Runny Nose? Try These Tips.

A peek behind the tissue
A runny nose may be a symptom of many different things. Knowing what’s causing it is the first step to taking care of it. There are several home remedies, which can help and powerful over the counter medicines that can make living with a runny nose from colds, allergies, or the flu more bearable. Mucinex® Fast-Max Cold and Sinus can help stop a runny nose since it contains phenylephrine, a nasal decongestant. Your nose can run but it can’t hide. Read below for more information.

Help stop a runny nose.

Suffering from a runny nose can be irritating, embarrassing and overall, just miserable. Learning how to help stop a runny nose can help you get on with your day when symptoms are holding you back.

The cold virus and allergies can cause your body to make histamines, chemicals that are part of an inflammatory reaction and your body’s natural immune response. The effects of histamine can cause runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. To try to relieve a runny nose at home, try the following to promote a healthy nasal environment:

  • Salt water nasal rinse
  • Humidifier
  • Drink hot liquids like herbal tea, chicken soup, or even just hot water
  • Take a steam/warm bath
  • Apply a warm towel to your face

Some home remedies are really effective, but when those don’t work, runny nose medicine can help relieve symptoms. Choose a medicine that contains an antihistamine, to combat inflammation that makes tissues in your nose itch and swell. Mucinex® Fast-Max Cold and Sinus can help stop a runny nose since it contains phenylephrine, a nasal decongestant. It can also help relieve various other cold and flu symptoms, such as chest congestion, sinus pressure, aches and more. But if your runny nose is caused by allergies, you’ll want to be sure to take a medication made with specific antihistamines for allergy symptoms.

Healthy Joints, Happy Joints

Just like motor oil keeps your car running smoothly, there’s an important fluid that lubricates and nourishes your joints. This substance is called synovial (syn ö vi àl) fluid, and joints that contain it — like your shoulders and hips — are called synovial joints.
As you move, sacks of this fluid cushion your knees and elbows against friction, and these sacks are known as bursae (bûr`s∂). When you hear people talk about tennis elbow — outer elbow pain often caused by repetitive motion — they actually have inflamed bursae, which physicians refer to as bursitis.
Joint pain can interfere with your physical activity and daily life. The flip side, however, is that as your fitness level increases, joint pain may decrease. Here are some things you can do to encourage both of these desired results:
  • Warm up before any activity. Try this for your knees: Sit in a chair, and slowly raise your left foot until your leg is straight. Hold for a second, and slowly lower it. Repeat this motion 10 to 15 times with each leg.
  • To warm up your hips and get a great back massage in the process, lie on your back with your knees bent in toward your chest. Slowly move your knees in gentle circles, keeping the small of your back on the floor. Repeat the motion 10 times, and then switch directions.
  • If you use weights, choose lighter weights and do more repetitions. Eventually, work up to heavier weights.
  • Be sure to use correct form as you exercise. For example, never do any activity that causes you to bend your legs until your knees stick out beyond your toes. This position puts too much pressure on your knees.

Breakfast for Kids Can Be Healthy and Fast

“Children need breakfast everyday for a variety of reasons,” says Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “Actively growing children need food at regular intervals to fuel their bodies and brains. Skipping breakfast gives as much as a 10- to 12-hour time frame with no food, and the potential for compromised school performance and irritability.”

In addition, “for children who eat breakfast, there is better regulation of body weight,” says Anding. Other benefits:

  • Eating breakfast increases the chances of an overall healthier diet.
  • Kids who start the day with a healthy meal are more likely to play sports and be more physically active.
  • Eating breakfast improves a child’s ability to concentrate and perform in school.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

Avoid giving children sweet foods for breakfast, like doughnuts or cereals high in sugar, because after the sugar high wears off, they are likely to get tired. “Healthy options include whole grain, low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk and fresh fruit, or a yogurt berry parfait with granola,” says Anding. Or, you might offer your child a whole-grain English muffin with peanut butter or jelly and a glass of low-fat milk.

Other healthy meals for kids:

  • Scrambled eggs, toast with a little bit of butter, turkey bacon or sausage, and a side of fresh fruit.
  • Whole-grain bagel and cream cheese with a side of strawberries.
  • Low-fat cheese toast with a side of cantaloupe and blueberries.

Get creative, adds Anding, who recommends offering a breakfast burrito with scrambled egg and grated low-fat cheese and fresh fruit.

