Issue 1 / 2012

This spring, stand up
to allergies
Medicine 2.0

Technology and your health
PAGE 24

The Skinny on FaTS
Find the right balance
PAGE 16

A magazine for
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield members

What’s not to
Like us on Facebook and get the most from your plan.
Delivered right to your news feed, we offer a daily post to support
your personal health goals and keep you well in the long run.
Get motivated with our:

Enjoy exclusive access to:

Smartphone Pedometer App

• Nutritious recipes and cooking videos

Healthy living &
wellness contests

• Regular exercise tips
• Wellness resources
• Interactive tools including health quizzes & calculators
Check us out at www.carefirst.com/facebook

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
® Registered trademark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
®’ Registered trademark of CareFirst of Maryland, Inc.

On the Cover EDITOR: Kim Diamond For more health information. Inc. up-to-date health information. ® Registered trademark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.D.Table of Contents Member Update Food & Nutrition 4 Privacy Practices: Our Commitment to Our Members 5 All About the 4-Tier Prescription Plan 6 Coverage Information for Members 8 Changes to the Preferred Drug List 10 Need to See the Doctor? 11 Save Money on Lab Work and More 12 Members’ Rights and Responsibilities 13 Vaccine Reduces the Risk for Shingles 16 The Skinny on Fats Prevention & Screenings 18 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit Teens Hard 19 Improve Bone Health at Any Age Living Well 20 Health Bytes: News You Can Use 22 How to Have a Healthy Girls’ Day Out 23 An Action-Packed 30-Minute Workout 24 Medicine 2. Please refer to www. call Member Services at the telephone number on your health plan ID card. But no publication can replace the advice of medical professionals.com/qualityimprovement.mycarefirst.com. Test Your Knowledge 27 Discover What You Know About Colorectal Cancer Issue 1 / 2012 SENIOR VP OF MEDICAL AFFAIRS AND CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: Jon Shematek. We apologize for the error. visit My Care First at www. M. Articles in this newsletter are written by professional journalists or physicians who strive to present reliable. and readers are cautioned to seek such help. © 2012.carefirst. 25 Special Report: Living with Heart Failure? 26 What Are Kidney Stones? Who Gets Them and Why? 14 This Spring. For help with mailing address issues. You can take action today to feel better right away. Stand Up to Allergies Do your seasonal allergies make you wish winter would last a little longer? Suffering through symptoms isn’t your only option this spring. (112) MIS5052-9S (2/12) CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®‘ Registered trademark of CareFirst of Maryland. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 3 .0: How Technology Can Help Your Health Your Family 24 Children’s Medication Labels Get a Makeover Health Management Quality improvement Web address correction The last issue of Vitality provided the wrong Web address for our Quality Improvement program.

policy coverage and claims payment history ■ Information (as described in preceding paragraphs) that we obtain from any of our affiliates ■ Information we receive about you from other sources. such as your employer. benefit plan administrators. affiliated and nonaffiliated third parties of CareFirst are subject to strict confidentiality laws. consultants and agents who need to know this information to conduct CareFirst business or to provide products or services to you. Even if you are no longer a CareFirst customer. When we disclose information to these critical business partners. Affiliated entities are companies that are part of the CareFirst corporate family and include health maintenance organizations (HMOs). use and disclosure of this information. you disclose information about yourself and/or members of your family. third-party administrators. we disclose your personal. providers. or administration of an insurance policy or claim or for other purposes allowed by law. such as your name. financial and medical information about you from various sources. long-term care insurers and insurance agencies.carefirst. its affiliates or others. electronically transmitted or written on paper. financial and medical information secure. financial and medical information. Social Security number. your provider and other third parties 4 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 how we use your information We use the information we collect about you in connection with underwriting. The information CareFirst provides to these business partners can only be used to provide services we have asked them to perform for us or for you and/ or your benefit plan. we limit access to your personal. business partners. it is our highest priority. financial and medical information to a nonaffiliated third party that assists us in providing services to you. We maintain physical. . our privacy policy will continue to apply to your records. and abide by the applicable law. In addition. financial and medical information to those CareFirst employees.Member Update CareFirst’s Privacy Practices: Our Commitment to Our Members When you apply for any type of insurance. we will continue our commitment to keep your personal. changes in our privacy policy CareFirst periodically reviews its policies and reserves the right to change them.com. financial and medical information to anyone outside of CareFirst unless we have proper authorization from you or we are permitted or required to do so by law. If we change the substance of our privacy policy. salary and gender ■ Information pertaining to your relationship with CareFirst. Our current and complete privacy policy is also available online at www. For More Information You may request a copy of our complete privacy notice at any time. electronic and procedural safeguards in accordance with federal and state standards that protect your information. disclosure of your information To protect your privacy. age. use the information only for the intended purpose. The law regulates the collection. We take safeguarding your personal information very seriously at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst). whether the information is spoken. such as your premiums. brokers. If you want more information about our privacy practices or if you have questions or concerns. At no time do we disclose your personal. We are providing this notice to inform you of what we do with the information you provide to us. including: ■ Information you provide on applications or other forms. please call the Member Services telephone number on your ID card. health insurers. we require them to agree to safeguard your personal. address. categories of information we may collect We may collect personal. In certain situations related to our insurance transactions involving you.

com/healthnews. multiple sclerosis. and any information you provide when you register will be kept private. delicious recipes ■ Get more for your health care dollar Health News also provides resources you need to help you get the most from your health plan. The tiers represent the levels of costs you will pay. To sign up. Sign up for Health News and we’ll send you important health information by e-mail every month. We will only use your e-mail address to send you Health News.” Tier 2: Preferred brand-name drugs Copayments for tier 2 drugs are higher than copayments for generic drugs. hepatitis C and kidney disease. Get Health News by E-mail Better health is just a click away. our provider directory. Tier 4: Self-administered injectables These are injectable drugs (excluding insulin) that are not administered by a health care professional. All prescription drugs fall into 1 of 4 tiers. This is because less money is spent on advertising and developing generic drugs. Tier 1: Generic drugs Generics often become available when brand-name prescription drugs lose their patent protection. We will not share your e-mail address with other parties.carefirst. Members who have our 4-tier prescription plan can control out-of-pocket costs by using the preferred drug list. Tier 3: non-preferred brand-name drugs Non-preferred brand-name drugs are not part of the preferred drug list. Get the latest information to help you and your family maintain a healthy lifestyle. ■ On some prescription plans.carefirst. our health and wellness website and more. and they have the highest copayments.com/rx and click on “Save with Generics. You can find the preferred drug list at www. Copayments for generic drugs are the lowest. Our 4-tier prescription program is an important part of Health + Wellness. including access to member handbooks. we give you the resources you need to make intelligent health care decisions that will keep you healthy or make you well. There’s no cost or obligation.com/rx. It will be available only at tier 3. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 5 . Members could pay up to the full cost of the drug. Some plans may require a coinsurance payment for certain injectable drugs. but they are less than non-preferred tier 3 drugs. visit us at www. To learn more about generics and how you can save money on your out-of-pocket prescription costs.Health + Wellness Program: Utilization Management All About the 4-Tier Prescription Plan As your health plan. Check your enrollment materials or call Member Services for specific information about your prescription benefits. Therefore. the brand-name drug will not be included on the preferred drug list. growth hormone deficiencies.carefirst. Through our Health + Wellness program. members who choose the non-preferred (tier 3) drug instead of the generic drug will pay the copayment or coinsurance amount as well as the difference in cost between the tier 3 drug and its generic version. our goal is to help you understand your health care options. Here’s how it works. you will pay the least money by buying the generic version of the drug. hemophilia. Learn how to: ■ Make healthier choices ■ Manage chronic conditions ■ Add physical activity to your day ■ Make nutritious. go to www. rheumatoid arthritis. The drugs are used to treat conditions such as cancer. previous issues of Vitality. ■ If a brand-name drug also comes in generic form.

