Tag Archives: Straight No Chaser

National Asthma Awareness Month

Introduction

It’s National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month! Let’s get up to speed with some information provided by the American Lung Association.

Asthma Awareness Month 2019

Every year Asthma Awareness Month is recognized in May. It supports the more than 25 million Americans who may experience asthma symptoms during the peak asthma and allergy season. Unfortunately, this total includes 6.2 million children. Sadly, there is no cure for asthma. However, the good news is that with proper management, you or your loved one with asthma can live a normal, healthy life.

asthma statistics

Asthma Basics

What really happens during an asthma attack? What makes asthma symptoms worse? Also, if you can’t breathe, what do you do?  The more you can learn about asthma, the better you and your loved ones can manage living with this chronic lung disease. Take this free online course Asthma Basics from the American Lung Association to learn what you need to know. This includes the following:

  • Recognize and manage triggers like allergens, the environment, behaviors and respiratory infections.
  • Understand the importance of creating an Asthma Action Plan. Know what to do when asthma symptoms occur!
  • Know how to respond to a breathing emergency.

This learning module is perfect for adults with asthma, parents of children with asthma, healthcare providers, coaches, teachers and school nurses.

Easy Asthma Management Tips

Gain a good understanding of asthma triggers. Everyone can play a part to create asthma-friendly spaces. Together we can ensure that those living with asthma breathe easier. Additionally, we have resources and tools to better manage asthma year-round. Start with these six steps to help keep asthma under control.

There’s More!

Read these Straight, No Chaser posts for additional information on asthma.

asthma awareness month

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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It’s National Women’s Health Week. Get Healthy!

Introduction

National Women's Health Week

It’s National Women’s Health Week! The life expectancy data already tell the story: women are better at health than men. Still, National Women’s Health Week serves as a time for women to refocus. Use this week to take steps to improve your health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health has led National Women’s Health Week for twenty years. Let’s look at some recommended steps that promote better health for women.

Simple steps for better health

Use these links to Straight, No Chaser and Office of Women’s Health posts that embody the fundamentals of good health!

What’s the best approach?

National Women's Health Week

Reflect on your health goals. Identify what you believe works for you. Consult with your physician. Use this online tool to uncover personalized tips to help you take the next step on your health journey. Get started today!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Your Monthly Healthcare in a Minute Business Update

Introduction

Welcome to “Healthcare in a Minute” – a new monthly Straight, No Chaser feature that focuses on the business of medicine. We welcome prominent healthcare consultant George Chapman to our contributor panel. George can be visited at gwchapmanconsulting.com.
healthcare in a minute

Strategic Direction For Your Healthcare Business

healthcare in a minute

Medicare For All

Thanks in large part to Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, “Medicare For All” (or universal healthcare) has become a hotly debated topic for the 2020 campaign. Detractors/skeptics have focused primarily on its impact on taxes. However, here’s some food for thought as the debate rages on. US taxes on wages/income are relatively low compared to countries that have their own versions of Medicare For All. Our system of taxation is a “progressive” system, whereby wealthiest pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than middle and lower class taxpayers. Workers in England, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada are all covered by universal care. Unfortunately, the American worker has health insurance contributions/responsibilities deducted directly from his/her paycheck. Additional expenses like deductibles and copays are additional, out-of-pocket costs to consumers.

So, unlike taxes on wages, healthcare premiums are NOT progressive. The lowest and middle wage earners pay the same per month as the highest wage earners. Consequently, the lower your wage/income, the higher your healthcare premium as a percentage of income. For example, a US worker earning $43,000 a year pays an average of 37% in both taxes and health premiums. In high tax Finland, at the same earnings, a worker pays 23% in taxes which includes healthcare. Moving towards a universal system would make healthcare costs more “progressive” for most Americans. No matter where you stand in this debate, healthcare “premiums” must be considered as a “tax” already being paid by the American worker.

(For a Straight, No Chaser take on Medicare for All, read this post.)

Healthcare Drug Fraud

The Department of Justice recently convicted Phillip Esformes, a Florida skilled nursing facility owner, of over $1.3 BILLION in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid. Patients were referred to his shabby facilities, where they received inadequate or unnecessary treatment. He bribed both physicians and regulators in order to defraud. He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the US government, kickbacks, money laundering and obstruction of justice. This is the largest healthcare fraud scheme to date.

In another fraud case, drug manufacturer Questor, recently acquired by Mallinckrodt,  is accused of bribing physicians to unnecessarily prescribe “H.P. Acthar Gel.” This product treats infant seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The price per vial went from $40 in 2000 to………..$39,000 today.  If you’re doing the math, that’s a 97,000 percent increase. Medicare alone has spent $2 billion on the gel over the last several years. It’s notable that this was a whistleblower case. Also, the “fraud police” tend to only get involved in these cases when they are fairly certain of success. If convicted, Mallinckrodt would have to pay back what was deceitfully billed, plus another $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim.

Opioid Strike Force

In a continuing crackdown on illegal prescribing, the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force charged sixty defendants for crimes related to the illicit distribution of millions of opioids in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama. Among the accused are 31 physicians, 7 pharmacists and 8 Nurse Practitioners. One pharmacy in Dayton, Ohio dispensed over 1.75 million pills. A physician in Kentucky left pre-signed, blank prescriptions with his office staff so they could continue the illicit scheme when he was absent. A physician in Tennessee, self- described as the “Rock Doc’, literally prescribed over 1.5 million pills. Not to be outdone, another physician in Tennessee prescribed over 4.2 million opioids. In 2017, there were over 70,000 deaths due to drug overdosing. 47,000 deaths, or two thirds, were due to opioids.   