“If time is a factor, make breakfast portable,” she continues. “Try sandwiches, like peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese leftover from dinner. Dry cereal in a sandwich baggie and a 100 percent real-juice juice box can make breakfast stress-free.”

Planning breakfast the night before can also save you time. “This will allow you to plan ahead and know how much time you need in the morning,” says Arlene Kaufman, a busy working mother and director of Temple Trager Preschool in Louisville, Ky. “That way everyone isn’t saying: ‘I don’t know what I want,’ or asking for something you don’t have.”

Healthy meals for kids don’t have to be hard or time-consuming — or even homemade. There are plenty of prepared healthy breakfast foods that can go in the microwave. Check the freezer section at your local grocery store for pre-made meals like whole-wheat bagels and cream cheese, pancakes, waffles, and frozen turkey sausage. Yogurt and fruit, along with a whole-wheat bagel, is also a quick and easy breakfast for kids.

And, if you’re in a hurry like most families in the morning, Kaufman says, “grab a banana and Nutrigrain bar to eat in the car — it’s still healthy, even though it’s on the go!”

10 Kidney Health Resolutions

  1. Eat breakfast. Breakfast didn’t earn its reputation as the most important meal of the day for no reason. Studies show you’re less likely to overeat during the day if you eat a healthy breakfast in the morning.

2. Avoid unnecessary pain killers. Many people don’t realize that the same medications that help alleviate your aches can have dangerous side effects, including harming the kidneys. It’s important to read both prescription and over the counter (OTC) drug labels in order to evaluate the risks and benefits before taking a particular medication.

3. Exercise. Yes, you’ve heard this one before, but there is a reason that getting more exercise is a perennially popular resolution. Physical activity offers many health benefits, including decreasing blood pressure, increasing muscle strength, lowering blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides), improving sleep, increasing insulin sensitivity and helping control body weight. If those weren’t reason enough to lace up your sneakers, studies have also shown that kidney patients who exercise have better outcomes for dialysis and transplantation. Increasing activity by 150 minutes per week is recommended.

4. Get organized. Start with your medicine cabinet and move on to your medical records and lab documents. Make a list of all the medications you’re currently taking, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Sometimes medications and supplements can interact with one another in different ways and all your healthcare providers may not know what other specialists have prescribed for you. Keep the list handy to bring to appointments and to share with primary care practitioners and specialists alike. Keep a copy of all recent medical test results in one place, such as a mobile app or file cabinet.

5. Quit sm.oking. It’s getting cold out and many bars and restaurants are smoke free, making it the perfect time to start saving yourself the trip outside while improving your health. Smoking slows the blood flow to the kidneys and can also interfere with medications used to treat high blood pressure, reducing their effectiveness. Quitting can be difficult, but it is one of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make to protect your kidneys.

6. Sit less and stand more. Recent research has linked sitting for eight hours or more a day with developing kidney disease. Sitting for that length of time is typical for the average desk job, but most of us go way beyond that. We sit on the couch, while driving, while riding the bus, and during dinner, just to name a few! Dedicate 2016 as the year you take a stand.

7.Get an annual kidney check-up. Show your kidneys some love with a urine test to check for protein in the urine, one of the earliest signs of kidney disease, and a blood test for creatinine to calculate your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). GFR tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood. Speak with your healthcare provider about getting these tests. Early kidney disease can and should be treated to keep it from getting worse!

8. Lose weight. December may have been the month of the holiday party buffets, but now it’s time to hunker down and re-commit to your weight loss goals. Obesity can cause kidney disease because the kidneys have to work harder to filter out toxins and to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in obese individuals. Share your weight loss progress with others and stick with healthy lifestyle changes even if you don’t initially see results on the scale.

9. Sleep more. There are plenty of reasons to hit the sack earlier to make sure you’re catching enough zzz’s each night. Studies suggest that irregular sleep patterns, eating before going to sleep and not getting enough sleep are all linked to obesity, while getting enough sleep is linked with maintaining a healthy weight. When it comes to a good night’s rest, most people require about 7 hours.

10. Shake the salt habit. Break up with the salt shaker and look out for high sodium levels in processed foods. High blood pressure causes both kidney and heart diseases and people with kidney failure are three times as likely to have heart disease.