call Member Services at the telephone number on your ID card. CareFirst offers coverage for inpatient hospitalization services for a mother and newborn child for a minimum of: ■ 48 hours of inpatient hospitalization care after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery ■ 96 hours of inpatient hospitalization care after an uncomplicated cesarean section 6 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 If the mother and newborn remain in the hospital for at least the length of time provided. The mother may request a shorter length of stay if. copayments and coinsurance required under your contract apply. CareFirst must preapprove all habilitative services. habilitative services care for mothers. coverage includes 1 home visit scheduled to occur within 24 hours after hospital discharge and an additional home visit if prescribed by the attending physician. Under the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act. . physical and occupational therapies. after talking with her physician. autism or an autism spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy. If the mother and newborn have a shorter hospital stay than listed above. she decides that less time is needed for her recovery. including defects existing at or from birth. Habilitative services are not counted toward any visit maximum for therapy services.Member Update NOTICE: Coverage Information for Members Every year. Please note that any therapies provided through a school system are not covered by this benefit. Check your contract coverage to determine if you are eligible to receive these benefits. Policy maximums and benefit limits apply. Habilitative services include speech. This coverage notice applies only to contracts sold to businesses and individuals based in Maryland. Any deductibles. newborns CareFirst provides coverage for habilitative services to members younger than the age of 19. This includes habilitative services to treat congenital or genetic birth defects. CareFirst publishes this notice informing you of your benefits for the following services. If you have questions regarding any of these services. coverage includes a home visit if prescribed by the attending physician. hereditary defects.

the member must be in the hospital less than 48 hours or have the procedure performed on an outpatient basis. coverage includes 1 home visit scheduled to occur within 24 hours after discharge and an additional home visit if prescribed by the attending physician. This coverage notice applies only to contracts sold to businesses and individuals in Maryland. Mastectomy CareFirst provides coverage for a minimum 48-hour inpatient hospital stay following a mastectomy. after talking with her physician. If the member remains in the hospital for at least the time provided.Mastectomy-related services CareFirst offers benefits for mastectomy-related services under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998. This coverage notice applies only to contracts sold to businesses and individuals in Maryland. including lymphedema (swelling) You and your physician will determine the appropriate plan to treat your condition. home visits CareFirst provides coverage for home visits to members who undergo the surgical removal of a testicle. The member may request a shorter length of stay if. These benefits will be provided subject to the same deductibles and coinsurance applicable to other medical and surgical benefits covered under your health plan. she decides that less time is needed for her recovery. To be eligible. Please check your contract coverage to determine if you are eligible for these surgical procedure benefits. Please check your contract coverage to determine if you are eligible for these surgical procedure benefits. Please refer to your Benefit Guide or Evidence of Coverage for more details or call Member Services at the phone number on your ID card. call Member Services at the telephone number on your ID card. including: ■ All stages of reconstruction of the breast that underwent the mastectomy ■ Surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance ■ Prosthesis (artificial breast) and treatment of the physical complications that occur at all stages of the mastectomy. Coverage includes 1 home visit that occurs within 24 hours after discharge from the hospital or outpatient facility and an additional home visit if prescribed by the member’s doctor. Have a Question About Your Coverage? When you have questions. To help you remember the call and avoid having to call Member Services again. If the member has a shorter hospital stay than listed previously. coverage includes a home visit if prescribed by the attending physician. write down: ■ The date and time you called ■ The name of the Member Services Representative ■ What course of action the Member Services Representative will take ■ When you can expect resolution Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 7 .

preferred and non-preferred ■ 4-tier program: generic. There are 3 types of drug programs: ■ 2-tier program: generic and brand ■ 3-tier program: generic. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). To save money. non-preferred and self-administered injectables The preferred drug list includes drugs that are selected for their effectiveness and affordability. To save money. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). visit www. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. inflammatory bowel disease New generic available. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. call 800-241-3371. seizures New generic available. migraine New generic available. required procedures and prescription drug updates. For a printed copy of the preferred drug list and required procedures.Member Update Changes to the Preferred Drug List CareFirst prescription drug programs are based on CareFirst’s preferred drug list (also called a formulary). ■ Tier 1: generic drugs (lowest cost to you) ■ Tier 2: preferred brand-name (higher cost) ■ Tier 3: non-preferred drugs (highest cost) ■ Tier 4: self-administered injectable drugs For More Information For the most current preferred drug list. If you have questions about your prescription drug benefits. To save money.carefirst. To save money. blood disorders New generic available. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. . You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit).com/rx. Brand Name Adoxa® Alsuma® Arixtra® Entocort® EC Felbatol® 8 Vitality Generic Equivalent NEW Generic doxycycline NEW Generic sumatriptan NEW Generic fondaparinux NEW Generic budesonide NEW Generic felbamate Issue 1 / 2012 Condition Treated Benefit Change: What This Means acne New generic available. please call 877-800-3086. To save money. preferred.