Primary Care Spending Low

A basic tenet of healthcare is that primary care management improves overall health outcomes and lowers costs. Researchers at the RAND corporation studied 16 million Medicare claims and found that primary care accounts for less than 5% of total Medicare spending on physicians, hospitals/facilities, supplies and drugs.  For the study, “primary care” included: family practitioners, internists, gynecologists, geriatricians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  Clearly, there is plenty of room for  more investment in primary care. One way is to pay providers more for primary care services which would  encourage more medical students to specialize in primary care.

Rural ERs Busier

Per a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, visits to rural emergency departments are up over 50% in recent years. This is occurring despite the fact that many rural hospitals are in danger of closing. Visits to urban/suburban emergency departments for the same time are up just 5%. Non-Hispanic white patients 18-64, Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured lead the charge. Rural hospitals are increasingly becoming the safety net providers in their markets. Increased ER visits, especially in rural areas, can somewhat be attributed to the shortage of primary care physicians that is much more endemic to rural areas. Too often, rural residents use emergency rooms due to limited primary care options.

Chronic Diseases Costly

The annual cost of chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s is staggering. According to a report by Fitch Solutions, this cost is $3.8 trillion a year in direct and indirect costs. That is almost 20% of our GDP. Notably, the cost could double in the next 30 years as baby boomers age and live longer. Indirect costs include lost productivity, early retirement and premature mortality.

Telehealth Spending Up

Two of the necessary three factors for acceptance by physicians are in place and pushing the use of telemedicine. The first factor is the physician shortage. Telehealth gives overwhelmed physicians another tool to handle their heavy patient loads, as not everyone has to be seen in the office. The second factor is consumer preference, especially among younger patients who are very comfortable using technology. The third factor for overall acceptance of telehealth by physicians is insurance payments. They are getting better, but not quite there yet.

While the majority of specialties are just beginning to feel comfortable with telehealth, it has been incorporated into radiology, dermatology, psychiatry and cardiology for years. Medicare (CMS) is planning to boost telehealth benefits next year. Typically, commercial carriers follow suit.  In the meantime, Humana is about to roll out a virtual primary care model called “On Hand” through the telehealth company “Doctor on Demand”. The plan offers members access to a dedicated primary care physician, urgent care and behavioral health through video visits, all at a relatively low monthly payment. Interested employers see this as a way to save money and reduce employee absences. There is no co-pay for the virtual visits.

George W. Chapman, MBA

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

American Stroke Awareness Month

Introduction

May is American Stroke Awareness Month! Here is information to keep you better informed, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Accordingly, it is a major cause of serious disability for adults. About 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year. This represents one every 40 seconds.  Get more quick facts about stroke.

Stroke is preventable. You may be able to prevent stroke or lower your chances of having a stroke.

Stroke Awareness Facts

Stroke is treatable. Learn the signs of stroke, and call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone might be having a stroke. Getting fast treatment is important to preventing death and disability from stroke.

Straight, No Chaser Supports Stroke Awareness

Spot a Stroke

Read the following posts for additional information on strokes.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

April is STD Awareness Month

Introduction

STD Awareness Month

Yes, April is STD Awareness Month, but you need knowledge that will keep you protected year round. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the frequency of sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) have  surged across the U.S. Since 2013, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have all sharply increased. In fact, there were more than two million of these infections reported in 2017 alone.

Today, we face several challenges based on rising rates of STDs. There is a climbing number of babies born with syphilis in the U.S. Also, there is an increasing risk of infertility.  Rates of contracting or giving HIV are on the rise. Furthermore, the looming threat of untreatable gonorrhea has become an unavoidable conversation.

Despite these trends, we’re here to tell you that much of this is preventable and treatable. There are many ways to prevent STDs. Fortunately, most infections are curable. Furthermore, all are treatable – however, do you really want to let things get to that point?

Straight, No Chaser

STD by age 25

Review these blog posts to bring yourselves up-to-date on knowledge of some of the more frequent STDs. Let’s be smart. Be safe. Be STD/STI free.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month – Get Active!

Introduction

Diverse hands stacked on top of one another

April is National Minority Health Month. In this Straight, No Chaser post, we discuss what you can do to get active and stay healthy. Thank you to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) for providing this valuable information.

“Without health and long life, all else fails.”
– Dr. Booker T. Washington

Dr. Booker T. Washington recognized that health is the key to progress and equity in all other things. Accordingly, he proposed the observance of “National Negro Health Week” in April 1915. He called on local health departments, schools, churches, businesses, professional associations and the most influential organizations in the African-American community to “pull together” and “unite… in one great National Health Movement.” That observance grew into what is today a month-long initiative: National Minority Health Month. This effort seeks to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities.

In this post, we will focus on the contribution of physical activity. It is one of the best things people can do to improve their health. In general, too few Americans get the recommended amount of daily activity. In fact, only 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 high school students fully meet physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. These numbers are even lower among adults in some racial and ethnic minority populations.

Physical activity promotes health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Importantly, these conditions are often more common and more severe among racial and ethnic minority groups. Physical activity also fosters normal growth and development in children. Also, it improves mental health and can make people feel, function and sleep better.

How much physical activity do I need?

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans standards outline the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health. It also points the way forward to reducing the risk of chronic disease. The guidelines recommend that each week, adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity. Examples of this level include something as simple as a brisk walk that makes your heart beat faster. There are many ways to get this amount. How about a 22-minute walk each day? Could you do a 30-minute walk five days a week? Every little bit counts.

How much physical activity do children need?

