate skin aging,) moisturize daily and consider an anti-aging oral supplement. Exercise, eat healthy foods, don’t forget to get enough sleep (it’s called beauty rest for a reason) and if you smoke, stop.
Follow this guide and take steps to shift you skincare routine throughout the decades to feel as beautiful as you look – both inside and out.
(BPT) - It was once believed that costly doctor visits were the only way to get health advice. Now, thanks to websites like WebMD and health.com, Americans are only a few clicks away from valuable medical information. Millions of people are flocking to online resources to learn about health conditions, with some of the most commonly searched topics being related to skin concerns. Acne is known to be the most common skin disorder in the U.S., affecting 40-50 million people, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Further research has shown that up to 95 percent of people with acne may go on to suffer from scarring. Acne scars are disfiguring and can make sufferers feel isolated, ashamed, or embarrassed, which is why an educational and supportive online community for these individuals is of growing importance.
“A Scar Free Me” is one such online community that was specifically created to empower people who live with acne scars. Despite how common the skin disorder is, those who suffer from acne scars often don’t know how to address it or who to talk to. The resulting social anxiety and isolation can be overwhelming.
To combat both the physical and emotional scars left by acne, “A Scar Free Me” is a one-stop hub designed to connect and help people who suffer from acne scars. To illustrate how this is done, here are five ways in which the online community brings people together to say goodbye to their most hated skin imperfection:
1. A holistic approach. Those who live with acne scars know the toll they can take on one’s self-esteem. Recognizing that these scars go deeper than just the skin on your face, “A Scar Free Me” offers support to address the many social and emotional issues that arise from scarring, as well as practical measures to eliminate the physical effects of scarring.
2. Ask the experts. With a team of medical doctors, dermatologists and self-esteem experts ready to answer questions associated with acne scarring, community members can get real answers to a wide range of questions — from relationships to social anxiety to daily skin care.
3. A community message board. This is an opportunity for people to share their story and connect with others who have similar experiences. Through making these connections, many community members find relief from the isolation that so often results from scarring. The support network that develops is a vital component to building self-esteem and restoring the confidence that acne scars can rob people of.
4. Treatment options. As a hub for both expert advice and individual sharing, “A Scar Free Me” is a place where a lot of new treatment options are discussed. One that has recently been creating a lot of buzz among the community members is Bellafill. The community’s experts noted Bellafill is the only filler on the market approved by the FDA for the correction of facial acne scars.
5. Confidence Corner Blog. Written by the same team of experts that answer the questions of community members, this blog covers common struggles and offers real-world advice for helping people with acne scarring improve their lives.
What is noteworthy about “A Scar Free Me” is how it creates a conversation between experts and ordinary people looking for help. While consulting with a physician is always the recommended approach for determining the best course of action to treat skin imperfections, this online community is an easy way for people to gain strength and not let their scars define them.
(BPT) - We’ve all been told how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. It improves our mood, allows us to focus better and increases our ability to reason and problem solve. In addition to its effect on general wellbeing and productivity, sleep is also critical to vital functions that keep our body working properly and in good health. In fact, research published in SLEEP has shown people with insomnia are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions than those who get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Unfortunately, more than 30 million Americans have chronic insomnia, putting them at greater risk of developing and suffering from chronic health conditions like heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, neurologic disease, and chronic pain. And what many people don’t know is that insomnia is about more than just being unable to fall asleep (sleep onset insomnia). It also includes the inability to sleep through the night (sleep maintenance insomnia), which is actually the most common symptom.
The good news is there are effective ways to manage insomnia. Incorporating good bedtime habits into your nightly routine is one of them. Helpful habits you may want to try include:
If practicing these habits alone is not enough, speak with your doctor about your routine, lifestyle and symptoms. If you are diagnosed with insomnia, your doctor may prescribe a prescription medication.
If you have trouble staying asleep, please talk to your doctor to see if SILENOR® may be an option for you. SILENOR® is a prescription sleep aid that is used to treat people with insomnia who have trouble staying asleep. It works with the wake-promoting mechanism of your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle to help you stay asleep during the night and keep you from waking too early in the morning.
To prepare for a visit with your doctor, visit www.silenor.com to download a conversation starter guide, which includes a short questionnaire to help you better understand your sleep and what questions to ask your doctor.
Summary of Information about SILENOR® (doxepin) Tablets
The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment. Please talk with your health care provider if you want to learn more about Silenor. The FDA-approved product labeling can be found at www.SILENOR.com or by calling 1-877-SILENOR (745-3667).
Indications and Usage
SILENOR is indicted for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep maintenance.
