Staying Healthy Archive

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Can you become a "super-ager"?

Super-agers are individuals known to maintain peak mental prowess well into their 90s and avoid dementia and Alzheimer's disease. While genetics play a big part in super-agers' cognitive health, adopting healthy lifestyle habits also contributes, and other people might be able to improve their brain health in the same way. These habits include exercising regularly, following a plant-based diet, being social, adopting mentally challenging activities, and getting adequate sleep.

Hot weather tied to increased odds of stroke

A 2024 study suggests that exposure to high temperatures may increase the risk of an ischemic stroke. High temperatures may trigger dehydration, which can make the blood more viscous and more likely to clot.

Rethinking your morning coffee

Coffee and other caffeine sources can interact with many common drugs, changing the way they're absorbed, distributed through the body, processed, and excreted. Coffee (even decaf) makes stomach contents more acidic, accounting for some drug interactions, but caffeine is mostly the cause. Medications vulnerable to coffee or caffeine's effects include those for cold or allergy, depression, high blood pressure, asthma, osteoporosis, anemia, Alzheimer's disease, thyroid problems, and insomnia. Drinking coffee and taking medications at separate times is advised.

Protect your eyes when playing pickleball

A 2023 report warns that pickleball and other racquet sports can expose older adults to the risk of eye injuries, but wearing protective, shatterproof eyewear when playing can offer a layer of safety.

Tips for traveling with incontinence

Traveling long or short distances can be tricky for people who have incontinence. Certain strategies can help: avoiding bladder irritants (such as caffeinated or carbonated drinks), practicing urge suppression techniques, speaking with a doctor about medications that can ease an overactive bladder, wearing clothes with easy-to-use fasteners, wearing "bladder leak" underwear, packing important supplies such as a change of clothes or a portable urinal, using bathroom locator apps, and scheduling bathroom breaks.

What kind of reaction can you expect from the shingles vaccine?

The Shingrix vaccine decreases the risk of developing shingles (herpes zoster), a painful and potentially serious condition. In some people, the reaction to Shingrix includes mild soreness, redness, swelling, or pain in the arm at the injection site. Some people also experience fatigue, headache, muscle achiness, stomach pain, nausea, fever, or chills and shivering for a day or two. Very rarely, people have an allergic reaction. There is no evidence that anything will prevent a reaction to Shingrix.

3 ways to streamline your health care visits

Three strategies can help decrease the number of days one must devote to medical appointments. The first is eliminating unneeded care, such as screening tests for people at low risk for certain conditions. The second strategy is coordinating various doctor visits, tests, or imaging for the same day. The third strategy is using telemedicine in place of appointments that would normally happen in person, such as mental health care visits or routine appointments for diabetes or high blood pressure.

FDA warns against using these smart gadgets to measure blood sugar

In 2024, the FDA advised against using smart watches or smart rings that claim to monitor blood sugar without piercing the skin. Using them, the FDA warned, could result in inaccurate blood sugar measurements, which is dangerous for people with diabetes.

Salmonella is sneaky: Watch out

If you've ever had food poisoning caused by Salmonella bacteria, you know it's unpleasant but typically goes away within two to three days. You may not know that these bacteria sicken more than a million people in the US each year — and can be deadly for some. You can take steps to avoid getting sick.

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