The Common Killer You Might Be Ignoring

Blood clots kill one in four people worldwide. That’s right, one in four deaths on this planet are caused by blood clots, also known by the medical term thrombosis. If you’re surprised by these blood clot facts, you’re not alone. A survey that I and others conducted with the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis steering committee of the United States, along with eight other countries from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, found that public awareness of thrombosis was low overall (at 68 percent), and for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in particular (at about 50 percent) — much lower than awareness of other health conditions.

Far more people surveyed were aware of high blood pressure, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS (90 percent, 85 percent, 82 percent, and 87 percent, respectively).

Only 45 percent of people who responded to the survey were aware that blood clots are preventable. Few knew the major risk factors for VTE, like hospitalization, surgery, and cancer (awareness of 25 percent, 36 percent, and 16 percent, respectively).

Thrombosis is the underlying cause of heart attack, most strokes, and venous thromboembolism (VTE), a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the leg and can travel in the circulatory system to lodge in the lungs. VTE is often fatal, but it’s also preventable. Unfortunately, most patients who die from VTE do so suddenly, with little or no warning. Don’t miss signs and symptoms that could mean a dangerous blood clot: unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, rapid pulse, or coughing up blood.

VTE Is Surprisingly Common

Although about half of us haven’t heard of VTE, it’s a very common condition. Each year, VTE affects 1 to 3 out of every 1,000 people. Among those who are age 70 or older, this increases to between 2 and 7 per 1,000.

An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 people die from VTE each year in the United States, and more than 500,000 die each year in Europe. VTE causes more deaths each year in the United States and Europe than breast cancer, HIV disease, and motor vehicle crashes — combined.

According to a recent study by the World Health Organization and others, VTE associated with hospitalization was the leading cause of premature death, as well as years lived with disability, in low- and middle-income countries. And VTE was the second most common cause in high-income countries across the globe. VTE is responsible for more deaths and disability than hospital-associated pneumonia, catheter-related bloodstream infections, and adverse drug events.

VTE Survivors and Long-Term Disabilities

VTE contributes to chronic disability for people who have non-fatal clots in the legs or lungs. This post-thrombotic syndrome, or PTS, is a painful and often disabling complication of clots in the deep veins of the leg. The syndrome results in chronic pain and swelling in the leg after periods of standing and may lead to the development of skin ulcers. This condition impairs quality of life and may also limit a person’s ability to work.

Blood clots in the lung, especially recurrent clots, may cause chronic pulmonary hypertension — a condition in which the pressure in the lung arteries is chronically elevated, leading to symptoms such as shortness of breath when exercising and impaired heart function. These limit the patient’s activity and may require major surgery.

VTE Adds Billions in Healthcare Costs

VTE is also a major burden to our healthcare system. A study published in 2015 in Thrombosis Research found that new cases of VTE in the United States are responsible for $7 to $10 billion in direct medical costs yearly.

This amount is similar to the entire annual budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal agency charged with protecting and promoting the public health of our nation. Added to this are the downstream costs for patients who develop recurrent VTE and the complications of post-thrombotic syndrome, or pulmonary hypertension.

VTE Prevention

The good news is that many, if not most, cases of VTE are preventable.

Start by understanding VTE risk factors:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Prolonged immobility
  • Cancer
  • Using estrogen-containing medications (birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy)

Also, certain genetic conditions, like the blood clotting disorder Factor V Leiden, predispose you to getting blood clots. Know your family history, especially its history of blood clots.

Be proactive. If you’re admitted to the hospital, or if you are having surgery, ask your doctor for a VTE risk assessment. Also ask whether you may be a candidate for preventive methods, such as anti-clotting medication (also known as blood thinners).

By being informed and engaging with your doctor and other health professionals, you can help reduce your risk of VTE, and in turn, help reduce the burden of death and disability from this largely preventable thrombosis disorder.

That is a wonderful gift to give yourself and your family. For more information, please visit our World Thrombosis Day site, which supports the World Health Assembly’s global target of a 25 percent drop in premature deaths from non-infectious diseases by 2025.

A middle-aged woman with polyarthritis and comorbid obesity

Submitted by Dr B Elliot Cole, Consultant, Pain Education; Former Medical Director, Shoals Hospital Senior Care Centre, Alabama; Former Executive Director, American Society of Pain Educators; and Former Director of Education, American Academy of Pain Management, USA.

In this case study, Dr B Elliot Cole describes the pain management of a middle-aged woman with polyarthritis and comorbid obesity. The patient responds well to treatment with buprenorphine transdermal patch 20 mg.