To save money. Your doctor must get prior approval from CareFirst for this drug to be covered. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. To save money. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 9 . ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. mood disorders New generic available. rheumatoid arthritis Requires prior authorization. We consider input from medical professionals. Lazanda® cancer pain Requires prior authorization. You can get this drug for the preferred or tier 2 copayment. Lialda® inflammatory bowel disease Added to the preferred drug list. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. insomnia New generic available. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). Zelboraf™ cancer Added to the preferred drug list. CareFirst reviews new developments in medical technology for inclusion as a covered benefit. You can get this drug for the preferred or tier 2 copayment. Your doctor must get prior approval from CareFirst for this drug to be covered. high cholesterol New generic available. Keppra XR™ Lipitor® Lunesta® levetiracetam NEW Generic atorvastatin NEW Generic eszopiclone Orencia® SQ Uroxatral® Zyprexa® NEW Generic alfuzosin NEW Generic olanzapine New Technology and Your Benefits To ensure that our members have access to safe and effective care. To save money. To save money. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). Your doctor must get prior approval from CareFirst for this drug to be covered. enlarged prostrate New generic available. To save money. Requires prior authorization. Requires prior authorization. Xalkori® cancer Added to the preferred drug list. We evaluate new and existing medical technologies through a formal review process. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit). government agencies and published articles about scientific studies. Your doctor must get prior approval from CareFirst for this drug to be covered. ask for the generic version for the tier 1 or generic rate. You can get this drug for the preferred or tier 2 copayment.Brand Name Generic Equivalent NEW Generic Condition Treated Benefit Change: What This Means seizures New generic available. You will pay more for the brand-name drug (the tier 3 or non-preferred benefit).

Someone with a high fever and vomiting may need care sooner than someone with a less severe condition that has been present for a week. although you may not always be able to get the time that’s best for you. shots or tests): Within 30 days ■ Scheduled medical care (treatment for conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Most offices set aside a few appointments each day for urgent visits. follow-up appointments or test results): Within 14 days with your PCP or 30 days with a specialist ■ Urgent care (a condition that is not a threat to life or limb but does require prompt medical attention): Within 24 hours ■ an appointment for mental health care: Life-threatening emergency (a sudden event that endangers your health or safety or that of others. Medifast’s Meal Plan is a high-protein. When you have a lastminute appointment. Please note that Charles Schwab no longer provides retirement planning through the Blue365 program. CareFirst welcomes Medifast.000 doctors since 1980.com/doctor.carefirst. low-fat diet that provides essential nutrients and can help CareFirst members lose pounds and inches.com ■ 50 percent off program fees at Medifast Weight Control Centers Visit www. * Medifast is offering members: ■ 14 free Medifast meals with a $132 purchase when buying online through www.Member Update Need to See the Doctor? Here are the CareFirst guidelines for how long you should have to wait for an appointment after calling your doctor. such as attempted suicide): At once ■ Non-life-threatening emergency (a situation that requires rapid intervention to protect your safety): Within 6 hours ■ Urgent care (a condition that is not a threat to life or limb but does require prompt attention): Within 48 hours ■ Scheduled visit (follow-up to a previous visit.com/options and click on “Medifast” to redeem this offer.carefirst.carefirst. 10 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 Discount Program Updates The Options and Blue365 programs take you in a healthy direction by opening the door to discounts on a broad range of alternative therapies and wellness services. . you may wait in the office longer than usual because the doctor is fitting you into an already tight schedule. an appointment with your primary care physician (PcP): Preventive care (routine physicals. a planned periodic visit or a visit without signs of a specific illness): Within 10 business days ■ how does it work? The length of time you must wait for appointments usually depends upon the urgency of your problem. a weight-loss program recommended by more than 20. *Medifast is an independent company and is not a Blue Cross Blue Shield product or service. Looking for a primary care physician or specialist in your area? It’s easy with our online provider directory at www.

You can schedule an appointment online at www.questdiagnostics. Consider these tips: ■ Lab work: To save the most. CareFirst members should use Quest Diagnostics for any routine labs. ■ Outpatient surgery: Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are health care facilities that specialize in surgery and diagnostic services in an outpatient setting. ■ Radiology services: Costs can vary widely for radiology services. The choices you and your doctor make about where you have certain services performed can help reduce your health care costs. Save as much as 73 percent by using a freestanding radiology center instead of going to the emergency room or using an outpatient hospital setting. we offer tips to help you get the most from your health care dollar.carefirst. visit www. Find a participating imaging facility by visiting www.Save Money on Lab Work and More In each issue of Vitality.com and save up to 83 percent over an outpatient hospital setting.com and click on “Managing Care Costs” in the Financial Resources section. visit www.carefirst.carefirst. Save on out-of-pocket costs by using an ASC instead of an outpatient hospital.com/doctor. To find a participating ASC.com/doctor. To learn more about saving money on your health care. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 11 .

Our Members’ Rights and ■ Participate with practitioners in decision making Responsibilities policy acknowledges our responsibilities regarding their health care to you and outlines your obligations as a member. ■ Make recommendations regarding the organization’s Our health plan promotes members’ rights by providing members’ rights and responsibilities policy mechanisms to ensure: ■ Voice complaints or appeals about the health plan or the ■ Protection of confidential information care provided ■ Accurate and understandable information about benefit Responsibilities of members plans. ■ Eligible individuals have a right to decline participation or disenroll from wellness and health promotion services offered by the organization. ■ Eligible individuals have a right to be treated courteously and respectfully by the organization’s staff. information that the health or substance abuse care by participating providers health plan and its practitioners and providers need in ■ Professional and responsive customer service order to care for them ■ Timely and complete resolution of customer complaints ■ Follow the plans and instructions for care that they have and appeals agreed on with their practitioners ■ Understand their health problems and participate in Rights of members developing mutually agreed-upon treatment goals to the Members have a right to: degree possible ■ Be treated with respect and recognition of their dignity ■ Pay copayments or coinsurance at the time of service and right to privacy ■ Be on time for appointments and notify practitioners/ ■ Receive information about the health plan. customer service and how to access health care services Members have a responsibility to: ■ Continuity and coordination of medical and/or behavioral ■ Provide.Interior Pages Member Update Members’ Rights and Responsibilities its practitioners and providers and members’ rights and CareFirst is committed to maintaining a mutually responsibilities respectful relationship with you. to the extent possible. regardless of cost or benefit coverage CareFirst. organization staff and staff qualifications. its services. providers when an appointment must be canceled Eligible Individuals’ Rights Statement for Wellness and Health Promotion Services ■ Eligible individuals have a right to receive information about the organization. including wellness and health promotion services provided on behalf of the employer or plan sponsors. ■ Eligible individuals have a right to communicate complaints to the organization and receive instructions on how to use the complaint process that includes the organization’s standards of timeliness for responding to and resolving complaints and quality issues. Under■ Participate in a candid discussion of appropriate standing your rights and responsibilities will help you or medically necessary treatment options for their make the most of your membership and relationship with conditions. 12 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 . and any contractual relationships.

