This Informative Guide Will Help You Pick The Right Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance is a vital part of life, but it can be tough to determine which plan is right for you. It can be hard to know where to start with so many options available. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of choosing health insurance, with the factors to consider when picking one. Let’s get started.

Choose Your Health Plan Marketplace

Before picking any insurance plan, you must know the marketplace you are working with. Is it through your employer, or are you buying it yourself? If you are buying it yourself, each state has different marketplaces. You can also work with pa insurance agents to find the best plan for your needs. This ensures that you are getting the best deal possible.

Once you know which marketplace you fall into, research the plans that are available to you. There will be various options, so take your time and compare all of them before making a decision. It would be best not to rush this process as you could end up with a plan that doesn’t quite fit your needs.

Factor In Your Needs

When picking a health insurance plan, you need to factor in your own needs. What are you looking for in a plan? Are you looking for comprehensive coverage, or do you need basic coverage? Do you want a low monthly premium, or are you willing to pay a higher premium? You need to take the time and figure out what your needs are before going through this process.

It is also important that you think about your family’s health when picking insurance plans. If one of them has a chronic illness, for example, it would be best to get coverage for all members of that family. This way, you won’t have to worry about any unexpected costs in the future. However, if everyone is relatively healthy, then it may not be as necessary for your whole household to get insurance coverage at all times.

Do Your Research On The Company

You want to make sure that you are working with a trustworthy company. Take the time to research the company and find out if they have been in any lawsuits. You also want to make sure that you find a plan within your budget.

If you want specific coverage options, such as dental or vision insurance, it may be worth looking into them separately from other plans at this time. You can always add these to your plan later if you want, but you must be aware of the costs associated with them.

Get Quotes

Now that you have a general idea of what you are looking for in a health insurance plan, it’s time to get quotes from various companies. This will help you find the best deal possible. You can either go through an insurance agent or use an online tool to get quotes from different companies.

When getting quotes, make sure that you are upfront about your needs and what you are looking for in a plan. This will help ensure that you are getting the most accurate quote possible. You shouldn’t compromise your coverage to save money.

It is important to make sure that you pick the right health insurance plan. By following these steps, you will have a better chance of finding one that works for your needs and budget. You may want to talk with an agent or use an online tool to get quotes from various companies before deciding which company’s plan best suits your needs.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About 1 in 8 women, and 1 in 1,000 men, will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. For women, this means that you have a 12% chance of having the disease. With early screening, diagnosis, and treatment, your chances of survival are very high, up to 99% survival rate after five years when caught in the breast before it spreads. Many factors contribute to your risk of developing this disease, just being a woman greatly increases your risk. While about 85% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of breast cancer, genetics is thought to cause 5-10% of breast cancers. If you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, your risk of developing it nearly doubles. Age also contributes to a higher risk of having breast cancer. The older you are, the higher your risk of developing it becomes. Women who menstruated before 12 years of age or those who stopped after 55 years of age are also at a higher risk.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Knowing what to look for is important in early detection. Some symptoms for breast cancer include: swelling of all or part of the breast; skin irritation; breast pain; nipple pain; redness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin; nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk; lump in the underarm areas; or a dimple in the breast tissue. Early screening and detection is key for breast health. When you suspect you might have a problem, you can see your primary doctor for initial tests. Depending on your test results and diagnosis, you may see a specialist. Some of the specialists you may encounter further into your treatment may include a breast surgeon, a radiation oncologist, a medical oncologist, and a reconstructive surgeon, among others.

How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

Screening tests can help to detect breast cancer before symptoms start. Typically, the earlier you diagnose breast cancer, then easier it is to treat. Some screening tests include things like yearly mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams. Those with a high risk of breast cancer may have an option of a breast MRI; however, this is not recommended for those with lower risk. For those whose screening tests show they might have breast cancer, diagnostic tests are performed as a follow-up. These may include a fine needle aspiration biopsy, surgical biopsy, and lymph node biopsy to diagnose the type of breast cancer and develop a treatment plan. Monitoring tests, such as CBCs, bone scans, and ultrasounds, are used during and after treatment to check for signs of recurrence. There are many types of breast cancers that may occur. These are determined by the types of cells in the breast that are affected. Some general categories are non-invasive, invasive, recurrent, and metastatic breast cancers. In situ breast cancers, such as ductal carcinoma in situ, are non-invasive or pre-invasive cancers that have not spread to surrounding tissue. These are the easiest types to treat. Metastatic, or invasive, breast cancers such as invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma, are ones that have spread into the surrounding tissue. Metastatic cancers are classified with stages, 0-IV, and treatment depends upon the stage of the cancer.