Preschool-aged children should do physical activity every day throughout the day. This is important for healthy growth and development. Starting at age 6, children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity daily. Remember: children imitate adults. You can start them by adding physical activity to your own daily routine. Encourage your child to join you!

How can communities help people stay active?

Communities can create easy and safe options for physical activity. These can help every American be more active where they live, learn, work, and play. The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program is a CDC program that focuses on reducing chronic disease for specific racial and ethnic groups. The program spams urban, rural, and tribal communities with high disease burden across the United States. REACH has demonstrated that locally based and culturally tailored efforts can be effective in closing health gaps.

How can I help people become more physically active?

National Minority Health Month logo

 

This year’s National Minority Health Month theme this year is “Active and Healthy”. You can advance health equity by sharing why physical activity matters and the benefits of physical activity. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans outline the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health. It also shows how to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Additionally, the Move Your Way campaign provides resources to help further explain the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Share and embrace this information. Furthermore, in your own life, be the message!

There’s More!

Visit these Straight, No Chaser posts for more information on minority health during National Minority Health Month.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness

Introduction

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month (and Neglect Prevention Month). Therefore, Straight, No Chaser, with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is offering up information and resources. Let’s increase you knowledge and offer better protection for the children you love. Children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Make a point of learning how to prevent child abuse and neglect before it begins!

Child Abuse Prevention

Father hugging child and smiling

Facts about Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse and neglect are significant public health problems in the United States:

  • In 2017, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect.
  • Also, about 674,000 children were identified as victims of child abuse or neglect by child protective service agencies in 2017.
  • Furthermore, an estimated one in four children have experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives.

Child Abuse and Neglect Are Preventable

child abuse prevention and awareness

Children’s lives are shaped by their experiences, including what happens in their environment and the types of relationships they have with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Children who experience abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are also at increased risk for negative health consequences and certain chronic diseases as adults. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are essential to preventing child abuse and neglect. Additionally, policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can help prevent such abuse and neglect.

Resources for Prevention

national child abuse prevention month

CDC works to prevent child abuse and neglect before it begins.

Visit CDC’s VetoViolence website for free violence prevention trainings, tools, and resources.

There’s More!

Visit these Straight, No Chaser posts for more information on Child Abuse

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

How CBD Oil Might Help You Sleep

Introduction

Have you ever considered CBD oil for sleep? To discuss the topic, we invite to the Straight, No Chaser contributor panel researcher Samantha Kent.

cbd oil sleep

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, most people who struggle with it will try nearly anything. If you struggle with sleep, you know that. A product that is newer on the market might be something you haven’t tried yet – CBD oil.

CBD is the non-psychotropic cannabinoid (meaning it doesn’t make you “high”) that is often derived from cannabis sativa, known to the layman as hemp. It works with the human body’s endocannabinoid receptors to produce a mild sedative effect. This effect helps to calm down a lot of the body’s stress reactions, such as anxiety, stress, and pain.

By reducing the prevalence of these reactions, these products might be helpful for you and your sleep cycle. They come in a variety of styles, from oils to vapes to snacks, in order to be right for you and your lifestyle.

Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety

Because of the mild sedative effect that CBD creates within your system, when you use CBD products, you are less likely to feel the racing heart and racing thoughts that come along with anxiety.

Since anxiety is one of the most common causes of sleeplessness, this can help you to avoid these problems at bedtime, making it easier for you to fall asleep without going over everything embarrassing you’ve done in your life.

Promote Healthy Release of Melatonin

If you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep, you might have a problem with the amount of melatonin that your body is releasing throughout the night. Melatonin is the hormone that allows you to feel sleepy. The more often it is released, the more likely you are to stay asleep throughout the night.

CBD makes it easier for your body to produce that hormone, making it easier for you to sleep well. The longer you sleep, the more likely you are to get REM sleep when your body does the most healing and deals with your memories. This will have a huge impact on how you feel the next day.

Reduce Pain

Pain is another reason that many people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. When you get more sleep, your body is less likely to be in pain. When you use CBD products, The sedative effect and its reactions in the other parts of your body have been found to reduce inflammation and other pain.

Not only can this reduce the amount of prescription medications that you need to take for the pain, but it will also reduce the side effects that you experience from them, making it easier for you to avoid the other problems that can come along with these medicines.

It’s also completely legal no matter where you are, thanks to most of them not having any THC in it (THC is the part of cannabis that does make you high). Make sure that you know what you are taking and that you are not ordering a product with THC if you aren’t expecting it. It can, however, interact with other medicines that you take, especially if those medicines are for issues with your liver or kidney. Therefore, be sure to talk to a doctor before adding it to your bedtime routine.

Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face. 

Straight, No Chaser Comment

The science on cannabidiol as a sleep supplement is mixed. There is evidence suggesting it helps and other evidence suggesting it doesn’t. If your current efforts aren’t getting it done, give it a try. If it works for you, great!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Guide

Introduction

Sexual Assault Awareness

It’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. For as much as we don’t like having the conversation, we need to have the conversation. This Straight, No Chaser post offers you information that provides knowledge and empowers you to protect yourself and get care should this tragic occur.

The Scope of Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Awareness Data

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,  one in three women and one in four men report being victims of sexual violence. Approximately one in five women are the victims of rape or an attempted rape.

Your Sexual Assault Awareness Guide

Read these Straight, No Chaser posts for a deep dive into the topic of sexual assault. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is exactly what’s needed to prevent and combat this ongoing terror.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Promoting Autism Awareness

Introduction

autism awareness

It’s National Autism Awareness Month. We want you to have accurate information about the spectrum of disorders.

