How Diabetes Affects The Human Body

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Diabetes has become an epidemic in America. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 29 million people live with diabetes in this country. The number is staggering, considering that another 8 million are estimated to have diabetes but are undiagnosed. To grasp the enormity of diabetes and its effects on the body, one only has to realize that the disease is caused by the way the body processes sugar in the bloodstream. Therefore, diabetes can have a massive effect on just about any part of the body.

Diabetes can either be Type 1–diagnosed in early childhood when the pancreas doesn’t process insulin properly–or Type 2, which is most common. In Type 2 diabetes, the sufferer has insulin resistance, meaning any sugar intake is overflow that spills into the bloodstream and overwhelms the cells. When this happens over a period of time, blood vessels begin to accumulate a fatty buildup, meaning blood can’t flow properly. In this way, diabetes affects the legs and extremities, and those who have severe diabetes sometimes lose their feet or legs.

The disease can also affect the teeth and gums, digestive system, and kidneys. Symptoms can include dizziness, severe thirst or dehydration, frequent urination, and frequent bladder issues. Gums may develop lesions and bleed easily, and gum disease is a common complaint among sufferers.

It’s important for anyone diagnosed with diabetes to consult a doctor regularly about what they can do to minimize health risks. This usually includes regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, and practicing self care.

Exercise

Daily exercise is important to get the heart rate up and increase blood flow through the body. It’s also helpful to keep weight down, as people who are overweight are more at risk for diabetes and the risks involved. Cardio, such as swimming, which is a great calorie burner, can be great exercise for the heart and blood pressure. It’s also a great form of exercise for people with chronic pain or mobility issues because the weightlessness of water takes pressure off the joints and makes movement easier. A great step toward managing your diabetes is to find an accessible pool near you, and start swimming 2-3 times per week.

Diet

You’ll need to ask your doctor about what’s right for you, but most diabetes sufferers find that they need to cut refined sugars out of their diet: white bread, white rice, soda, and pasta are some of the things to avoid. Whole grains are the best bet, along with fresh vegetables and certain fruits. Those living with diabetes also need to watch their water intake and make sure they’re getting enough every day.

Self-care

Self-care can be anything from pampering yourself once in awhile with a massage to making time to sit and read a book to de-stress, and it’s important to make sure you’re doing things to take care of yourself. Diabetes can affect the skin, leaving dry, scaly patches on hands and feet, so make sure you’re using a soothing ointment that absorbs easily. Leaving areas moist–such as between toes or under the arms–can lead to infection easily.

Making sure your body is well taken care of is essential when you live with a disease like diabetes. Consult your doctor to make sure you’re doing all you can to live your best life.

About the author:
Helen Carter co-created SelfExam after her friend’s sister received a cancer diagnosis at a young age. She aims to spread awareness about cancer prevention and strives hard to offer support to those battling cancer
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How Upcoming Changes to Medicare Might Affect You

If you are already a Medicare recipient or if you are going to become eligible for Medicare soon, you should be aware of the changes the national health insurance program will be facing during 2017. Available for those with disabilities, end-stage kidney disease, and U.S. residents who are 65 years of age or older, Medicare is a complicated program that can change significantly from one year to the next. The most significant changes impact your out-of-pocket expenses. You are going to see higher premiums, higher copays, and higher deductibles in most cases plus you may see limitations on therapy services.

Higher Deductibles and Higher Copays for Medicare Part B

While some of the most obvious changes to Medicare that impact everyone includes an increase in premiums and higher deductibles. The average increase of premiums is about $4 per month, making the average premium about $109 each month. This is an increase of about 4% for most Medicare enrollees. The Part B deductible was $147 in 2015 and rose to $166 in 2016. It will increase to $183 for 2017.

Changes to Medicare Part A Include Premium Increases

Medicare Part A is designed to cover the costs of hospitalization. If you are like the majority of enrollees, you don’t have to pay a premium of Part A. People who haven’t earned 40 quarters of work history are required to pay premiums for Part A coverage. Those premiums are increasing as well. If you have less than 40 quarters of work history, but more than 30 quarters of work history, your premium will be $227 per month during 2017, which is up $1 from 2016. If you are among those who have less than 30 quarters of work history, the premium is increasing from $411 during 2016 to $413 during 2017.

Higher Prescription Drug Plan Costs

If you are an enrollee who has a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, you can expect to see an increase of about 9%, which will average $42.10 monthly during 2017 if you keep the same plan you had during 2016. While premiums vary from plan to plan, the top 10 plans range in costs from $16.81 to $71.66 each month. The maximum allowable deductible for Part D plans was $360 during 2016, but will increase to $400 during 2017, which is about 7%.