How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

While you can’t control your genes or age, there are things you can control to lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Some controllable lifestyle choices, such as smoking, excessive drinking (more than one drink per day), diets high in fat, and lack of exercise, all contribute to a higher risk of developing the disease. Regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and limiting drinking will help to reduce these risks. Avoiding exposure to certain chemicals also helps to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Those with a personal history of breast cancer also have higher risk of developing the disease again. There are screening tests, diagnostic tests, and monitoring tests you may take for the diagnosis of breast cancer.

What is the Treatment for Breast Cancer?

Two methods of treatments to get rid of the cancer or get it under control are systemic treatments and local treatments. Systemic treatments, such as medicine given by mouth or through the bloodstream, can reach cancer cells anywhere in the body. Examples of these are chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy (such as Herceptin, Tykerb). Local treatments are treatments just on the tumor, without affecting other tissues or organs, such as surgery and radiation. Stage 0 breast cancer treatments may include mastectomy, lumpectomy with or without radiation, or hormone therapy. Stage I breast cancer treatments may involve the above treatments along with chemotherapy or targeted therapy. More advanced stages may require further lymph node removal and a more aggressive form of radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy treatment. In addition to traditional treatments, there are clinical trials that you can chose to be involved in to try new treatments for breast cancer therapy, along with the new immunotherapy drugs. You may also choose to treat your cancer with complementary or alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, special diet, vitamins, and herbs. Some of these treatments may have side effects. These side effects vary greatly depending on the treatment itself and the health of the individual. They include some of the following: physical illness, weakness and fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sore, hair loss, weight gain, early menopause, a higher risk of infections, bleeding, and even possible death. If untreated, breast cancer is typically a fatal disease that doesn’t go away on its own. The timeline depends upon the severity of the cancer and the health of the individual; there aren’t any conclusive studies to show how long you will live with the disease if left untreated.

Final Thoughts

Early diagnosis and treatment will greatly increase your chances of remission and recovery. Many forms of breast cancer, when diagnosed early, may be treated with minimally invasive methods, enabling you to heal quicker and get back to your life. Nearly 13% of women will develop this disease. A chance at surviving depends heavily on early detection so empower yourself by knowing the symptoms, your family history, living a healthy life and having the recommended screenings.

The Flu Vaccine: Separating Fact From Fiction

With flu season rapidly approaching, many will choose to skip getting a shot because of advice they’ve heard from friends or read online. The truth is that the flu can be deadly for some people, so it’s vital that you get vaccinated. To help you distinguish between facts and fiction, below are five common myths you may have heard and the actual facts supported by science.

Myth 1: You Can Catch the Flu from A Flu Shot

This is a common misconception many people have about vaccines, and it is understandable to a degree. When you are vaccinated, you are injected with a small amount of the particular disease and your immune system works to build a stronger immunity to it. People are led to believe that they will catch the flu from the vaccine itself which is not the case. With the flu vaccine, you are injected with an inactive strain of the virus, so it is biologically unable to cause illness. If you receive the nasal spray variant, the viral strains are weakened but do not cause severe flu-like symptoms.

Myth 2: You Don’t Need a Flu Shot Every Year

Once you receive the vaccine you’re set for life, right? Wrong. The influenza virus is continually mutating from year to year, so it’s essential that you’re vaccinated each year. Much like you would update your smartphone to the latest software, you need to do the same with your immune system. In addition to the virus mutating, your body’s immune system will have less of a response to the flu vaccine over time. Receiving the latest and greatest flu vaccination is your best defense against the flu.