during his or her lifetime. the virus doesn’t go away. Ask for an itemized receipt that includes the cost of the drug and the administration. You will need to fill out a medical claim form (found at www.S. Shingles most often occurs in people ages 50 and older. affects nearly 1 in 3 people in the U. including a physician’s office or at retail pharmacies where the staff administers vaccines on site. The vaccine will be covered in a variety of settings. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 13 . it’s possible to get shingles more than once. ■ If you choose to receive the vaccine at a pharmacy or retail clinic. Send your claim form and receipt to the address on the back of your member ID card. People with immunodeficiencies. shingles can result in debilitating pain that lasts for weeks. using steroid drugs and even stress or the common cold can weaken the immune system. a small study found that having a family history of shingles may increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Ask your doctor about whether you should be vaccinated. For unknown reasons. The vaccine also can work for people who have had shingles before. Recently. The vaccine is most effective in people ages 60 to 69 and is given in a single dose. The condition causes a blistering rash on 1 side of the face or body and can lead to scarring and problems with eyesight. Vaccination cuts risk in half In 2006. It lives dormant in the body’s nerve cells. soreness or swelling at the shot site. also known as herpes zoster. The vaccine prevents shingles in more than 50 percent of those who are vaccinated and can lessen the severe pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. You will be reimbursed at the in-network allowed amount. AIDS or on high-dose corticosteroids. the virus can be reactivated. The risk increases with age. The result is shingles. ■ Family history.com in the Forms section under Plan Information). Although rare. However. months or even years after the rash clears.Vaccine Reduces the Risk for Shingles Shingles. the FDA approved a new vaccine for shingles called Zostavax® for people ages 60 and older. ■ A weakened immune system. more research is needed to support the finding. Triggered by chickenpox virus Shingles develops from the varicella zoster virus—the same virus that causes chickenpox. should not get the shot. with highest rates among older adults. Getting vaccinated The herpes zoster vaccination is now covered under the preventive services benefit for members who are ages 50 and older. Anyone who carries the varicella zoster virus can get shingles. a complication of shingles. In some people.carefirst. Cancer. But factors that may increase a person’s risk include: ■ Age. After a person recovers from chickenpox. Common side effects of the vaccine include redness. your physician will submit the claim according to your benefit plan. ■ If you receive the vaccine in the physician’s office. you may be responsible for paying the full price at the time of service. such as those with leukemia.

sneeze.S. But suffering through weeks or months of hay fever symptoms isn’t your only option this spring. sniffle and cough their way through spring. Stand Up to Allergies Do your seasonal allergies make you wish winter would last a little longer? More than 35 million adults and children in the U. 14 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 .On the Cover This Spring. You can take action today to feel better right away.

Your doctor or nurse information service can help. Do you sniffle when gardening? You may be stirring up molds. They help prevent the allergic reaction from occurring in the first place. wear a filtering face mask. but it’s not realistic. If you do them. STeP 4. or irritant. > See an allergist. It works because you’re washing pollen off the membranes of your nose.” To make your own saline wash. > Plan outdoor activities for the afternoon or evening. Over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops and nose sprays may be a good next step. A weakened allergen is introduced to your body through a scratch or puncture. To avoid pollen. If you’re sneezing when there’s a lot of 1 type of pollen in the air. You can find them in the news or on weather websites. > Dry the air in your home with a dehumidifier. Check with your health plan to see if such visits are covered. for more details. Avoiding triggers where you currently live makes more sense. Pollen levels usually are highest between 5 and 10 a. president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. the area turns red. especially if you have an underlying medical problem or take other medication. try these tips: > Keep windows and doors closed when allergies act up. to filter air. Oral decongestants may help relieve a stuffy nose and sinuses by draining mucus. To STop mold. your symptoms start. > Use mold-proof paint in bathrooms and other damp areas. you may need medication. If your allergies are severe.” says Mary E. “Just mix ¼ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of water. > Change your clothes after being outside for a while.” says Dr. it’s probably your allergen. M. If you’re allergic. > Wash away visible mold on surfaces with a solution of 1 cup bleach per 1 gallon of water. But using one of these products for more than just a few days actually can worsen congestion or lead to dependency. STeP 2. Nasal decongestant sprays also provide short-term relief. CONSIDER MEDICATION If symptoms don’t subside. TRY SALINE FOR SYMPTOMS Avoiding allergens gets you only so far. He or she can help you decide what to do and prescribe medication. if you have access to one. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 15 . Frank. To find out what your triggers are. Drowsiness is a common side effect of some OTC remedies. KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS Your symptoms are a sign that your body’s immune system is overreacting to a specific allergen. Frank. > Don’t overwater your houseplants. Talk with your doctor first. Be wary of claims that a filter can clean all allergens from the air or prevent colds or the flu. tree or weed pollen. > Replace carpeting in bathrooms or kitchens with hard flooring. When you breathe in the substance you’re allergic to. such as grass. These particles are so small that they travel well and are easy to inhale. Other filtration devices made of fiberglass or electrically charged plates may help. “Doing nasal rinses gives a lot of patients relief.m. > Use air-conditioning.STeP 1. Ask your doctor about it. but medications that contain the long-acting antihistamine loratadine won’t make you feel tired. Protect your eyes and skin from bleach contact. Even mold spores may trigger a reaction. > If possible. allergy shots may be an alternative. > Wash your hands after touching a pet who’s been outside. ConSider TheSe STrATegieS: > Check your home’s pipes. have someone else do the mowing and outdoor chores. if possible. too. Other medications include cromolyn sodium nasal sprays. CONTROL ExPOSURE Relocating may offer some relief. > Shower or bathe and wash your hair before bed to keep pollen in your hair from getting on your pillows and sheets. Antihistamines ease itching and sneezing and relieve a runny nose. windows and roof for leaks. You may become sensitive to another type of pollen.D. Building a plan that works best for you is what’s most important. Prescription-only topical nasal steroid sprays reduce inflammation of nasal tissues. STeP 3. too. try these tips: > Check pollen counts. Make sure it won’t damage your surface. These health professionals can do a skin test to identify what bothers you. Some OTC options contain an antihistamine and a decongestant. Ask your doctor or nurse information service. Then flood your nose with the solution. You can do this with a special nasal syringe or even a straw.. They provide the most comprehensive relief of symptoms. “They say they don’t need any medication if they do it several times a day. and repair them if needed. > Watch what you’re doing.