Medicare Advantage Premiums Decrease

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan you can expect to see your premiums decrease. The average premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be around $31.40 per month during 2017, which is a 4% decrease from 2016. These premiums are in addition to Medicare Part B premiums. Medicare Advantage plans sometimes offer additional benefits, such as dental and vision coverage, and there are more plans that offer extra benefits during 2017.

Therapy Cap

In 2017, the Medicare therapy cap is once again increasing. The therapy cap applies to all outpatient therapy, including speech-language pathology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. This cap includes the 80% that is paid by Medicare and the patient copay. The therapy caps are increasing by 20%. This means the physical therapy and speech-language pathology combined therapy cap is $1,980. The cap for occupational therapy is $1,980. Once you have reached the caps, there is a process for medically necessary therapy costs as high as $3,700. A manual review process can be performed for medically necessary therapy that cost more than $3,700.

Stay Informed

You should always stay current on the changes to Medicare, so you will be aware of how your medical needs and costs are going to be impacted. It is not uncommon to see changes made to Medicare coverage each year, so always watch for your updated benefits guide and read it so you will know how the changes are going to affect you. Most changes impact how much you will be paying out of pocket, so it is detrimental that you understand what is happening so you can prepare yourself for the additional expense. If you have any questions about your coverage, call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. You can also learn more by visiting www.Medicare.gov .

This article was written by the Outreach Team at Disability Benefits Help. They provide information about disability benefits and the application process. To learn more, please visit their website at http://www.disability-benefits-help.org or by contacting them at help@ssd-help.org.

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How a Humidifier Can Help Your Allergies

Do you suffer from allergies? You might come to really dislike when the seasons change and there is more pollen floating around. Even if you close up your house for days, there are still allergens lurking in your home that can irritate your nasal passages.

One possible solution: Buy a humidifier instead of popping allergy medication endlessly.

Humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air at a certain moment. The level of humidity in the air plays a major factor in how allergies affect us. More humid air can help with your allergies and also can reduce the number of dust mites in the air in your home.

Dust mites produce waste like all living creatures, and they produce enzymes that can be carried in the air in your home and cause your allergies to flare.

How Dry Air Hurts Your Allergies

Dry air is not good for your allergies because it is irritating to the nasal passages and can cause a sinus infection. Dry air can make your body produce more mucus, which can be dangerous if you also have asthma.

How a Humidifier Helps

Having a good balance of humidity in the air can help keep your sinuses free of mucus. Having nasal passages that are clear means that your body will be more able to get rid of allergens that you are faced with each day.

Humidifiers also have been proven to be helpful for those who suffer from sinusitis.

Having a humidifier in the home is also good for the cold and flu season. This is especially the case if you have children and do not want to give them over the counter medications. With a good humidifier, you can have fewer runny noses, sore throats, and coughing among your little ones, and who doesn’t love that?

Using Your Humidifier Properly

If you want your humidifier to work right and last, you need to make sure it stays clean and free of bacteria. Also, keep an eye on the humidity in your home and ensure it is between 30-50%. Also, any water that you put into the unit should be clean.

If water that has sat in the reservoir starts to grow fungi and bacteria, those allergens are sent into the air the next time you turn it on, and that’s not good! An ultrasonic humidifier like the one listed below boils the water and destroys these and creates a fine, pure mist.

Our Vicks humidifier at BPIMedicalSupply.com will help to keep the air in your home moist, which can lead to a reduction in allergy symptoms. Try it today!

Joseph Pickett is a writer and editor from San Antonio TX. His website is www.josephmpickett.com
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4 Summer Allergy Tips To Prevent Sneezing and Wheezing

SneezeSummer is in full swing, if you have not already noticed. The weather is toasty and that means plenty of Americans head outside to enjoy the outdoors.

Unfortunately, summer is also the prime time for seasonal allergies, and many people have difficulty breathing normally due to the heat, humidity and pollen.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions you can try to cut down and even entirely eliminate the wheezing and sneezing of allergies in the summer. Try these natural solutions that do not cause any drowsiness, as so many medications do:

#1 Clean Is Not Always What You Want

Most of us want to have a clean house and that is entirely normal and healthy. That said, being exposed to some dirt and germs is actually a good thing for our immune systems. So while you want your house to be relatively free of dust and dirt, having it a bit less than perfectly clean actually can help you ward off some allergies.