The Flu Vaccine Separating Fact From Fiction

Myth 3: You’re Better Off Taking Your Chances

Many people skip the flu vaccination because they think that their immune system is robust and on the off-chance they’ll get sick they can just power through this. While this may seem like the selfless, heroic choice, you’re really doing more damage than good. When you get the flu, it affects more than just yourself. Once the virus is in your system, you become a carrier for it, spreading it in the air when you cough, and on every doorknob or handrail, you touch. The flu is highly contagious, and the symptoms don’t usually show for up to four days after its entered the body. Be mindful of others and don’t unknowingly spread the virus to those that aren’t healthy enough to tough it out.

Myth 4: The Flu Isn’t That Serious

While the flu might not seem severe to those with healthy immune systems, the flu can be very deadly to many people, especially the very young and old. In fact, the CDC estimates there have been 12,000 to 56,000 flu-related deaths since 2012. That’s serious. Even if your immune system is resilient, the flu can still put you on the sidelines for up to two weeks. Do you really want to miss work, school, or social activities because of the flu? If not, make sure you get vaccinated.

Myth 5: You Can Only Be Vaccinated in the Fall

Many people associate flu season with winter which is fairly accurate since the virus tends to spread most during the cold months but the official flu season usually runs from October all the way until May. There isn’t a correct time you should be vaccinated, just as long as you are immunized before you contract the virus so if you decide to get vaccinated in March, you’re still protected from the flu for the remainder of the season. Now that we’ve separated facts from fiction and you have the right information make sure that you go out and get your vaccination! Even if you think you’re healthy and your immune system will fight it off, it’s better to be safe than sorry and prepare yourself for flu season!

Preventative Tests For Better Health

When it comes to your health and wellbeing, it is better to be proactive than struggling to combat problems that could have been prevented. A positive lifestyle can go a long way toward better health, but it is not the end-all-be-all. Sometimes, health issues can be present despite healthy habits and without noticeable symptoms. In situations such as these, preventative tests are one of the only ways in which the problem can be uncovered and subsequently addressed.

It is impractical to run every test on a regular basis, creating a dilemma—what tests should be done, and when?

To circumnavigate this dilemma, doctors have compiled information regarding common health issues and developed a comprehensive schedule that relates certain health problems and their correlating tests to age and risk factors.

In other words, selected screenings are performed when adults hit a specific age or if risk factors are present. While the basic rubric may seem one-size-fits-all, it is easily adjusted to an individual’s unique health concerns, including genetic risk factors, family history, lifestyle, and more.

We’ve outlined the primary tests below in relation to the age groups that should receive them, as well as the relative frequency with which the screenings should be performed. Keep in mind that your doctor may take a different approach depending on their preferred methods and the state of your health.

Screenings for Young Adults

For healthy adults under the age of 40, there are a handful of basic tests that should be done on an annual or regular basis. These screenings are typically done in conjunction with annual physical exams and include body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, skin condition, family medical issues, diabetes, vaccines, mental health, and blood work.

Men and women in this age bracket should also be screened for gender-specific issues such as cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections, and breast/testicular cancer.

For people between the ages of 18 and 40, the list of required annual and regular tests is short unless there are outstanding factors or increased risk is noted. For a more specific look at the screenings young adults should receive, check out the detailed list below.

  • Annual Tests
    • Weight, height, and blood pressure
    • Depression screening
    • Blood work
    • Breast exam
    • Immunizations
  • Risk dependent
    • Medical issues related to family history
    • Skin screening
    • Diabetes screening
    • Cholesterol
    • Sexually-transmitted infections
  • Regular
    • Cervical cancer screening

Tests for Middle-Aged Adults

The regular tests established as a young adult do not stop when the threshold to midlife is crossed. For those aged 40 to 64, additional tests are added to the base tests done in young adults. While there is no set age at which these particular tests are introduced, they typically coincide with the increased risk of certain conditions that accompany the aging process.