Autism prevalence is now one in every 59 children in America. In June 2014, researchers estimated the lifetime cost of caring for an individual with autism is as great as $2.4 million. If you have family members on the autism spectrum, you need assistance.

In 2018, the ADDM autism prevalence report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 59 births in the United States. This rates was twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125. Identifying this explosion is a good thing in one regard. Placing focus on autism creates more urgency in addressing it. Autism awareness has also increased opportunities to provide support for families and individuals affected.

Do you or your family need help? Consider reaching out to great organizations like The Autism Society. Otherwise, you can simply ask your primary care physician for direction.

There’s More!

Autism awareness also requires knowledge. Here are two Straight, No Chaser posts that delve deeper into the autism spectrum disorders.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Eating healthy while traveling

Quick Tips to Eating Right While Traveling

Introduction

Before You Go, Pack Foods with Care

On the road again? Traveling can be exciting, educational, exhausting and energizing! Also, the food you enjoy while traveling can be delicious and memorable. However, culinary excursions while traveling can be a hazard to your health if food is not handled properly.

This month I will share some simple tips to help you eat right while traveling. Follow my blog for additional topics, that include food safety and seeking out healthy bites!

Clean your produce.

Rinse all fresh produce under running tap water before packing it in a cooler, including produce with peel-away skins or rinds.

Keep cold food cold. 

Place cold food in coolers with frozen gel packs or ice. Stashing it at 40°F or below prevents bacterial growth. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another since you are likely to grab beverages most often.

Keep hot food hot. 

That means your best bet when packing is to take a pass on hot food unless you have a portable heating unit that can be used safely.

Pack healthy, non-perishable snacks. 

No matter how you travel, you can keep eating healthfully with these simple options:

  • Whole or dried fruit.
  • Freeze-dried vegetables.
  • Nuts (pre-portioned into snack-size bags).
  • Nut butters (travel packs are great for planes).
  • Whole-grain pretzels, crackers and bread sticks.
  • Trail mix.
  • Snack bars. Look for bars made with whole grains, nuts and fruit with few added sugars.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. These come in handy washing your hands or other surfaces.

Need to Nibble?

  • Choose healthy snacks. These choices are easy to carry and are available in many gas station marts and most airport terminals:
    • Part-skim mozzarella cheese stick.
    • Whole-grain sandwich with lean meat, vegetables and mustard.
    • Salad with lean protein.
    • Fat-free latte.
    • Fruit cup.
    • Pre-cut veggies (paired with nut butter brought from home).
  • Road trip stops. There might be long stretches of road with limited options between cities, but road trips don’t have to cause a disruption in eating healthfully.
  • Markets. Pick up pre-washed/pre-cut vegetables, hummus, yogurt, sandwiches, salads and fruit with peels including oranges and bananas.
  • Sandwich shops. Choose whole-grain bread, extra vegetables and mustard instead of oil or mayo.
  • Drive-thru and casual restaurants. Focus on items that are grilled, steamed, broiled or baked instead of fried or sautéed. Consider salads with lean protein and a vinaigrette-based dressing, broth-based soups, oatmeal and eggs with whole-grain bread. If you’re craving comfort food, just watch your portions — stick to the basics such as a single burger patty without special sauces, kid-size sides and water instead of soda.

Rules to Always Remember

  • Clean your hands before you eat. Even if you don’t need to use the restroom, you’ll still want to wash away germs you picked up in the airport or train station. Wash with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Be safe with water. Water is regulated and tested throughout the U.S., but, when in doubt, don’t drink the tap or well water. This also goes for anything made with water, such as ice or fountain drinks. Stick with sealed, bottled beverages if you have any concerns about the local water supply.
  • Remember the two-hour rule. If you buy cold or hot food at the airport or train station, eat it within two hours of purchasing. After that, bacteria multiply. (In hot weather, the safe time limit is one hour.) Set a timer on your watch or phone to remind you.
  • Think before eating. On the plane, clean off your tray table with disinfectant wipes. Never set food directly on the tray table. If hot food is served on the plane or train, make sure it is, indeed, hot.

At Your Destination?

  • Don’t take a vacation from food safety rules. Fish, shellfish, meat and eggs are still unsafe to eat when raw, even at a fancy hotel.
  • At a hotel, ask for a room with a mini-fridge. Then visit the local market for grocery staples. That way you can eat breakfast in your room and keep healthful snacks on hand including hummus and yogurt.
  • Make instant oatmeal for breakfast. If you have a coffee maker, you can make instant oatmeal. Stir in dried fruit, nuts and milk for a satisfying start to the day.
  • Be cautious about continental breakfasts. Enjoy this complimentary meal option by choosing whole-grain cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk, fruit or yogurt.
  • Pass on street vendor foods. Though the aromas may be tempting, consider skipping food from unknown street vendors. The safest strategy is to stick to tried-and-true dining establishments.
  • Beware of buffets.  Buffets are a license to overeat! Before you grab a plate, walk around the buffet and decide your BEST choices. Steer clear of any food that’s served at room temperature — that’s within the temperature “danger zone” where bacteria can thrive. Aim to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter lean protein and one-quarter whole grains.

Enjoy your travel! Just don’t let it disrupt the rest of your life!

Sandra Gultry is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, specializing in nutrition & weight loss. She helps people who are suffering with losing weight and with the impact weight has on health, self-esteem, well-being and overall life. She can be reached here. Thank you, Sandra!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

It’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Introduction

For colorectal cancer awareness month, we go behind the frequent calls for you to get screened. Let’s review the data and remind you why the disease itself is so devastating. This 2018 data is provided courtesy of the National Cancer Institute. They are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Cancer of the Colon and Rectum

Illustration of lower digestive system.
Anatomy of the Lower Digestive System 

First things first: The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first six feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last six inches are the rectum and the anal canal.

Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer. When it begins in the rectum, it is called rectal cancer. Cancer that starts in either of these organs may also be called colorectal cancer.

How Common Is Colorectal Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, colorectal cancer is fairly common. It is the fourth ranked with respect to new cases. It is the second ranked in terms of deaths produced.

RankCommon Types of CancerEstimated New
Cases 2018
Estimated
Deaths 2018
1.Breast Cancer (Female)266,12040,920
2.Lung and Bronchus Cancer234,030154,050
3.Prostate Cancer164,69029,430
4.Colorectal Cancer140,25050,630
5.Melanoma of the Skin91,2709,320
6.Bladder Cancer81,19017,240
7.Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma74,68019,910
8.Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer65,34014,970
9.Uterine Cancer63,23011,350
10.Leukemia60,30024,370

Colorectal cancer represents 8.1% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

Colorectal cancer deaths

8.1%

For 2018, it was estimated that there would be 140,250 new cases of colorectal cancer and an estimated 50,630 people dying of this disease.

Prevalence of Colorectal Cancer

In 2015, there were an estimated 1,332,085 people living with colorectal cancer in the United States.

Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000

The number of new cases of colorectal cancer was 39.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 14.5 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2011-2015 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer

Approximately 4.2 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2013-2015 data.

Survival

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer?

Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

64.5%

Percent Surviving 5 Years: 64.5%

Based on data from SEER 18 2008-2014. The gray figures represent those who have died from colorectal cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Who Gets Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is more common in men than women and among those of African American descent. The number of new cases of colorectal cancer was 39.4 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 cases.

Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Colorectal Cancer

MALES
All Races45.2
White44.4
Black55.5
Asian/Pacific Islander39.3
American Indian/Alaska Native45.1
Hispanic39.7
Non-Hispanic46.2
FEMALES
All Races34.5
White34.0
Black41.9
Asian/Pacific Islander28.0
American Indian/Alaska Native39.2
Hispanic28.6
Non-Hispanic35.5

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Colorectal Cancer

Age RangePercent of New Cases
<200.2%
20-341.6%
35-444.4%
45-5415.0%
55-6422.6%
65-7424.3%
75-8420.6%
>8411.4%

Colorectal cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65-74.

Median Age At Diagnosis: 67

Survival: Who Dies From This Cancer?

For colorectal cancer, death rates increase with age. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The number of deaths was 14.5 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 deaths.

Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Colorectal Cancer

MALES
All Races17.3
White16.8
Black24.4
Asian/Pacific Islander12.1
American Indian/Alaska Native20.2
Hispanic14.7
Non-Hispanic17.6
FEMALES
All Races12.2
White11.9
Black16.1
Asian/Pacific Islander8.6
American Indian/Alaska Native13.6
Hispanic9.0
Non-Hispanic12.5

 

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Colorectal Cancer

Age RangePercent of Deaths
<200.0%
20-340.7%
35-442.6%
45-549.4%
55-6418.6%
65-7422.8%
75-8424.8%
>8421.0%

The percent of colorectal cancer deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.

Median Age At Death is 73

U.S. 2011-2015, All Races, Both Sexes

There’s More!

Read this Straight, No Chaser post on colorectal cancer screening. Please have this conversation with your physician. It could save your life.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Endometriosis Awareness Month Ribbon

Endometriosis Awareness Month

Introduction

It’s endometriosis awareness month, which I’m sure many of you know all too well.

endowhat

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many of these just don’t even make sense (well, they make medical sense, but not common sense…).

Take the example of endometriosis. Millions of women suffer from this condition, in which cells that are supposed to live and grow in the lining of the womb (uterus), migrate, implant and grow in other parts of the body. What does that mean to the woman? For starters, it means menstrual-type activity that normally occurs in the womb can occur elsewhere. That just seems cruel. In any event, here’s your what, how, why and what to do for endometriosis.

How?

If you understand that every month a woman’s menstrual period represents the shedding of cells from the inner lining of the womb lining, then you’re most of the way to understanding endometriosis. Endometriosis is the result of these shedded cells migrating, implanting and growing outside of the uterus.

Where?

endometriosis

Tissue that migrates from the womb (endometrial lining) most commonly implants onto the ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum and pelvic lining, although other locations are possible.

Who gets endometriosis?

endometriosis-2

You’re more likely to develop endometriosis if someone in your family (e.g., mother or sister) has it, if you started your periods at a young age, if you’ve never had children, if your periods are irregular (i.e., frequent or last more than seven days at a time) of if you have a closed hymen (vaginal opening).

What happens next?

endometlook

One oddity of these endometrial implants is they tend to stay affixed to their new areas in a way that didn’t occur in the womb. Because this is the tissue that is involved in menstruation, they can grow and bleed in conjunction with your menstrual cycle.

What are the symptoms?

Any, all or none of the following may occur. Actually, endometriosis may exist without symptoms. However, it’s most typically defined by pain.

  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Painful periods
  • Pelvic/low back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual and menstrual pain and/or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Intestines obstruction (blockage) or other abnormal functioning (rarely)

How is this figured out?

Your job is to recognize the symptoms and seek assistance. Tests may include a vaginal ultrasound and direct visualization of your pelvis via a procedure called laparoscopy, which also allows for treatment.

How is endometriosis treated?

There’s a wide range of treatment, which depends on your level of health, the presence/significance of symptoms and your desire to have children in the future.
Options range from symptomatic treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques and pain medication to hormonal medications and surgery to remove areas of the endometriosis. The options are assessed and used based on the particulars of each patient.