Donna is an obese 52-year-old woman with advanced osteoarthritis of her hands, knees, ankles and back. She presents with increasing pain for the past 3 years, stating she was told by an orthopedic surgeon that she must wait a few more years, until her pain is no longer controlled with medication, before she may have joint replacement surgery.

She describes pain as often 7 out of 10 (using a 0-to-10 scale, where 0 signifies no pain at all and 10 signifies the worst pain imagined). Pain is exacerbated by performing activities of daily living, including prolonged standing, lifting, walking, carrying objects, writing, doing household chores, bending forward at the waist and dressing. Pain is partially relieved with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, oxycodone, rest, hot showers for her back and ice packs for her knees. Pain limits her willingness to engage in an exercise program to assist with weight loss. Her pain management is complicated by her underlying medication-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus and mild hypertension.

Donna is a high school-educated mother of three teenage children, living with her medically disabled husband who collects social security benefits. She and her husband have difficulty paying bills and buying medication.

She takes oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325 mg qid, metformin 1,000 mg bid and lisinopril 20 mg od. She does not consume alcoholic beverages, has not received psychiatric services and denies use of illicit substances. She smokes 10 cigarettes a day.

Donna’s physical examination shows that she weighs 45% more than her ideal body weight, and her vital signs are normal (pulse, 78/min; blood pressure, 130/85 mmHg; respirations, 14/min; temperature, 37.0°C). Her head, neck and throat are unremarkable and her lungs are clear. Heart is regular in rate and rhythm; free of rubs and murmurs. The abdomen is pendulant, with normal bowel sounds, non-tender and free of masses and organ enlargement. Her spine shows cervical and lumbar lordosis, limited lumbar range of motion, and lumbar paraspinal muscle spasm bilaterally. There is no spinal tenderness. Knees are moderately swollen, with reduced range of motion and moderate crepitus bilaterally. There is 1+ pedal edema. Osteoarthritic changes are present in her hands.

Neurologically, she has normal strength in her extremities, with muted (1+) deep tendon reflexes at her knees and no reflexes present at her ankles. Sensation is diminished for temperature and vibration distally in her lower extremities, with normal pinprick vs light touch discrimination.

Donna is offered several options for medically managing her pain. She chooses to start once weekly topical buprenorphine transdermal patch 10 mg. Donna is started at 10 mg, not 5 mg, as she is already acclimated to opioid therapy, taking 20 mg of oxycodone daily, has moderate pain that ranges from 5 to 7 out of 10 (usually 6) and is expected to last indefinitely, and needs around-the-clock treatment. She is advised to continue oral oxycodone/paracetamol four times daily for the first day, thereafter limiting her use to ‘as needed for breakthrough pain’ to see how well the buprenorphine transdermal patch works, being advised that the maximum effect will occur after 72 hours of wear.

Donna is advised to continue the laxative therapy she has taken for oral oxycodone/paracetamol. She is told to change the buprenorphine transdermal patch site of application weekly, not to reuse any site before 21 days, avoid intense external heat, contact her physician if she develops a fever >39°C, and to watch for skin irritation at the site of application.

Donna returns on the 4th day of buprenorphine transdermal patch use reporting pain ranging from 4 to 6 out of 10, and usually 5. She denies significant opioid-related side effects (including constipation) and is free of skin irritation at the site of patch placement. Her patch strength is increased to 20 mg.

On the 8th day of buprenorphine transdermal patch use, Donna reports pain ranging from 3 to 5 out of 10, and usually 4. She has no significant opioid-related side effects, but notes redness at the site of the first patch application and mild itching at the site of the second patch. The skin is otherwise healthy and free of blisters. She is advised to apply cool compresses to the first application site, and apply a skin moisturizer and over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream. If itching is bothersome, she is told to take over-the-counter diphenhydramine 25 mg every 4 to 6 hours as tolerated. She continues with buprenorphine transdermal patch 20 mg, but is told to rotate to the third patch in 4 days using a new application site.

Donna returns on her 16th day of buprenorphine transdermal patch use. She is spontaneously smiling. Her pain ranges from 3 to 4 out of 10, and is usually 3. She has no significant opioid-related side effects. The over-the-counter diphenhydramine at bedtime stopped the itching, and moisturizer use and 1% over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream applied to application sites after patch removal has resolved the skin redness. She is told to continue using the 20 mg buprenorphine transdermal patches and to return in 30 days for further medication and monitoring.