An annual flu shot, the administration of the shingles vaccine, blood work, mammograms, pelvic exams, and prostate exams are all examples of additional tests and procedures that should be performed regularly as you age. Other conditions, such as osteoporosis and lung cancer, may be screened for if your doctor determines that there is a need.

When entering the middle phase of life, more regular testing is required to ensure you remain in good health. These additional screenings do not replace the tests necessary for younger adults; rather, they are performed in addition to them. The additional tests include those listed below.

  • Annual
    • Flu shot
    • Mental health assessment
    • Mammogram
  • 50 and Up
    • Shingles vaccine
    • Colorectal screening
    • Prostate exam
  • Risk Dependent
    • Colonoscopy
    • Osteoporosis screening
    • Lung cancer screening

Screenings for Older Adults

Once you hit the age of 65, some tests that were optional in years past will be upgraded to recommended. This is simply because there are certain health concerns that increase with the body’s natural aging process.

The good news is that your insurance is more likely to cover these tests once an age threshold has been met. If you are concerned about the coverage of your insurance for these newly recommended tests, feel free to speak to your doctor and/or contact your insurance company with specific questions.

At age 65 and older, the screenings performed in your younger years will continue, and tests such as fall prevention and colorectal cancer screening will be added to the list of recommendations. Your doctor may also consider more frequent testing due to age or age-related risk factors that have developed.

Keep in mind that additional screenings are just that—preventative tests that are added to the screenings already establish at younger ages.

  • Annual
    • Fall prevention
    • High-dose flu vaccine
    • Osteoporosis screening (annual for women, every five years for men)

No matter what your age may be or what risk factors you may possess, finding a physician you trust to perform comprehensive wellness checks and screenings is key to living a long, healthy life. By opting to undergo the tests above—and any others that your doctor may recommend—you can set yourself up for success and catch any potential issues before they become serious problems.

Preventative testing is highly effective in stopping illnesses and other issues before they can get started. When combined with a healthy, active lifestyle, these screenings help ensure you and your doctor are not caught off-guard.

It’s important to remember that the tests and their related age ranges are merely suggestions. Everybody is different and may have unique risk factors. This makes it even more essential to establish an open line of communication with your physician, especially one that stretches over a long period of time, as they can work with you directly and customize your preventative screening regimen.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Yearly Checkups?

The general consensus is that visiting the doctor is not people’s favorite thing. Even if you don’t dislike or outright dread going to the doctor, there is probably a list of alternative things you’d prefer to do.

Unless something is noticeably wrong (and sometimes, not even then), many people will not schedule an appointment and go to the doctor. While you certainly should go to the doctor if you are sick or have noticed a new concern or issue, a more comprehensive approach to health is better.

In other words, you should opt to go to the doctor even when a specific issue or treatment is not the motivating factor. Regular visits, generally conducted on a yearly basis, are key to maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Different doctors have different philosophies regarding what these checkups should include and how frequently they should be done, but the consensus is clear—regular doctor visits are very important.

To help detail the significance of consistent wellness exams, we have put together a quick guide to what these checkups usually cover, the benefits they grant you and your doctor, and why they matter to your immediate and long-term health.

Identifying Risk Factors

For some, family health history and genetic factors lead to consistent testing for certain conditions and diseases to ensure those risk factors have not led to the development of a serious issue. For those without predetermined risk factors, testing for specific conditions is not often done without cause.

As such, screening for risk factors is one of the primary advantages of regular checkups. By looking for changes in your risks and identifying new risk factors, your doctor can see how your health is evolving, keep an eye on potential problems, and order any further testing you may need.

Risk factors for common diseases are not static. You may see them come and go due to lifestyle changes, the process of aging, or factors outside of your control. Going to the doctor regularly can alert you to these changes and keep you and your doctor ahead of any new developments.

Detecting Disease

Illnesses often announce themselves with the arrival of symptoms. When this is the case, most people seek medical assistance in determining what is wrong and how it can be fixed. Sometimes, though, a disease can be present without any apparent symptoms. When this occurs, a regular visit to the doctor may be the only defense against the invisible disease. Your doctor is trained to notice subtle signs that may be telltale of illness that others, including you, might overlook. Some of the screening tests like colonoscopy, mammogram are recommended based on age and risk factors.

