My peek into the future
Health insurance companies in my state finally submitted their requests for 2018 rate hikes.
Usually I can look up this info online by mid-May, but all the partisan and intra-party bickering over the future of healthcare in this country has left insurance companies scratching their figurative heads over how to price next year’s policies.
I remember a time when I never gave my health insurance much thought. Like my car or home insurance, it didn’t change much year to year, and was simply there when I needed it.
But for the last ten years or … Continue reading
Arthritis is a pain
I have osteoarthritis. I also have carpal tunnel and some other overuse injuries that are a result of using my hands a lot over the years.
Arthritis runs in my family, but some level of arthritis is just a natural part of aging.
(I don’t mean rheumatoid arthritis, which is a different animal. It’s an autoimmune disease that affects the whole body and can strike at an early age.)
I can live with my hand and foot pain during the day when I’m active and not thinking about it much. But at night when I’m trying … Continue reading
We’re not sleeping enough
Sleeplessness is epidemic in this country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) consider insomnia a public health issue and report that at least 35% of adults don’t get a good night’s sleep.
Judging from my circle of friends, I think the percentage is much higher than that!
Insomnia and daytime fatigue make life miserable and contribute to chronic illness. Drowsy drivers cause accidents. Drowsy employees cause on-the-job injuries.
Sleeping pills (hypnotics) are the go-to treatment in the US. Drugs like zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and suvorexant (Belsomra).
Related post: Belsomra—Use with caution
But they have side … Continue reading
And frugal, too!
I’m so lucky because my husband LOVES making homemade yogurt.
Several years ago, I bought him a yogurt maker for Christmas. He told me once that he used to make his own yogurt when he was in college, so I thought he would enjoy trying it again.
He sure did! 😀
Homemade yogurt has become a staple in our diet, and it is so superior to store-bought brands, I can’t even describe it. You need to eat some to understand.
Anyone who loves yogurt should try making it at home. It’s easy to do with either an … Continue reading
And brain health awareness, too!
At this time, there is no drug or treatment to prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia. The best advice is that what is good for your heart is good for your brain, too.
Related post: Don’t buy supplements to prevent Alzheimer’s
Embracing a healthy lifestyle is our best chance to reduce the risk of developing dementia as we age.
That means moderate physical exercise every day, a calorie-appropriate diet full of a wide variety of nutrients, and lots of mental stimulation.
Related post: Do “brain games” prevent dementia?
Socializing and mental exercises help improve brain … Continue reading
Surgeons want the public to learn this skill
I taught first aid classes for the American Red Cross for many years. To control excessive bleeding, we showed students how to apply pressure directly on a wound, or at pressure points in the groin and upper arm.
We did not teach how to use a tourniquet. The Red Cross deemed this technique to be potentially dangerous and beyond the skill set of most lay responders.
I told this to a surgeon friend once, and he was amazed. He said “The Red Cross needs to get its head into the 21st century.”… Continue reading
I’m writing this on Memorial Day while gazing out my window at an (unusually) sunny and warm Seattle day.
We’re on the cusp of summer! 😎
Here is a collection of some of my most popular posts about staying safe during the summer, including information about sunscreens and insect repellents, and first aid tips for burns, bites and too much sun. Stay safe! FN
An SPF rating is an estimate of how effectively a sunscreen product reduces the time it takes your skin to burn. Some sunscreens use chemical barriers, like oxybenzone, and others … Continue reading
Cutting the waste
I’ve posted several times about the Choosing Wisely campaign.
Developed by Consumer Reports and the American Board of Internal Medicine, Choosing Wisely hopes to educate both physicians and patients, and cut back or eliminate unnecessary medical tests, procedures and treatments.
Over-testing and over-treatment are estimated to cost about $200 billion every year. I think that’s a conservative figure, as the financial—not to mention emotional—consequences of too much medicine can be difficult to quantify.
Bringing about change in our behemoth, for-profit healthcare system is a daunting task, and I’m always happy to see signs that it’s catching … Continue reading
Good evidence for using turmeric to treat arthritis pain
I’m generally not a fan of supplements or herbal remedies.
There can be a lot of marketing hype behind these products, but not a lot of good science.
However…about a month ago I finally became so tired of living with chronic arthritis pain, mostly in my hands and neck, that I decided to research turmeric to see if there was any chance it could help me.
I wanted an alternative to ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), which works great to control my pain, but it’s not only hard on my stomach, it’s a … Continue reading
My guest post today is from Matthew Bahr, a healthcare finance specialist.
I’ve posted about surprise medical bills before. Sadly, they are becoming more common as healthcare costs continue to rise and provider networks shrink.
Consumer Reports estimates about one third of patients with health insurance receive these unexpectedly high medical bills.
Thank you, Matthew, for sharing your tips and expertise with my readers! FN
Although we know healthcare costs a lot of money, it still stings when we see that bill.
You might think because you’re insured, your insurance will cover most or many of the costs. But … Continue reading