saturated fats specifically are thought to increase the risk for heart disease. such as salmon and trout. Along with protein and carbohydrates. avocados and most nuts. Some vegetable oils—including coconut. cushion your vital organs and help insulate you against cold temperatures.IFnood terior &N Paugtreistion The Skinny on Fats: The Health Findings May Surprise You For a while. an overabundance of fat has been blamed for our expanding waistlines. we ran screaming from it—and anything else that wasn’t fat-free. beef and pork. Monounsaturated fats prevail in olive oil. They’re most common in baked goods. new research is uncovering some surprises about fats and their effect on health. ice cream. walnuts. and fatty fish. rather than just cutting back on them. Experts are beginning to point out that balancing our fats. That’s one reason cream and oil feel so pleasing in our mouths and stomachs. leads to better health. ■ Trans fats are primarily created by an industrial process known as hydrogenation. but they ate as much of them as possible when they did. Then. More than most other nutrients. your body turns primarily to fat as a source of fuel. such as butter. Fats and health Fats are blamed for our obesity crisis in part because they’re high in calories. In the past 2 decades. Our ancient ancestors seldom came across the rich sustenance of high-fat foods. In fact. fast foods. E or K. there are several types: ■ Saturated fats are commonly referred to as solid fats. Now. cheese. And on top of the hazards of weight gain. fat has been on quite the nutritional roller-coaster ride. They keep your skin and hair healthy. Here’s what the latest findings mean for you. we all screamed for ice cream. palm and palm kernel oil—are also saturated. Without them. America’s number 1 killer. ■ Unsaturated fats are broken down into 2 categories. after about 20 minutes of physical activity. develop and maintain brain cells and clot your blood. Polyunsaturated fats—including omega-3 and omega-6. and nutritionists have emphasized degreasing our diets. flaxseeds. D. they keep foods fresh for long periods of time. But fast-forward to our modern-day drivethrough world. Essential fatty acids—types of fats that your body can’t make and must get from food— help control inflammation. When it comes to the fats in our diets. Foods high in saturated . 16 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 The fats of our land Fat is essential to our health. sunflower and safflower oil. It makes sense: Heart disease occurs when cholesterol and other fats build up in our arteries. They come most often from animal products. those essential fatty acids—are found in soybean. when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils. Fats are key to children’s growth and brain development. hardening them. your body couldn’t absorb vitamins A. margarines and processed products. it’s 1 of the 3 macronutrients our bodies use for energy. They contain 9 calories per gram. Now the tide is turning yet again. blocking blood flow to the heart. more than double the 4 calories per gram in carbs and protein.

herring and mackerel. However.” Slow down on fast food. Products can have up to ½ gram of trans fats and still be labeled trans fat-free. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 17 . So. contribute to inflammation and potentially increase the risk for diseases such as depression and cancer. And in observational studies—in which researchers tracked what people ate and then noted who got heart disease—saturated fat does seem to be linked to heart risks. may also reduce your risk for depression and ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. 1 percent of your daily calories at most. may actually be worse for our hearts. ■ Instead of a steak or a pork chop. this amounts to less than 2 grams per day. swapping them for When it’s time to make your next grocery list. get hooked on fatty fish. too. or swap a wedge of full-fat cheese for a small handful of walnuts. Avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat. like salmon. 7 grams. Chew the right fat fats increase our cholesterol levels. in randomized controlled trials—in which some people have been assigned to eat low-fat diets and others to eat a different diet—the findings haven’t been as straightforward. A doughnut typically has 3 grams of trans fats and french fries. Omega-3 fatty acids. For the average person. Evidence more clearly suggests they harm heart health. One to 2 servings a week decrease your risk of dying of heart disease by 36 percent. notes an expert panel in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. from either food or supplements. along with the optimal ratio of unsaturated to saturated varieties.polyunsaturated fats may improve our cardiovascular health. ■ Eat as few trans fats as possible. Conversely. Some studies show slashing saturated fat has heart benefits. reducing saturated fat means we’re eating more of something else. which can help to control your cholesterol. scope the ingredient list and avoid products with the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated. There’s less debate about the hazards of trans fats. Scientists are still studying fat’s harms and benefits. such as white bread. experts recommend the following: ■ Get less than 10 percent of your daily calories from saturated fats. Replacing saturated fats with trans fats or refined carbohydrates. but others don’t. or aren’t as clear. Try cooking with safflower oil instead of butter. Replacing 5 percent of them with polyunsaturated fats can reduce your risk for heart disease by about 10 percent. Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you determine the best balance of fats for you. Why the confusion? For one thing.

” says Margaret J. Ask your family doctor or pediatrician about STDs during a visit with your teen. girls’ ■ Latex condoms guard against some chlamydia rate is 5 times that of STDs if their use is consistent and boys’. herpes simplex virus and trichomoniasis. right to do so. millions of teen boys also have STDs. effects. M.Prevention & Screenings Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit Teens Hard 1 in 4 Do you have teens? A new study on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) should grab your attention. may have a discharge from the The CDC offers more STD facts penis or a burning sensation when at www. Girls’ gonorrhea rate is more correct. Males with you. screening for chlamydia.gov/std/healthcomm/ they urinate. painful your kids know that if they ever have pelvic inflammatory disease and questions about STDs. Blythe.to 19-year-olds. they can talk even menstrual problems. Other STDs raise the risk of passing Some facts about STDs HIV as much as fivefold. While some STDs hit girls harder. Most have no HPV vaccinations. ■ Among 15. symptoms at first. “I encourage parents to keep the ■ Female STD symptoms include doors of communication open and let irritating vaginal discharge. Teens who want to talk with their doctor alone should have the 18 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 girls has at least 1 STD. ■ Early treatment The AAP backs of STDs can head off —CDC age-appropriate sex some of their devastating education for adolescents. fact_sheets. but research shows that two-thirds of teens across all socioeconomic classes experience some sexual contact by the time they graduate from high school. genital warts and male sterility. and medically sound advice on chronic pain. cervical cancer. human papillomavirus (HPV). One in 4 girls ages 14 to 19 has at least 1 STD. Girls and ■ Bacteria. Blythe. No parents want to believe that this subject involves their son or daughter. some That includes abstinence STDs can cause infertility. says a study from the CDC. How can you keep teens safe? “Talk to your child. . The list includes chlamydia. so carriers may not know they’re infected.D.. chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Adolescence.htm. than twice that of boys’.cdc. viruses and parasites women ages 11 to 26 should have cause STDs. Syphilis ■ The CDC suggests sexually active strikes more boys but is far less women younger than 25 seek yearly common.” says Dr. how to prevent STDs and pregnancy. Untreated.