If you only visit the doctor when something is amiss or on rare occasions, such sicknesses could exist and develop over time and turn into far worse problems than they would have been if detected early.

Preventing Avoidable Problems

It may seem like a given but staying up to date on your immunizations is key to avoiding many common conditions. Even if you think you have received the vaccines necessary to stay disease-free, regularly visiting the doctor is a good idea.

Some vaccines are administered at different ages or are available to people of different levels of risk. Annual exams help determine if you are up to date and, if not, which vaccines you qualify to receive.

Promoting Healthier Lifestyles

When the New Year rolls around, people around the world pledge to take better care of their bodies. They’ll go to the gym, eat better, and stop smoking. By the end of the year, only a fraction of those people has adhered to their promised lifestyle changes.

Going to the doctor regularly is not a cure-all, but it does give your physician an opportunity to promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle. They can confirm that changes you have made are working, give you examples of success, and highlight areas where improvements can be made. From an active lifestyle that benefits your body to practices that can improve your mental health, your doctor is an excellent resource for those on a journey to self-betterment.

Updating Data

Dealing with immediate concerns is obviously of the utmost importance. However, the necessity of long-term healthcare is severely overlooked. Having a comprehensive history of your health and wellness provides invaluable insight for your doctor. It allows them to view the full picture of your health and how it has evolved throughout the years. This long-term perspective is key to helping your doctor see trends and identify changes of concern.

Updating your clinical data is also important to keeping others informed. If, for example, you need to work with another doctor, the information they have access to will be properly maintained and up to date.

Forming a Bond

A healthy relationship between you and your doctor is invaluable in establishing open lines of communication, trust, and a long-lasting bond that will serve you well through each phase in life.

Only visiting your doctor when something is wrong is not the ideal approach to developing a mutually beneficial relationship, nor does it aid your doctor in giving you the best possible care. To truly reap the benefits of a well-formed doctor-patient relationship, you need to be consistent in the frequency of your interactions.

Whether you dislike the doctor, consider yourself too busy, or are simply unsure of how frequently you should be visiting your physician, the fact remains that consistent exams are key to a healthy, happy life. While the benefits listed above are compelling, the truth is that maintaining a regular schedule of doctor’s visits is advantageous even beyond the points discussed here.

From screening for age and gender-specific problems to customized lifestyle changes that can improve the quality of life you’re experiencing, annual doctor’s visits are your chance to receive a professional evaluation of your current health, advice on how to better yourself going forward, and treatment for any issues that you are experiencing or are at risk for.

If you are ready to start your healthy routine of annual exams, reach out to your doctor. They can guide you in regards to the frequency with which they need to see you, what you can expect during the appointment, and more.

Are Annual Physical Exams Necessary?

Whether you’re anxious, busy, or just plain obstinate, following the recommended routine of going to the doctor every year for an annual physical exam is harder than it sounds. Despite the myriad of excuses we’re all guilty of making, the fact remains that yearly physical exams are exceptionally important.

How necessary can they possibly be, you ask? The truth is, even individuals in great health should make an annual doctor’s visit to get a more comprehensive view of their personal health, catch minor issues before they become major problems, and create an open line of communication with their doctor to share information and discuss concerns.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Yearly Checkup

Aside from the obvious aspects of annual exams that make them vital—updating your immunizations, for example—there are numerous compelling reasons to adhere to a yearly schedule. Many of these motivating factors boil down to one simple fact—preventative care is better than emergency treatment.

Most people go to the doctor for one reason—because they’re sick. The frequency with which this occurs varies from person to person, but it leads to a single result. Doctors end up fighting fires rather than preventing them from starting in the first place.

Annual exams give your doctor an opportunity to assess your health on a regular basis and identify problems before they manifest themselves via symptoms. This effectively nips issues in the bud and prevents them from developing into more serious illnesses.

While there are nearly limitless examples that could be employed here, the most common and obvious include issues related to blood glucose levels, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and cholesterol. Evaluating these aspects of your wellbeing can help your doctor ascertain your overall health, specific areas of concern, and what changes should be implemented if necessary.