– See more at:

Any Exercise Benefits Kids’ Heart Health

Their study found that children and teens who got more moderate to vigorous physical exercise daily than their peers had better cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight, which are important for long-term health.

“Parents, schools and institutions should facilitate and promote physical activity of at least moderate intensity in all children and be less concerned about the total amount of time spent sedentary, at least in relation to these cardiovascular risk factors,” said study author Ulf Ekelund, group leader of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Program at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, England.

“We demonstrated that higher levels of physical activity of at least moderate intensity — equal to brisk walking — are associated with [improving] many cardiovascular disease risk factors, regardless of the amount of time these children spent sedentary,” he said.

For example, those children who belonged to the most active group had a smaller waist than those in the least active group, he said.

“In adults, this difference is associated with an about 15 percent increased relative risk of premature death,” Ekelund said.

The type of activity is not important as long as the intensity is at least equal to brisk walking, Ekelund said. Possibilities include outdoor play, bicycling, dancing, aerobics, walking and playing team sports.

However, the positive benefits of exercise don’t necessarily counteract the harmful effects of a couch-potato lifestyle, he said. “There may be specific sedentary behaviors, such as TV viewing, that impose health risks as TV viewing is linked to other unhealthy behaviors [such as snacking]. Therefore, limiting TV time is still important for children’s health and well-being,” Ekelund said.

The report was published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, the researchers pooled information from 14 studies involving more than 20,000 children, aged 4 to 18, obtained from an international children’s database. A motion sensor measured total activity and time spent sedentary and in moderate and vigorous intensity activity. The actual activities they engaged in were not recorded.

Overall, three-quarters of the children were of normal weight, 18 percent were overweight and 7 percent were obese. They spent an average of 30 minutes per day in some form of moderate to vigorous exercise and 354 minutes a day — or nearly six hours — sedentary.

Boys and girls who exercised more than 35 minutes a day had lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, lower triglycerides and were thinner than children who exercised less than 18 minutes a day, Ekelund’s group noted.

Average waist size differed by more than two inches between the most active and least active children and teens. And those with the largest waist size at the study’s start were the least active at two years’ follow-up.

Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator of the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., said that “there is absolutely no reason for our children to be fat, sedentary and at risk for cardiovascular disease.”

“Exercise, in whatever form it takes, is fantastic for children and teens — and adults,” she said.

Even children who are not cut out for competitive sports, have the innate need to be physically active, Heller said.

“Parents and caregivers need to limit tech time — computers, iPads, texting, TV — and let kids be kids, running around playing,” she said.

Grown-ups must get involved too, Heller said. “They can jump rope, play tag and throw the Frisbee with the children. Kids will do better in school, develop social skills, enhance coordination, [and] be happier and healthier for it.”

Not Enough Kids Drink Low-Fat Milk

Drinking milk is important for children’s bone health, but CDC experts advise that although young people need the calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients found in milk, children aged 2 and older should consume low-fat milk and milk products to avoid unnecessary fat and calories.

The research, published in a CDC report titled “Low-fat Milk Consumption Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2007-2008,” showed that about 73 percent of children and teens drink milk, but only about 20 percent of them say they usually drink low-fat milk (skim or 1 percent).

Meanwhile, the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also revealed that about 45 percent drink reduced-fat milk (2 percent) and 32 percent reported they drink whole milk regularly.

Older children and teens drink low-fat milk more often than younger children. Although 13 percent of kids aged 2 to 5 usually drink low-fat milk, 21 percent of kids aged 6 to 11 years said they do, along with 23 percent of teens aged 12 to 19.

Ethnicity and income also seem to play a role in the type of milk children consume. White children drink low-fat milk more often than black or Hispanic children. About 28 percent of the white participants said low-fat milk was their usual milk type, compared to just 5 percent of blacks and 10 percent of Hispanics. Meanwhile, children and teens in the highest income category reported drinking low-fat milk more often than those in the lowest income group.

In summary, the authors of the report wrote: “The overall low consumption of low-fat milk suggests the majority of children and adolescents do not adhere to recommendations by Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and the American Academy of Pediatrics for all children aged 2 years and over to drink low-fat milk. Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Lets Move!’ campaign and ‘The Surgeon Generals Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010’ have recommended promoting water and low-fat milk and reducing sugar-sweetened beverages as components of comprehensive obesity prevention strategies.”