In particular. Thirty to 40 percent of older adults with hip fractures are vitamin D deficient.S.000 milligrams of calcium a day.S. Surgeon General predicts that by 2020. Surgeon General says most adults ages 50 and younger need 1. However. Beyond dairy products. sunlight may not be realistic for older adults. adults ages 70 and younger need 600 international units (IU) a day. doctors have learned a great deal about preventing the disease. Remove loose rugs and other obstacles in your walkways that could cause a spill. research shows that certain healthy habits do help to stave off weak bones and fractures—no matter what your age.carefirst.com/health/bonedensitytest to find out if your risk factors indicate that you need one. This makes bones likelier to break. Lifestyle measures can help Here are some of the steps you can take to build up your bones and brace yourself against future problems. such as walking or dancing. the requirement jumps to 800 IU a day. These fractures are serious. Additionally. For example. research shows that 1 out of 5 people who breaks a hip moves to a nursing home facility within a year. Adults older than 50 are at risk Don’t get too thin—being underweight raises the risk for weak bones. ■ Consider having your bone density checked if you have any kind of fracture after your 50th birthday. in recent years. osteoporosis. 3 to 4 times per week.Improve Bone Health at Any Age Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones lose minerals and become brittle. ■ Prevent fractures by reducing your risk of falling at home. For ages 71 and older. such as juices and cereals. Should you schedule a bone density test? Visit www. as the skin cannot manufacture vitamin D as efficiently. the good news is that osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of getting older. or be at risk for. baked beans. your doctor may suggest medicine to help strengthen them. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 19 . However.  ■ Do a weight-bearing activity. ■ Don’t forget the D—vitamin D. 20 percent of older adults die within a year of suffering a hip fracture. ■ A new report from the U. While weak bones are especially common in women and become more common as we age. as they can affect your health and quality of life. calcium can be found in foods such as leafy green veggies. Fortified cereals and sunlight are also good sources of vitamin D. People older than age 50 need 1. You also may want to ask your doctor if you need a bone test if you have a family history of weak bones. According to the Institute of Medicine. Most multivitamins provide 400 IU of vitamin D. half of all Americans older than age 50 will have. that is. The U.200 milligrams daily. If tests show you have weak bones. ■ Get enough calcium. tofu and fortified foods.

Living Well Health Bytes | NEWS YOU CAN USE RedUCe eYe PRObLeMS CAUSed bY SMARTPHONeS A new look at smartphone usage finds that people hold these devices much closer to their face than they do a magazine. And follow the 20-20-20 rule recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology: Every 20 minutes.5 inches for Web pages. The average viewing distance was about 14 inches for a text message and 12. The study was published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science. tai chi and Pilates instruction. Remember. talk with your eye care professional.com/options for details. A new study may help explain why. 20 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 IS YOUR JOb MAKINg YOU gAIN WeIgHT? Today. adults are overweight or obese. like farming. Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they get dry. The reason is simple. ■ Take a lap around the office before going into a meeting. remember to blink frequently when staring at a screen of any size. He or she may change your prescription for contacts or glasses to accommodate your reading habits. This number has grown a lot in recent years. See www. Make sure you mention your smartphone or computer use. . Smartphones contribute to visual symptoms The shorter reading distances make smartphones harder on the eyes than printed words. ■ Use a restroom on a different floor so you get some stair-climbing in your day. about 68 percent of U. it’s no surprise that frequent texters and browsers are at risk for: ■ Eyestrain. Since the 1960s. compared with almost 16 inches for printed materials. our Options Discount Program gives you access to discounts on personal training as well as yoga. not many people have jobs that require as much physical activity. Researchers found that we burn about 100 fewer calories at work every day than people did 50 years ago. In addition. Increase your workday activity Do you sit in front of a computer all day? You can still take steps to prevent obesity.S. such as books or newspapers. So.carefirst. More people have desk jobs that require them to move a lot less. Here’s what you can do to boost your daily activity: ■ Go for a walk during lunch. or fatigue and discomfort from staring at the screen ■ Headaches ■ Eye pain ■ Double or blurred vision ■ Dry eyes Take frequent breaks from texting or typing If you’re experiencing these symptoms. stare at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Work with your diabetes care team to figure out your maximum number of carbs per day. Your body quickly converts them into glucose. men who regularly visited museums. Most adults with diabetes should get no more than 200 grams.THe TICKeT TO HeALTH beNeFITS What’s the latest prescription for a man’s good health? Season tickets for his favorite baseball team—and the opera. trim your waist and help you feel better if you have type 1 diabetes. There are about 15 grams of carbs in: ■ 1 small piece of fresh fruit ■ A half-cup of black beans ■ One-quarter of a large baked potato Estimating carbs can be tricky at first. 2 Track your intake Each time you eat a meal or snack. though further research is needed. you can keep blood glucose spikes in check. especially in men. 2. fruit and cereal. your blessings: You probably count many things in your daily life. How many carbs does each food contain? For packaged foods. In a new study. you’ll have to calculate. Try tallying just 1 more—carbohydrates. the minutes. Attending cultural and sports events may be linked to better health. New studies in the journals Diabetes Care and Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome suggest counting carbs may improve blood glucose levels. Women saw smaller but similar benefits. A study in Diabetic Medicine found children and their caregivers can learn to do it correctly. 1. including bread. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 21 . Carb counting is a type of meal planning that may help you control your blood glucose. Participating in these events also brought health perks. But you’ll get better with practice. But your target depends on your medicines and how much you exercise. HeALTHY: COUNT CARbS TO CONTROL dIAbeTeS Your spare change. It may help people with type 2 diabetes. Cultured men and women also reported less anxiety and depression and greater satisfaction with their lives. By counting carbs. 1 Set your limits Carbohydrates are found in a wide variety of foods. But observing them regularly was more strongly linked to wellbeing. the label reveals the secret. attended religious services and saw performances were 10 to 14 percent more likely to report being healthy. note the carbohydrates you consume. too. Monitor how close you are to your limit. For others.

it’s not difficult to break free from this get-together monotony. reduced stress and greater flexibility. One option is to get your friends together to cook a healthy meal at someone’s home. and all you have to do is learn (and eat) in a fun environment. Take a yoga class One of the best ways to stick to a fitness program is to “buddy up” with someone and make sure you go together. it always seems to revolve around 1 thing—a meal. either. and most major cities (as well as some smaller communities) now have them. your kitchen stays clean. timehonored way to gather together and enjoy one another’s company. In general. whether it’s every week. strong social ties have fewer occurrences of depression. It’s a great way to catch up on conversation. but it’s well worth consideration as an occasional treat. But for most of us. This way. you and your friends can relax away your cares with a soothing facial. Another option is to take a cooking class together. the potential health benefits of yoga are plentiful. A good free activity is to find all your local hiking and biking trails. These can be as simple as a casual walk in the woods. Plus. Luckily. we always enjoy having that time to catch up with our friends. What a great gift to share with your friends! Cook together There’s a reason people congregate around food: It’s a traditional. but it’s often not the most healthy practice.Living Well How to Have a Healthy Girls’ Day Out As women. Here are a few simple options that you and your friends can try. . including less pain. massage. and then devote your outings to getting back to nature for a while. Find a local trail Friendly get-togethers don’t have to cost a lot of money. While there. or 22 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 Studies have shown that people with much less if you enroll in some type of membership package. and you can expect to pay around $10 to $20 per class. a cup of coffee or a couple of drinks. These retreats have been growing in popularity in recent years. allowing you and your friends to catch up on conversation while enjoying a little light exercise. But just because you and your friends dine together doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. So why not replace those calorie-laden catch-up lunches with a morning of bending and stretching together in a yoga class? Chances are good that there are several options in your area. you can expect to pay around $100 and up for your morning of luxury. and gradually increase the intensity as the weeks go by. every month or just a couple of times a year. Or make a habit of the walks. foot bath or dozens of other therapies for your mind and body. Spend a morning at the spa Nothing comes close to the experience that you and your friends can have at a day spa.