Identifying current and future issues early is one of the most important benefits of annual physical exams, but the advantages do not stop there. By maintaining a yearly schedule, you give your doctors—and yourself—the ability to observe your health in the context of several years. In other words, you can see how your body and wellbeing change over the years.

From vaccine records to shifts in your BMI, observing the long-term story of your health can establish context and alert your doctor to any concerning changes that may occur. A single exam is helpful and can be insightful, but the accumulation of years of annual exams provides a much deeper understanding of you and your health.

Without consistent physical exams, minor concerns can develop and turn into significant health problems. By visiting your doctor on an annual basis, you give them the chance to catch issues early, address them, and stop them from taking a turn for the worse.

What To Expect At Your Annual Wellness Exam

Annual physical exams are of vital importance to your health and wellbeing. For many, though, going to the doctor is a challenge for one reason or another. So, whether you haven’t been to a yearly exam in a while or simply want a refresher, wondering what you should expect at your annual wellness exam is entirely normal.

Such exams are comprehensive but not invasive. In other words, your doctor will evaluate your overall wellbeing, including individual aspects of your bodily health, but the exam is considered general. If you’re looking for a more detailed deep dive into what specifics you should expect, have no fear—the nuances of what to expect at your annual wellness exam are below!

The Basics

While there are no specific guidelines or requirements when it comes to physical exams, there are a few basics that are generally considered standard practice among physicians. Every doctor is sure to have their own approach and style, but the chances of them performing these common practices are high.

  • The history of your health is sure to be a conversation at your annual exam. Here, you will share concerns, answer questions about your lifestyle, and update the medical history of yourself and your family.
  • Vital Signs. Your doctor will likely check your vital signs. While different doctors check different vitals, the common signs include your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
  • Don’t worry; your annual physical exam is not a beauty contest. Your doctor will simply observe your appearance and look for anything concerning. For example, they will be noting your memory as you talk and your mobility as you walk to ensure nothing is amiss.
  • Common Exams. At your physical exam, your doctor will conduct several specific exams to evaluate how particular areas of your body are doing. These exams can include heart, lung, head, neurological, and abdominal exams, among others.

Gender-Specific Exams

When the general side of your annual physical exam is completed, your doctor is likely to perform a gender-specific exam. Think of this as the physical you had to undergo to participate in school activities. These gender-specific exams will typically look for any noticeable issues regarding male or female organs and common gender-specific health problems and may include checking for hernias, performing a pelvic exam, and more. Typically, no laboratory tests are required during annual physical exams. If your doctor has a concern that they cannot confirm, they may order tests, but those will usually be scheduled and conducted on a future date. For older people, those with preexisting health conditions, and those with personal concerns, annual exams are invaluable. However, you should not pass on your yearly doctor’s visit because you don’t fall into any of the above categories. Everyone can benefit from an annual physical exam, including young, healthy individuals.

Why Doctors Are Backing Away From Prescribing Daily Low-Dose Aspirin?

Why Doctors Are Backing Away from Prescribing Daily Low-Dose Aspirin

For years, doctors have encouraged aging Americans to take a daily low dose (typically 81 mg) of aspirin every day to help think the blood and reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes. Low doses of aspirin are prescribed to knock out blood platelets and thin the blood, reducing the risk of forming blood clots, which can cause heart attacks, stroke, and other complications.

However, two leading cardiology groups – the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) – recently recanted that advice, saying that in most situations an aspirin a day is not necessary and may even do more harm than good.

Why the Change of Heart?  

According to recent research, for low-risk adults who have no history of heart attack, stroke, or cardiac surgeries, taking low-dose aspirin daily may cause bleeding, which is now considered a greater risk than benefit.

A 2010 St. George’s, University of London study of more than 100,000 people determined that an aspirin a day reduced heart risks by 10 percent, but that there was a 30 percent increase in life-threatening or debilitating internal bleeding. Also, they found that of those individuals who took a daily aspirin for around 6 years, 1 in 120 avoided a potential cardiovascular event, but 1 in 73 experienced potentially significant bleeding.