What is the most important information I should know about SILENOR?
After taking SILENOR, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.
You have a higher chance for doing these activities if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy with SILENOR. Reported activities include:
1. Take SILENOR exactly as prescribed
SILENOR is a hypnotic (sleep) medicine that is used to treat people who have trouble staying asleep.
What are the ingredients in SILENOR?
Active Ingredient: doxepin hydrochloride
Inactive Ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate. The 3 mg tablet also contains FD&C Blue No. 1. The 6 mg tablet also contains FD&C Yellow No. 10 and FD&C Blue No. 1.
Who should not take SILENOR?
Do not take SILENOR if you:
It is not known if SILENOR is safe and effective in children.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking SILENOR?
Before you take SILENOR, tell your healthcare provider if you:
What other medications might interact with SILENOR?
SILENOR and other medicines may affect each other causing side effects. SILENOR may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affects how SILENOR works. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.
What should I avoid while taking SILENOR?
What are the possible side effects of SILENOR?
SILENOR can cause serious side effects including:
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of SILENOR. For more information ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
(BPT) - Saving money and staying fit are traditional New Year’s resolutions, but overly packed schedules and the materialistic focus of modern day life are inspiring a new goal for many people: to live happier in 2016 and beyond.
“To make 2016 the happiest year ever, think about how you rest, eat and move,” says Matt Johnson, health and performance expert and president of On Target Living. “I am a believer that mental health is directly related to physical health. For most of human existence we have viewed the mind — the head — different from the physical body of the neck down. New research is showing they have everything to do with each other. If you want optimal physical health, you need optimal mental health and happiness. When people are happier they tend to improve all aspects of their life.”
Johnson offers six surprisingly simple, yet profoundly effective ways to boost mood and overall happiness in the new year:
1. Make sleep a priority
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is critical for the body to produce hormones that trigger happiness, explains Johnson.
“I am a big fan of always going to bed with a positive attitude,” he says. “If you go to bed angry, worried or stressed, that tends to come back the next day. Do what you can before bed to reset your mood. Read, take a bath, exercise or talk face-to-face. Try to avoid screen time.”
2. Make more time for family
“Over the last 20 years, family time has vanished. Sporting events, projects, work and technology have swallowed this time,” says Johnson. “As the author of the cookbook Target to Table, I think family face-to-face time is the most important part of a healthy family relationship and happiness.”
Johnson suggests planning family dinner two to three times a week. “When we start to eat dinner as a family in the home, our health and happiness will follow,” he notes.
3. Carve out whitespace
Whitespace is time you dedicate to yourself to refresh, unplug and rejuvenate. This could be making time to do yoga, enjoy a hobby, read, meditate or take a bath.
“People who have hobbies and activities that give them balance tend to be happier,” Johnson says. “If your hobby is texting, checking social media or watching TV, this will set you up for a feeling of emptiness. These things are fine in short periods, but too much will take away what life is giving us.”
4. Achieve work-life balance
With the expanse of the Internet and mobile commuting, workers are now connected more than ever before. But this connectedness can get out of control when answering emails 24/7, so work-life balance is important for overall happiness.
“We all want to be successful, but with anything you need proper balance,” says Johnson. “If you look at professional athletes, the best ones try to find activities outside of their sport that help them stay hungry, engaged and excited. Find things that help you create balance in your life.” Johnson suggests:
* Don’t check email after 8 p.m.
* Go on a date night or family night
* Exercise at a time that fits your schedule
* Walk during lunch
* Schedule a massage once a month
5. Fuel happiness from within
“I believe we have more behavior and mental health issues than we should, and a big part of this is the lack of proper nutrients,” says Johnson. “The most important nutrient when it comes to brain health and mood is omega-3s.”
America is one of the most deficient countries when it comes to omega-3s, with an estimated 91 percent of people not getting enough. “The way that I encourage people to get omega-3s is Nordic Naturals orange-flavored Arctic Cod Liver Oil — it tastes like an orange oil drop,” Johnson says. “Adding Nordic Naturals cod liver oil to your diet can be a game changer for your mental health.”
6. Embrace gratitude
Thinking of the things you are grateful for can have a dramatic effect on your satisfaction and overall happiness. Do this daily as you wake up or make it a conversation you have with your children right before bed.
“Telling yourself you are grateful for your health, family, friends, job and life gives you that pat on the back we all need,” Johnson says. “I also think we don’t tell people how much we appreciate them until they are gone. I encourage everyone to write a handwritten letter to one person each year who made a huge impact in their life. They may not know or maybe you don’t tell them often enough. My last letter was to my Mom. She is the glue in our family.”
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