Endometriosis needs estrogen to grow. Therefore, those with it are advised to keep their estrogen levels low. You can do this by avoiding large consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, green tea and soda. Patients with endometriosis should workout 3-4 times a week, as regular exercise keeps estrogen levels low.

What’s the end result?

Endometriosis-Awareness

The treatments mentioned are often effective in improving symptoms but not in providing a cure. A cure is most likely to occur by removal of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a hysterectomy/oophorectomy).

Complications of endometriosis can include infertility, but this is not universal. More commonly, pain interferes with the activities of daily living. Other complications include formation of large cysts in the pelvis (called endometriomas). Sometimes, post-menopausal cancer presents in the affected areas.

You should get evaluated for endometriosis if a family member has endometriosis or has particularly problematic menstrual periods or if you are having difficulties becoming pregnant (especially after trying for one year).

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Fighting Eating Disorder Banner

Eating Disorders Awareness and Screening Week

Introduction

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness and Screening Week. We want you to take just a few moments and think about the possibility that someone you care for could be affected.

It’s simple.

There is a basic fact that demands your attention.

eating disorders prevalence and mortality

Consider Getting Screened

Here is a sample of the types of questions you may receive during a screening. If you see a trend in your answers to these questions, contact your physician. You can take a sample screening test here.

  • How much more or less do you feel you worry about your weight and body shape than other people your age?
  • How afraid are you of gaining 3 pounds?
  • When was the last time you went on a diet?
  • Compared to other things in your life, how important is your weight to you?
  • Do you ever feel fat?
  • In the past 3 months, how many times have you had a sense of loss of control AND you also ate what most people would regard as an unusually large amount of food at one time, defined as definitely more than most people would eat under similar circumstances ?
  • In the past 3 months, how many times have you done any of the following as a means to control your weight and shape:
  • Made yourself throw up?
  • Used diuretics or laxatives?
  • Exercised excessively?
  • Fasted?
  • Do you consume a small amount of food (i.e., less than 1200 calories/day) on a regular basis to influence your shape or weight?
  • Are you currently in treatment for an eating disorder?
  • Do you avoid certain or many foods because of such features as texture, consistency, temperature, or smell, or have other people suggested this may be the case for you?
  • Do you avoid certain or many foods because of fear of experiencing negative consequences like choking or vomiting, or have other people suggested this may be the case for you?
  • Have you experienced significant weight loss (or are at a low weight for your age and height) but are not overly concerned with the size and shape of your body?
  • Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?
  • Are you of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

More Straight, No Chaser Posts On Eating Disorders

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

American Heart Month Banner

American Heart Month – Your Guide to Heart Health

Introduction

February is American Heart Month! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Every year, one in four deaths is caused by heart disease. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Straight, No Chaser is proudly offering this guide to provide you with knowledge and empower you.

What You Can Do

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

For more information, you can visit the American Heart Association. In the meantime, we offer you a series of our our blog posts to provide you a variety of information.

Straight, No Chaser Blogs for You to Review

How can American Heart Month make a difference?

American Heart Month

Use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage you friends and family to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
  • Have your local organizations consider inviting doctors and nurses to speak about ways to prevent heart disease.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

National Condom Week and Your Guide to Safe Sex

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser acknowledges National Condom Week and provides you a guide to safe sex and condom use. We know you think this is a simple topic, and you’ve probably been using condoms for a very long time (hopefully). However, isn’t it worth getting your knowledge updated?

It’s no coincidence this occurs during the week containing Valentine’s Day! Wanna have a heart? Be smart!

National Condom Week

Quick answers to quick questions!

How effective are condoms against pregnancy?

  • If you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • Based on use averaging, that drops to about 85% effective. Unfortunately, about 15 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will still get pregnant each year.

How effective are condoms against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

Condoms are the only methods of birth control that also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. This is a separate consideration from using condoms for preventing pregnancy. However, they must be used every time to have this benefit. It only takes one slip-up (or slip-off) to contact an STI.

How can I make condoms more effective?

  • In a phrase: use them every time from start to finish.
  • In another phrase: think condom plus. The plus would include another form of birth control in addition to condoms, such as bill control pills, IUD or one of the various shots.

How about female condoms?

  • Watch this! 
  • No, you don’t need to use both a female condom with one over the penis. One or the other provides the same level of protection as does both.
  • You shouldn’t use a condom worn on the penis together with a female condom. Condoms are designed to be used on their own, and doubling up won’t necessarily give you extra protection. One condom used correctly is all the protection you need.

Read these!

Since this is the week of Valentine’s Day, we’ll offer you this sweet extra!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright ©2013- 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Your Guide to Combating Cold Exposure

Introduction

Cold exposure

This Straight, No Chaser addresses various components of cold exposure.

Congratulations! We sincerely hope you and your loved ones have survived the polar vortex and can think straight again. With that being the case, let’s review posts to offer you safety and tips to combat the odd things that accompany cold exposure. Use this post as a guide to obtain whatever additional information you need. Click the links provided for additional blog posts. They offer up-to-date information on various topics related to frostbite, hypothermia and other topics of interest. Also, ask us questions!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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In The News: What “Medicare For All” Means and Might Look Like

Introduction

Medicare For All

In the news is a proclamation from no fewer than three prominent candidates for President that they would seek to implement “Medicare For All” as America’s health care system. Let’s go Straight, No Chaser and review what that might mean. Let’s frame the conversation around three frequently expressed concerns. First, let’s remember that no actual proposal exists. Therefore, what Medicare For All may end up looking like is subject to a wide range of possibilities.

“Medicare For All” means socialized medicine.