Even in low doses, aspirin can eat away the stomach lining, which causes bleeding and ulcers internally. Because low dose aspirin also slows down blood clotting, it also means more blood loss when external cuts and other injuries occur.

However, both the AHA and ACC continued to emphasize that daily aspirin is important for high-risk individuals – particularly those with a medical history of stroke, heart attack, or other cardiac procedures like stents or open-heart surgery. For these high-risk individuals, an aspirin a day may save their lives.

For low-to-average risk individuals, however, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a much smarter way to protect their heart taking low-dose aspirin. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes the following smart behaviors:

  • Not smoking or vaping and avoiding secondhand smoke.
  • Eating heart-healthy diets that include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats and fish.
  • Limiting salt, fried foods, processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats.
  • Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

High Cholesterol and Diabetes

Another reason for the reduced need for daily aspirin is that overall, doctors are doing a better job at treating risk factors such as high cholesterol and diabetes. Keeping arteries clear by controlling cholesterol is an important step to prevent heart disease. While the above healthy behaviors can often help with high cholesterol, sometimes statins – a type of medication designed to reduce cholesterol – may need to be taken for people with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dl or higher. Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes or who are considered to have a high potential for a heart attack or stroke may also need to take statins. In some situations, a low-dose aspirin a day may still be a good idea for people who struggle with controlling blood sugar or cholesterol. This really depends on whether or not their risk for bleeding outweighs the possible benefits of aspirin.

Essential Benefits Of A Digital Health Clinic

Living in good health may always be referred to as wealth as an individual’s happiness depend on it. Regular treatments and checkups help you maintain good health. The advancement in technology has led to the rise of digital clinics, which have significantly transformed healthcare. Men worldwide can now get treatment for hair loss, sexual health, heart disease, skin issues, and erectile dysfunction all at the comfort of their homes without the hassle and stress of visiting a medical facility. With most men feeling uncomfortable visiting medical facilities for some of these ailments, digital healthcare clinics, therefore, play a significant role for men who may get uncomfortable asking for direct help from a doctor at a hospital. It also enables individuals to detect health issues early, hence seeking medical care before they get complicated. Here are some fantastic benefits of digital healthcare clinics:

Privacy

Conventional medical clinics give doctors a better chance to diagnose a patient in a one-on-one setup. Online clinics offer patients more privacy as some patients may feel embarrassed due to some male-targeted disorders. It eliminates the chances of bumping into people you may know who may know what you are doing in such a hospital. Even though one is still forced to disclose their medical history to their virtual doctor at AkosMD Mobile Clinic, they are kept in a virtual file that is very secure. They can also consult medical doctors or have their health status checked wherever and whenever they wish.

Hassle-free

Digital health clinics offer the convenient right solution to patients at the comfort of their homes. This means a patient doesn’t have to step out of your home to get treated. Their test samples are collected at the doorstep then sent to the hospital for examination. This saves you time and effort as you don’t have to travel for medical treatment at a diagnostic clinic. Your test results and necessary treatment method will then be shared to your email or courier to your address after ascertaining the health issue.

Economical

Most health kits are sold in healthcare pharmacies at discounted prices. And since most treatments are done virtual, there is a low cost of operation as medical practitioners will not be required to rent facilities to see their patients. And with limited contact between doctors and their patients during virtual medical checkups, medical fees are relatively pocket-friendly than in conventional facilities.

Access To Different Specializations

Most online healthcare clinics have several doctors at hand who are experts in varied fields of specializations. This may be beneficial as one may want to inquire about conditions caused by several factors or different reactions to medication. You will also be able to rule out disease from various classifications without necessarily visiting multiple medical facilities.

Seeking medical help from a digital health clinic enables you to adjust as you wish and according to your flexibility. Choosing AkosMD mobile clinic allows you to get accurate results through the easiest process ever. You will also forget about the fear of hospital hygiene, the difficulty of booking appointments with the doctor, and reduce your healthcare expenditure.