As you spring back. build a foundation before pushing yourself. glutes and inner thighs): Hold 1 large weight horizontally with both hands.com/fitness. hamstrings and glutes): Stand with your feet parallel. while ■ targeting all the major muscle groups. Lower the weight and straighten your legs to return to the starting position. hip-width apart and knees soft. Extend 1 arm up and lift the opposite knee to hip height. a lot of time or a ton of equipment to get in shape. Stand in a wide stance. 10 or 12 pounds for men. You’ll need free weights: 3 or 5 pounds for women and 8. depending on your fitness level. switch to heavier weights with fewer reps or reverse the order of the exercises. quads. jumping rope or jumping jacks) and 5 minutes of stretching to cool down. Balance. Do 1 set of 8 to 12 reps. elbows bent at right angles and close to your sides. Hold 2 small weights at shoulder height. The following multitasking strengthtraining moves work the upper and lower body at the same time. You can make great strides at home in just 30 minutes. Organize your workout to include a 5-minute warm-up. hamstrings. then march in place. quads. an exercise training log. glutes and quads): Stand with your feet parallel. Alternate the days you strength train with 30 minutes of aerobic activity. with arms straight down in front. such as walking or jogging. Plié with front raise (to work the shoulders. Balance and press (to work the shoulders. If you’re new to exercise or just getting back into a routine. pull the weights up to your hips. an activity quiz and other online resources at www. Once you’ve done the same basic routine for 2 months. ■ Lunge with lat row (to work the lats. Alternate legs for 8 reps. keeping the arms straight. Bend your knees and lift the weight to shoulder height. Do you need more inspiration? You’ll find articles. Stabilize your shoulder blades by drawing them down and together. the weights down toward your knee. with 1 rep equal to both sides. bending The CDC recommends both knees. with 1 rep equal to both sides. 20 minutes of strength-training exercises separated by short spurts of cardio activity (such ■ as jogging in place. alternating sides for 8 reps. That’s a pretty efficient way to get a cardio benefit while strength training—but you can do even better. adults do 2 hours Straighten and 30 minutes of both arms moderate activity as you lower a week.carefirst. Hold the weights at your hips. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 23 . hip-width apart. palms in. Step forward with 1 leg. legs turned out 45 degrees.An Action-Packed 30-Minute Workout You don’t need a gym membership.

If you’re looking for: ■ Timely reminders about health topics and wellness events: Find out on Facebook. ■ Up-to-the-minute news about disease outbreaks and disasters: Turn to Twitter. The CDC sends instant updates. Research shows that acetaminophen is safe for young children. and health associations.twitter. Programs for these phones are called applications (or apps). also provide updates. An overdose can be very harmful. 1. Giving the right amount This information is not yet on labels.4 mL — — 12–17 lb.nih. a national association.org. To reduce this risk.8 mL ½ tsp.com/CDCemergency and www.6 mL 1 tsp. or “Tweets. or a hospital. But that may soon change.” that are 140 characters or less. the panel also agreed that dose instructions on the label should be based on children’s weight. Experts from the FDA voted last May to add dosing instructions for infants 6 months to 2 years old.Living Well Medicine 2. Look first to pages and services sponsored by reputable organizations. carefully check privacy policies before sharing personal information.dailystrength.S. Those at www. Find a few at www. including the U. Others can send test results to your doctor.2 mL ¾ tsp.gov/ecards or www. where you can: • Learn when you can manage symptoms at home and when to seek medical care • Locate the nearest emergency room and urgent care facility • Find the prescribed dosage of over-the-counter medicines for children Get it for free at www. such as the National Institutes of Health. About 30 percent of patients who go online already turn to blogs to read about others’ health experiences.cdc.mycarefirst.0: How Technology Can Help Your Health You may already use Facebook to find old friends and your smartphone to check e-mail. 0. Hospitals are likely to post news and health messages on Facebook.com under CareFirst Programs and Events.8 mL concentration.gov/ecards. 1. ■ Personal stories about a medical condition: Search blogs and the video site YouTube. 0. a university. Have a cousin who is newly pregnant or a parent with diabetes? Share words of support that link to reliable medical information. government. 1.com/CDCgov. such as the American Heart Association.niaid. Also. they might give their children too much medicine. 1 tablet 18–23 lb. for instance. Child’s weight Infant Children’s Chewable drops* liquid tablets 6–11 lb. ■ Help managing chronic conditions: Try a smartphone. Read them at www. like Children’s Tylenol and Triaminic. connect by Smartphone Download the Symptom Checker iPhone App. Take steps to ensure your high-tech sources are reliable. cover conditions from acne to Zellweger syndrome.com/facebook for the latest health and wellness tips. Visit us at www. Use this when giving a child 6 months to 2 years old acetaminophen for a fever.twitter. But did you know hightech gadgets and networks can also connect you with medical resources? Depending on your health needs. technology may be just what the doctor ordered. Consult your child’s doctor if you have any questions. You will see they only give dosing instructions for children ages 2 and older. 24 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 Your Family Children’s Medication Labels Get a Makeover Take a look at the labels of medicines that contain the fever reducer acetaminophen. Some might give you reminders about checking your blood glucose if you have diabetes. .5 tablets 24–35 lb. Below is a chart based on weight from the American Academy of Pediatrics. But if parents don’t know the correct dose. ■ Health messages to share with friends and family: Send an e-card. ■ A deeper connection: Seek out an online support group. 2 tablets *Figures are based on the 80 mg/0.carefirst. It can cause liver problems.