#2 Replace That Pillow

If you are sneezing and wheezing this summer, one of the key things to change is your pillow. If where you rest your head each night has not been replaced or washed, it now weighs more than when you bought it. It probably is loaded with dust mites that are right next to your face for eight hours per night.

Allergy sufferers should use hypoallergenic pillows and not down pillows. Also use a zippered pillow protector that you wash weekly.

#3 Hypoallergenic Dogs Don’t Exist

Honeywell HEPA Air PurifierHypoallergenic pets are one of the latest crazes; dogs that don’t shed hair such as poodles are considered by some people to be fine for people with allergies. However, there is simply no scientific evidence that ‘hypoallergenic’ breeds produce less Can f1, which is the most common allergen that dogs carry. If you do have pets, try an air purifier with a HEPA filter to rid the air of allergens and pet dander.

Limit your exposure to pets and never allow them in your bed.

#4 Get Rid of Carpet

Hardwood and tile are much better choices for your home if you suffer from allergies. While some people like carpet, it collects tremendous amounts of dirt, dust and other gunk that can stuff up your respiratory system.

You also should use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to ensure you suck up as much dust, pollen and pet dander as possible.

Allergy sufferers often suffer from dry nasal passages due to nasal drying medications and various allergy remedies. Our Cann-Ease Nasal Moisturizer is the original nasal moisturizing gel. Works on contact and provides you with immediate, moisturizing relief. Try it now!

Joseph Pickett is a writer, editor in San Antonio TX. His website is www.josephmpickett.com.
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A Guide to Bathroom Safety

The bathroom is widely regarded as a place where you can spend some time alone and enjoy a relaxing shower to wash the daily stresses away. However, if you share your home with a senior or a disabled person, then it can be one of the most dangerous rooms for them.

Did you know that over 400 people die in bathtubs every year? Also, thousands of seniors slip and fall in bathrooms which lead to painful and serious injuries. As a result, it is essential that you make a few alterations to their bathrooms so that vulnerable family members are well protected and taken care of. By making a few slight changes, you can make their bathroom time more enjoyable, knowing that they will not slip, fall or have an embarrassing accident which will also give them the piece of mind they deserve.

Safety Grab Bars

Mommy's Helper Safe-er-Grip Suction Balance Assist Bar - 24?

One of the easiest things that you can quickly install is a safety grab bar which will provide support. The best place to install these grab bars are next to the toilet and inside the shower. The reason being is that as a senior or disabled person tries to get off the toilet, he or she may not have the strength to do so. A support bar will help provide the support needed. Also, in the shower, it is quite easy to slip on the tiles due to the presence of soap and water. The bar would be extremely useful in the shower to grab onto to avoid slipping or falling.

Shower Chairs

 

Another fantastic piece of equipment that you can use in the shower is a bath or shower chair. There are numerous types of portable and foldable shower chairs that you can choose from to fit any type of shower. By adding one of these chairs to the shower, it will greatly help anyone to sit and better enjoy the water.

If you have a senior or disabled person who is particular about retaining their independence and bathing on their own, this is a safer way to shower. It is essential that we accommodate for this desire as every human being, no matter what their age or disability may be, deserves to have their privacy and dignity for as long as possible.

Raised Toilet Seat

Drive 2 in 1 Elevated Raised Toilet Seat w/ Removable Arms

Raised toilet seats with safety frames are another way that you can improve the safety and comfort of the bathroom. As mentioned previously, a grab bar should be placed above the toilet. However, if someone you love suffers from limited mobility, you should also install a raised toilet seat. This will raise the seating position by about 3 to 6 inches, which can making using the toilet a lot easier. There is even an option on some of these to install with removable arms on the sides of the seat for even more comfort and ease of use.

Bathing and Shower Aids

You can install a variety of shower aids to make the showering process easier and safer. Some of these aids include a handheld shower spray, portable bath step, hair wash and rinse tray. The bath mats can prevent slips and falls as this is the most common injury that occurs in the shower.

These are just a few ways that you can alter a bathroom in order to make it safer and easier to use for any senior or disabled family member. Remember, it is our responsibility to love and care for those who are vulnerable and by doing so, will make their lives safer, happier and more fulfilling.

Jeff Wise is a health care professional who specializes in senior care. If you are looking for premium in-home care for your loved one, visit Miami Home Care Services today.

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Mobility Aids that Actually Help You Move

mobility bpi

With a huge selection of mobility aids to choose from, BPI Medical Supply has everything you need to get up, shift directions, sit down and get around in comfort.