How To Choose & Use A Blood Oxygen Meter

Keeping your blood oxygen levels is extremely important, which is probably why people all over the world are deciding to get their own, personal, device that can measure those levels. The device is called a blood oxygen meter, or a pulse oximeter and it can nowadays easily be found and bought almost anywhere. That, however, doesn’t quite mean that you shouldn’t think carefully about where you are purchasing it and which one you are choosing.

Before we get to that, though, let me explain just why this device is important and how it can be useful for everyone. Basically, if your oxygen saturation in the bloodstream is negatively affected, you may start having troubles breathing normally, which can be an indicator of an underlying medical issue that needs to be treated and healed right away. For a long time, this device has been a necessary household object only for those families in which there were people suffering from Asthma, or other types of respiratory and lung diseases.

Yet, it has recently become rather useful for every single household, since the new virus that the world is battling with is known for attacking people’s lungs and causing respiratory issues. So, in order to make sure that COVID-19 isn’t causing lung problems, and in order to address those problems if it is, people have decided to get buy oximeters and have them at hand in case they get infected, or in case they suspect that they have been infected. Now, oxygen saturation has been significant even before COVID-19. It’s just that the spread of the virus has shed some more light on the importance of having a blood oxygen meter at hand.

So, if you are thinking of getting one of these devices, there are a couple of things you should know. First things first, you will need to think thoroughly about which one you are buying, because you want to get the absolutely best value for your money. On top of that, you will also have to learn how to properly use the device, so that you don’t end up doing this the wrong way and thus getting the wrong values whenever you try to measure blood oxygen levels. Fortunately for you, those are the two questions that I am going to be addressing today, so let us get started right away.

How To Choose The Perfect Device

As mentioned previously, the most important thing to do is think carefully about which particular device you are purchasing. There are quite a lot of those on the market and while most of them will function properly, the truth is that you can easily come across some poor-quality products that will not only completely break down after a short while, but also start malfunctioning rather quickly, which can lead to you getting some wrong data on the levels of oxygen in your blood. Since I am pretty certain that you don’t want that to happen, I say you do your best to find the best quality product.

The first thing you can do with the aim of finding the best quality product is this. Talk to the people around you who have already been using pulse oximeters for a while and hear their recommendations regarding the manufacturers you should shop from. Of course, if you know certain medical professionals personally, getting their input on this topic will be extremely useful. Even if you aren’t friends with any medical experts, though, you can always ask the doctors and nurses in your area for recommendations, as I am sure that they will be happy to help.

Apart from talking to the people around you, it would be a good idea for you to do some online research. As you might have concluded it by now, the trick is in finding the perfect manufacturer, meaning that you should check those out in more details with the help of the World Wide Web. The Internet will undeniably be able to provide you with as much information as you need when trying to make this decision. The only thing is, you’ll need to make sure that you are getting the information from reliable and trustworthy sources.

So, for starters, you should check out the websites of certain manufacturers that you have in mind, in order to get a better idea about the quality of the blood oxygen meters that they are selling. Additionally, you should also try and find any comments that previous customers have left online, because those will certainly help you understand how satisfied those customers actually were with the specific products that they bought. If you find that too many people are complaining about particular blood oxygen meters, the best thing to do is avoid buying those. There’s no need to settle when you can easily find some perfect products out there and when you can always learn more about how to make this important choice.

How To Use It Correctly

After spending some time searching for the right device and after finally buying one for you, there will only be one thing left to do. Basically, you will have to learn how to use your pulse oximeter correctly, so that you don’t get any wrong values while trying to determine the levels of oxygen in your blood. Now, the best thing to do would be to contact a medical professional and let them explain step by step how this device should actually be used. If you don’t quite feel like doing that, though, don’t worry. The truth is that these products aren’t that complicated.

First of all, you should remember to warm your hands if they are cold before measuring these levels. Removing nail polish would also be a good idea. It’s also important that you don’t take any measures before getting rested for at least a couple of minutes after walking, or engaging in any kinds of physical activities. Once you are sure that you’ve followed all the rules, just place the device on your index finger and let it work its magic.

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