Actually it doesn’t. If you think it does, you don’t understand the definition of socialized medicine. In an actual socialized medicine paradigm, everything is owned and/or paid for directly by the government. This includes the hospitals, the physicians and everything down to the equipment. That is not what Medicare is. Furthermore, it is not what Medicare For All would be. Medicare is an insurance program and a safety net. Also, it is a means of establishing guidelines and regulations. As such, Medicare For All (MFA) would enroll everyone in the nation under a single health care plan. Medicare would set prices for reimbursement and establish your tax burden.

It is incredibly unlikely that the individual cost of your care would be greater than the current annual burden of insurance. These current costs are just under $11,000/person. Remember, the drive for profits (most notably of insurance companies) would go away. This represents a lot of the current expense of health care. Furthermore, under Medicare For All, you’d get to keep your physician! All physicians would have to accept Medicare because there would only be a single payer. As a result, the lasting criticism about the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t be in play.

Is this good or bad?

One wonders about the public health impact of Medicare For All and a patient’s point of view? Remember, we typically look at these things through the prisms of quality, access and cost. Objectively, you’d have to think there are significant opportunities for improvement. It is worth exploring these opportunities instead of rejecting them out of hand.

  • Quality

Regarding quality, the U.S. currently is not doing a very good job at producing health care outcomes. Our current system is somewhere in the mid-30s when compared with the rest of the world. Furthermore, if you’re one of the 150 million Americans who currently enjoy (or at least prefer) your current insurance arrangement through your employee, take heed. Regarding quality, today’s Medicare isn’t likely to be tomorrow’s Medicare For All product. Medicare has been rather good at compelling specific outcomes. With implementation of a single payer system, convenience and quality would like improve beyond today’s standard.

  • Access

Regarding access, there are still approximately 30 million Americans without any health care. This number is down from approximately 50 million prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. So for about 15% of the country who otherwise wouldn’t have insurance, the immediate answer would become MFA is infinitely better than the status quo. Lack of access would be completely eliminated under MFA. This would be especially pleasing to those with pre-existing conditions. The conversation about cost is addressed below as a separate question.

“Medicare For All” means eliminating the current insurance company structure in the United States.

Although Sen. Kamala Harris stated as much as part of her platform, that occurrence doesn’t have to be the case. There is no reason why MFA couldn’t represent a “public option” for everyone. The key here would be the financial part. Let’s assume we allowed private insurance to remain for those wanting to pay for it. That’s possible, even while allowing the public option existed for everyone, whether or not they chose to utilize it. This paradigm would conceivably work.

However, the immediate problem would be both private insurance and MFA would become more expensive. Insurance premiums are largely determined by the number of participants in the system. The more people enrolled in a program allows costs to be pooled and reduced. Furthermore, we would predict that those opting out of MFA would still be required to share the tax burden of MFA. Basically, if you want the new system’s costs to explode, allow it to be something providing care only for the indigent and those otherwise unable to pay for private insurance. So under this scenario, those clamoring for private insurance would likely pay higher premiums to the private insurance company (because of less enrollees) and still having to pay a hefty MFA tax.

“Medicare For All” would bankrupt the country.

Even without doing a financial analysis (which isn’t possible because no actual proposal has been submitted), this has to be a preposterous supposition. To be fair, the United States does spend 17% of its gross national product (GNP) on health care. Disrupting the current system would cause disruption of both the clinical and financial aspects of the health care system – and a large segment of the American economy as a consequence.

On the other hand, the United States is alone in the world in spending 17% of its GNP on health care. The next most expensive system in the world (as measured by percentage of GNP) is France. Amazingly, they spend only approximately 11% of GNP on health care. What this means is there are tremendous efficiencies to be had by reforming the American health care system/industry. These efficiencies would result in tremendous savings.

The necessary next question is “Would you trust the government (or more specifically an expansion of Medicaid) to create those efficiencies and maintain a high quality of medical care and health care outcomes?” Indeed, this could go horribly wrong. However, it could be transformative for an incredible number of Americans. Which of the issues of providing health care to people vs providing profits to the healthcare industry will win? It is on these last two questions that the debate will rage on.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

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A Dream of Equal Access to Health Care

Introduction

On the day of observation of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., we discuss applying his dream to equal access of health care.

mlk on health

On this national day of celebration, I always reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous comments on health care in America.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

Using the sustained assault on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in the US, it becomes as important as ever to revisit this premise.

Injustice in Health Care

Why would Dr. King say such a thing? Injustice in health care has taken many forms. Unfortunately, these result in predictably poor outcomes for those affected. We call these disparities in healthcare. Let’s begin by addressing the inequity in insurance coverage that formed the premise for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2009-2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) was signed into law, 41% of low-income adults were uninsured, and 45% of poor adults were uninsured. Contrast this with the fact that only 6% of those who make four or more times the poverty rate were uninsured. This pretty clearly makes the case that health care is a desirable asset for Americans who can afford it. Unfortunately, it is too often a choice that can’t be afforded for many. Furthermore, consider that 14% percent of white Americans were uninsured, while 22% of African-Americans were uninsured, and 32% of Hispanic Americans were uninsured. Whether you believe this is just a correlation, coincidence or reflection of something more damning, it is a situation that screamed to be addressed and improved.

Back in 2012 (immediately prior to implementation of the ACA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a survey showing that more than 45 million U.S. residents didn’t have health insurance. Still even more people, 57.5 million, were uninsured for at least part of the 12 months before being polled. Be reminded that the total U.S. population is over 311 million.

