When it comes to trying to lower levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol, the advice remains consistent.
“Lifestyle changes are usually the first step for reducing blood cholesterol, and are continued if drug therapy is added,” said Kathryn McMurry, Nutrition Coordinator at the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute. “Recommended lifestyle changes include increasing physical activity, losing weight if overweight, reducing dietary saturated and trans fats and increasing fiber-rich foods.”
The goal of lowering LDL cholesterol is often to lower one’s risk for heart disease and heart attacks. When cholesterol levels go up, so does the risk for heart disease. Check the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute’s online 10-year calculator to assess your own risk score to determine your own heart attack risk at: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp?usertype=pub.
Based on that score, you will be in one of four categories which require different treatments and goals that will include dietary and lifestyle changes and possibly medications. Always check with your doctor for ongoing care as you address how to lower your cholesterol safely.
Experts believe regulating cholesterol levels is about balance. There are good (HDL) cholesterol levels and good and bad fats to consider. However, making lifestyle changes to achieve better cholesterol levels does not need to More >
More hospitals are changing the way they care for patients. The “treat ‘em and street ‘em” philosophy is giving way to emotional connections to ensure a patient’s recovery sticks. However, if a doctor is not being empathetic with your family member, you don’t have to stay silent and let it happen. You can act.
More and more studies show there is a relationship between empathy on the part of doctors and positive clinical outcomes. For example, a recent study found that diabetes patients of physicians with high empathy scores were significantly more likely to have good control over their blood sugar as well as cholesterol, while the opposite was true for patients of physicians with low empathy scores.
Because of this growing data, more hospitals are training their doctors on how to provide empathy. It improves the patient experience and gets the entire medical staff higher scores when it comes to quality. Medical professionals find that when they express more empathy it creates stronger connections with patients and this, in turn, makes it more fulfilling for a doctor to do his or her job.
While some doctors remain skeptical, the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General proved it could successfully train residents and staff to understand to More >
According to experts, sleep patterns naturally change as people get older. Older adults sleep for fewer hours and take longer to fall asleep. They also sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night. Normal aging is not the only cause for sleep problems. Alzheimer’s disease, certain medications, and stress can all cause sleep problems.
People who do not sleep well are at risk for other health problems, including depression. The problem is that many older adults who have trouble sleeping don’t get help for it. The people who need help but don’t get it is the focus of National Sleep Awareness Week, which was March 3-10. The end of the week actually coincides with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time, where Americans lose one hour of sleep.
To help people sleep, WebMD assembled several tips to help improve sleep for older adults. If you care for an older adult who does not sleep well, encourage him or her to try these tips:
• Get regular exercise and get out in the sunshine during the day. • Keep the bedroom cool, quiet, and dark in the evening and night. • If possible, keep food and snacks out of the bed. • If More >