Medical Supplies That Make a Difference: Mobility Aids

We know there are many medical equipment suppliers that claim to carry quality products. Unfortunately, they often carry items that are subpar and not what patients or elderly care assistants actually need. BPI Medical Supply has every mobility aid you could need and we stand behind our products. From orthopedic oxygen carts, stools and padded slings to orthopedic step stools with convenient handles- we have it all!

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Caring for Your Catheter

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Maintain Urinary Health with a Catheter

For many people, a catheter is a vital aspect of everyday living. Being a catheter user means making sure it is properly cleaned on a daily basis to ensure that you do not develop an infection.
Before you clean your catheter, wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Use a mild soap and a clean washcloth to thoroughly, but gently, clean the urinary opening. Men need to clean the penis and if necessary, pull back the foreskin to clean the area. Women should clean front to back and part the labia for a proper cleaning.

Clean the catheter from where it enters your body and all the way down. Rinse and dry the area you have cleaned.

To order your replacement catheters, seek out BPI Medical Supply. Your health is our priority!

 

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Finding The Best Home Healthcare Supplies

BPI Medical Supply

Caring for yourself or a loved one in your home can seem daunting. There are many Home health care products available to help you. We are a trusted source for all your needs and carry only the highest quality products.

Hard To Find Medical Supplies

Often respiratory care items are difficult to locate. Luckily we offer a myriad of CPAP machines, CPAP Masks and headgear. Another common ailment is diabetes, which we offer plenty of diabetic supplies to fit your needs. Bathroom safety should be a top priority to keep your loved ones safe in the bathroom. There are many products available to ensure a fall never happens. Our site is easy to use and our prices can’t be beat.

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Medtronic Tracheostomy Tubes Under Recall

Medtronic this week voluntarily recalled more than 70,000 tracheostomy tubes for babies and children. There were reports that some patients were having a hard time breathing with the tubes.

medtronic

Several hundred adverse events were reported that involved the Covidien Shiley tube since 2012. It was at that time that the product was changed to give it a different angle. Changing back to tracheostomy tubes with the old design seemed to resolve the issue, Medtronic stated.

Medtronic told the media that it has enough tubes made before 2012 to meet the demand for the eight types of tube under recall. The firm began to notify health care organizations in early May that they should cease use of the tubes.

FDA reported that many of the adverse events related to the tube suddenly experiencing a loss of air pressure. In early March, for example, there was an unexpected deflation with a patient who was on a ventilator in an ICU.

Medtronic added this week that there were 12 serious injuries to patients, which is what led to the recall. The patients experienced difficulty breathing, which had an immediate impact on oxygen levels. However, the spokesman for the firm stated that ‘a serious patient injury’ is defined merely as ‘discomfort,’ and that there were no reports of any permanent impairment of patients.

BPI Medical Supply features many types of Tracheostomy tubes and tracheostomy supplies that are safe and well tested to guarantee your safety.

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Tips for Home Tracheostomy Care

If you or a loved one has had a tracheostomy and has been released to go home, you will need to know how to take care of it. Here are some tips to remember:

#1 Make Appointment with Your Doctor!

You should have regular follow up appointments with your doctor each month to check how the tracheostomy tube is doing. Generally, we recommend that you see your doctor the first week after you leave the hospital.

Also, have an appointment set up each month to change the entire tracheostomy tube, including the inner and outer cannula. This will reduce chances of infection.

#2 Recognize Warning Signs

You should call your doctor right away if you see any of this happening:

  • Smelly mucus coming from the tracheostomy.
  • Bright red blood and mucus.
  • A significant increase in the amount of mucus or a change in color, especially brown or green.
  • Skin that is red and inflamed around the stoma.
  • If you feel especially hot or cold, check your temperature. You should go to the doctor if your temperature is 101 F or above.

#3 Watch Your Diet

What you can eat and how much depends upon your exact medical condition and the tracheostomy you have. Some people cannot eat at all and will be fed with a feeding tube. In such a case, you mat eat some foods, but you should only do so if it is safe to swallow.

Have a careful discussion about this with your doctor. You and your doctor will determine if, how and what you are able to eat.

If you can eat with the tracheostomy, try to sit up as straight as you can when eating. Deflate your tracheostomy cuff while eating, and use a cap on the tube. Doing so makes it easier to swallow.

#4 Keep the Airway Moist

Humidity is required to keep your airway tissue moist. If you do not have enough moisture in your environment, you may get dry, crusty secretions that can block the airway. You may want to have a humidifier for the air in your house.

Be sure to check out our popular tracheostomy supplies, including the DeVilbiss Vacu-Aide Portable Suction Pump w/ Rechargeable Battery

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