The How and Why of Health Care Inequity

Please take a moment and ponder the enormity of the numbers just presented. It begs the question “How can such be allowed to exist?” Dr. King’s comment begged the same question. Unfortunately, the answer is the American health care system isn’t built on producing equality of access or outcomes. You’ve heard me say before that the American health care system remains the only system among all the major industrialized nations on earth that doesn’t ensure access for all its citizens. The American health care system is fundamentally a business enterprise. This sector has captured approximately $3.5 trillion of the American economy annually. Stunningly, this represents over 1/6 (17%) of the gross domestic product.

The US is number one in money spent on health care by a large margin. In fact, the U.S. spends more on people aged over 65 than any other country spends on its entire population. The business of medicine in America is business first. It is largely expected that good health care outcomes will result from good business. Health care is viewed as a commodity in the same way that good cars, computers and smartphones are. Does this work? The outcomes say otherwise. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. health care system was ranked #38 in the last WHO ranking based on standard health outcomes produced.

The Affect of the Affordable Care Act on Equal Access to Health Care

Despite any perceived and actual flaws in the ACA, one unassailable fact exists. Approximately 20 million previously uninsured Americans obtained it through the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA targets its assistance to the poor and near-poor who are least likely to have health care coverage. The ACA will provide Medicaid coverage to those with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level (approximately $16,000). Unfortunately, this isn’t true in states opting out of the Medicaid expansion. People earning between the poverty level and four times that amount are eligible for tax credits for private health insurance.

Access to health care is the beginning of the process by which health care disparities can be erased. As long as failure to have equal access exists to the extent that it does, the types of disparities in life expectancy, disease rates and disease survival will remain predictably dismal for certain populations. As long as total our population is unhealthy in general, and pockets of our population are more disproportionately unhealthy, we will remain less productive and cohesive than we could be. Predictably, these facts will perpetrate a host of additional problems within our society.

MLKMOW

Finally and furthermore, one question still begs to be asked. Why does the US choose to remain the only major industrialized nation in the world that fails to provide universal health care for its citizenry? What part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness involves doing so without health? How is that Justice?

Happy MLK Day. Remember the Dream, but also remember how that plays out in our lives.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

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Simple Weight Loss Strategies

Introduction

Simple Weight Loss Strategies

Weight Loss Strategies - Diet and Exercise

REMOVE TEMPTATION

If you’re trying to set yourself up for success, keeping donuts and chips around isn’t doing you any favors. Give your pantry and fridge a little makeover to stay on track with your goals.

When I want ice cream, I must leave the house and pay $4.00 for a scoop of ice. If I really want it, I will do it. Otherwise, I will not spend $4.00 on one scoop!

STOP EATING AFTER DINNER

Late-night noshes are usually high-calorie, large portions or snacky foods (Read: cookies, ice cream, chips and candy) eaten mindlessly out of enjoyment to unwind from the stress of the day. It’s a recipe for weight gain and disaster.

So, the real issue is not eating after dinner. The real issue is mindless eating and over doing it in the evening.

LEARN HOW TO ORDER AT RESTAURANTS

Weight Loss Strategies - Healthy Eating at Restaurants

Eating out can rack up the calories, so knowing how to make healthy menu swaps is key. Whether you’re dining at your favorite Mexican, steak, or Italian restaurants, or even if you’re ordering Chinese takeout, this very short list will help you on the right track toward making the healthiest selection. Be smarter at restaurants — but still enjoy yourself.

Note: The high sodium effect is real and still in effect until restaurants are mandated to lower sodium content. Its coming!

Mexican Healthier picks

  1. Chicken fajitas
  2. Taco salad (hold the hard shell, queso and sour cream)
  3. Shrimp or chicken taco on soft corn tortillas

Breakfast/Brunch healthier picks

  1. Vegetable omelet
  2. Oatmeal with fruit (get sugar and syrups on the side)
  3. Eggs, whole-wheat toast and fruit

American steakhouse

  1. Filet mignon and baked sweet potato
  2. Grilled salmon with steamed broccoli
  3. Tenderloin with baked potato and side salad
  4. Grilled chicken with steamed mixed veggies and brown rice

Italian

  1. Minestrone soup and house salad
  2. Chicken Marsala
  3. Grilled fish and vegetables with marinara over whole wheat pasta

Southern

  1. Pulled chicken with baked beans and collard greens
  2. Smoked turkey with green beans and corn on the cob
  3. Beef brisket with stewed okra and coleslaw

It’s easy enough to say eat less, move more, but often more difficult to do. Here are a few ideas on how to make it easier:

CONSIDER NON-SCALE VICTORIES

Your weight is determined by a variety of factors, including hydration, climate, when you last ate, bathroom habits and exercise. In other words, weight fluctuation is common, and there’s much more to good health than a number on a scale.

It’s not necessary to weigh yourself daily. In most cases, this causes unnecessary stress and unrealistic expectation. Weigh in weekly as you will have more of basis to make adjustments with eating choices.

GET ADEQUATE SLEEP

Sleep is undervalued. Getting enough quality sleep is holistically tied to your health and weight-loss goals. Sleep offers our bodies a chance at restoration and rejuvenation. When we’re sleep-deprived, we tend to eat more, exercise less and make poor food choices.

Ideally 7-9 hours PER night is recommended.  Quality sleep is key. Yes, 9 hours is possible!

Sandra  is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, specializing in nutrition & weight loss. She helps people who are struggling with losing weight and the impact that weight has on health, self-esteem, well-being and overall life. You can reach her at https://actionchoices.com/.

There’s More!

Review these additional Straight, No Chaser posts for weight loss tips and strategies.

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss – Let’s Get Started

Fiber and Weight Loss

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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