high blood pressure and breathing problems. angelica. legs and lungs. Q: Why do I need to avoid certain OTC medicines? A: With heart failure. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Naprosyn). too. can interfere with diuretics and ACE inhibitors. ma huang (ephedra) and licorice. That can increase your bleeding risk. saline nasal spray. including ibuprofen. ginseng. The result can be swelling. In fact.Health Management Special Report: Living with Heart Failure? Be Smart About OTC Medicines Most people don’t think twice about taking aspirin for a headache or an antacid for heartburn. Include prescription drugs. that herbal supplements are not regulated closely. Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 25 . bilberry. Find out how to make sure your medicines are safe for you. But if you have heart failure. aspirin (except lowdose aspirin prescribed by your doctor) Acetaminophen Antacids that contain sodium. vitamins. these popular remedies could cause problems. Fluid can build up in the arms.” Make an appointment with your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines. So play it safe— talk with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement. This leads to a buildup of fluid. These problems can become serious. a number of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines aren’t a good idea for people with heart failure. the heart can’t pump very strongly. It’s also important to steer clear of OTC medicines that could interfere with your heart failure medicines. Some herbs affect heart rate and blood pressure. hot beverages Q: Are herbal supplements safe? A: Not always. Just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe. drugs that many people take to control blood pressure. An irregular heartbeat may also occur. Be aware. That’s why you need to avoid OTC medicines and herbal remedies that could worsen your condition. Motrin). But some have unwanted side effects. naproxen (Aleve. Herbs that can harm how the heart works include Saint-John’s-wort. Decongestants can relieve a stuffy nose. And some products even contain pharmaceutical drugs. aloe vera. If you are taking a possibly unsafe supplement for a specific health reason. Bring a bag with everything you take. Herbal supplements are touted as helpful for everything from depression to headaches and weight loss. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Q: What kinds of OTC medicines might cause trouble? A: Some OTC medicines—including common pain relievers and antacids— contain sodium or cause your body to hold on to fluid. your doctor may be able to suggest an alternative approach. khella and lily of the valley. Q: how can i make sure the oTc medicines and herbal supplements i’m taking are safe? A: Be sure the doctor who treats your heart failure knows about all the medicines you take. Playing It Safe with OTC Medications These drugs may be unsafe for people with heart failure: These may be safer alternatives: Ibuprofen (Advil. ginger. Herbs that interfere with heart failure medicines include ginkgo biloba. Consider getting a “medicine checkup. oleander. such as Alka-Seltzer Low-sodium antacids (check the label or ask your pharmacist) Decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine (such as Sudafed) Decongestants without pseudoephedrine. but they raise blood pressure and make your heart work harder. Other medicines can change the heart rate. herbal remedies may not contain the amount of herb that is stated on the label. herbs and OTC medicines. yohimbine. Blood can back up in other areas of the body. Many herbs interact with warfarin and other blood thinners.

Caucasians are more prone to kidney stones than African Americans.Health Management What Are Kidney Stones? Who Gets Them and Why? Women have labor pains. If the pain continues to be severe. The doctor will prescribe medication for pain. The pain is sharp. This dilutes the urine and reduces the concentration of stoneforming substances.carefirst. Kidney stones form when a concentration of crystals from the urine builds up in the kidney. poultry and fish. Anyone who has passed a kidney stone is highly motivated to find out how to prevent another one. Stones are more common during the summer when people sweat and their urine becomes more concentrated. usually within 4 years. But men. acute and intermittent. High levels of salt in the diet increase urinary calcium. if there is persistent bleeding in the urine or if fever and chills develop. 26 Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 . Most kidney stones can now be treated with new techniques that don’t require open surgery or a long recovery. The doctor’s advice is likely to be: ■ Drink lots of liquids. particularly in middle age. So do cranberry and grape juices. bed rest and lots of fluids during this time. ■ Because most kidney stones contain calcium. of course. are more likely to have problems. ■ Eat less meat. especially water. The agony of a kidney stone passing through the urinary tract begins suddenly in the area between the ribs and the hip and moves toward the groin. Have a glass of orange juice 4 times a day. ■ Ask your doctor about calcium in your diet and if other food restrictions may help. The patient may be asked to urinate through a strainer so that the stone can be caught and analyzed. In this video. which helps prevent stones. Animal protein increases the amount of acid in the urine. People with irritable bowel syndrome also have a greater risk. They may be appropriate for you. Team up with your physician to prevent stones Kidney stones frequently reoccur. it may mean the stone needs to be removed. Most kidney stones are passed within 48 hours. find out more about how kidney stones develop and how to prevent them: www. ■ Also ask about medications that deter the formation of kidney stones. cramping. and it may cause nausea and vomiting. men have kidney stones. a diet low in calcium was once routinely prescribed. But current research suggests that a high intake of calcium and potassium may actually reduce the incidence of stones in otherwise healthy men.com/health/kidneystone. It contains citrate. Life’s never that fair. because women can and do have kidney stones. ■ Throw out the salt shaker.

a and b 4. radiation therapy C. chemotherapy B. treatment is most effective B. 20 to 29 2. All the above 8. 26. 7 percent 9. When the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. the 5-year survival rate is 66 percent C.000 B. Colorectal cancer occurs in which of the following areas? A.000 C. which can be removed before they become cancerous C. colon B.000 D. Early screening can find polyps. 37 percent C. Which of the following is a screening test for colorectal cancer? A. Which of the following increases the risk for colorectal cancer? A. earlier detection means a chance at a longer life D. All the above (Answers can be found on back page. 16. all the above 3. 40 to 49 C.) Vitality Issue 1 / 2012 27 . all the above 10.000 5. Which age group has the highest risk for this cancer? A. most treatable stage? A. What percent of colorectal cancers are found at the early. being a smoker B. stomach X-ray D. When this cancer is found early. Which of the following is true? A. How is this cancer treated? A.5 percent of those diagnosed survive 5 years D. 17 percent D. Which of the following is a symptom of this cancer? A. 50 to 59 B. 76. only 8. Why is early detection important? A. stomach D. 30 to 39 D. a change in bowel habits B. 57 percent B. fecal occult blood test B. blood in the stool C. How many Americans die each year of colorectal cancer? A. If cancer is present. 56. a and b 7. all the above 6. chronic diarrhea or constipation D.Test Your Knowledge Health Quiz | Discover What You Know About Colorectal Cancer Test Your Knowledge: 1. Once the cancer spreads to surrounding tissue. More than 90 percent of those diagnosed when the cancer is found only in the colon or rectum survive more than 5 years B. eating a high-meat diet C. surgery D. rectum C. sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy C. being sedentary D.

5. 3. 7. A. C. or 1 after another. colorectal cancer is one of the most detectable and. Postage PAID Permit #462 Maple Grove. 2. if found early enough. See your doctor for a diagnosis if you have these symptoms. Depending on the stage of the cancer. unexplained weight loss. D. Other symptoms include narrower than normal stools. your doctor may recommend 2 or 3 types of treatment at the same time. Having a bowel disease. Your age. Most colorectal cancers first develop as colorectal polyps. such as colitis or Crohn’s disease. D. Another 37 percent are found after the cancer has spread to surrounding tissue. Colorectal cancer is the secondleading cancer killer among men and women combined. 8. and 20 percent are found after the disease has spread to distant organs.S.) 1. which are growths inside the colon or rectum that may later become cancerous. overall health and the stage of the cancer are factors to consider. D. MN IND 6203MA . Ask your doctor how often and when you should have these tests. 4. Despite its high incidence.Health Quiz Answers | DISCOvER WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT COLORECTAL CANCER (See quiz on page 27. second only to lung cancer. 10. PRSRT STD U. D. D. D. 9. B. most treatable forms of cancer. 6. can increase your risk. D. feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely and unexplained anemia.