Colon cancer on the rise in young adults
I recently read a disturbing report that colon cancer is on the rise in Millenials and GenXers.
People born in 1990 now have double the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer, compared with those born around 1950 when the risk was lowest, the researchers said.
The overall risk is still very low for that age group, but the study certainly suggests that lifestyle factors—obesity, diets high in processed foods, sedentary habits—could be a factor.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!
A healthy diet and exercise are … Continue reading
Cholesterol and diet
A few months ago I posted about my husband’s dilemma with his cholesterol, specifically his low-density (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol level.
His physician advised a statin, but my husband is understandably reluctant to start taking a daily pill for the next 30+ years.
Because he has no other heart disease risk factors, such as being overweight, a smoker, high blood pressure or a family history of heart disease, he and his physician made a plan to re-check his cholesterol level in 6 months.
A date which is rapidly approaching.
He’s exercising more and being more careful … Continue reading
The good news and the bad news
A few years ago my state, Washington, legalized marijuana. I voted in favor.
Since then I’ve wondered if that was a good idea. Tax windfall aside, what do we really know about the health effects of pot, good or bad?
Recently, one of my favorite health news sites, Healthcare Triage, posted this video: What we know about pot in 2017
Dr. Carroll presents a good summary of available research on the health effects of pot. Unfortunately, as he points out, there just isn’t enough quality research being … Continue reading
Hygge, pronounced “hue-gah”
A friend sent me a link to an article about the Danish philosophy of hygge. Her stepmother is Danish, so perhaps that’s why it caught her eye.
I hadn’t heard of hygge before, although I do remember reading somewhere that the Danes are considered the happiest people on the planet (ignoring Hamlet, of course).
Apparently that’s because of hygge, from which we get the English word “hug”.
Like a hug, hygge is about being cozy, comfy and cuddled. It encompasses home decor, clothing, social interactions and self-care.
After a January filled with below-freezing temperatures, flu and a … Continue reading
A smart way to quit smoking
Is quitting smoking on your New Year’s resolution list? Or that of a friend or family member?
If so, consider the SmartQuit app.
But first I’ll tell you what I do and don’t like about it.
I like that it seems to be pretty effective. The SmartQuit program and app were developed by researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington (my alma mater!), with funding from the National Cancer Institute.
It uses a particular type of behavior modification—acceptance and commitment therapy—that has proven more effective than other smoking … Continue reading
Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t take sunny days for granted, especially during our perpetually gray and wet winters.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful, sunny day! It was really cold, at least by our standards, but a friend and I still bundled up and ventured out for a long walk along the beach.
And we weren’t alone. With the blue skies and the crowds of people, it seemed more like a summer day. Perhaps they read the same article I did a few weeks ago: Here’s a Major Health Reason to Get … Continue reading
It’s easy; it’s cheap; it’s delicious
I awoke this morning to the amazing smell of simmering chicken bone broth.
Before I went to bed last night, I placed a whole chicken into a crock pot with some vegetables, seasonings, water and vinegar. Then I turned the pot to low and let it work its magic.
Twelve hours later I have several cups of nutritious broth to use in soups, and about 4 cups of shredded chicken meat.
I’m not just frugal about healthcare. I’m frugal about a lot of things, and I love seeing the money I spend on food … Continue reading
Germs and travel
I recently returned from a road-trip vacation with a nasty summer cold. It was my own fault—I didn’t heed my own advice to wash my hands as frequently as I should have.
Related post: Hand washing 101
Our hands are responsible for bringing a lot of germs into our bodies. We touch our nose, eyes or mouth, or our food, and voilà! the germs have found a nice, new home.
Although we usually associate colds with the winter months, germs for colds and other common viral illnesses are all over objects we touch every day, year round.… Continue reading
Clouds don’t protect you from the sun
On a cloudy summer day it’s easy to forget that the sun’s skin-damaging ultraviolet or UV rays aren’t blocked by the clouds. We still have to use sunscreen, wear hats and sunglasses, or stay out of the sun to protect ourselves.
Related post: Be informed – What is SPF?
UV rays not only cause sunburn, but also skin cancer and cataracts. And there aren’t enough beauty creams in the world to undo the premature aging effects of the sun, either.
Watch this video to see the sun’s “invisible” damage to the … Continue reading
And save money!
If you’re interested in how much a kidney stone costs, read this blog post from the Costs of Care website. The author of the post gives an accounting of her physician visits, diagnostic tests and medications:
- At least 5 sets of blood work, with CBC and chemical profiles, parathyroid studies
- Several urine tests, including urinalysis and urine culture, and two 24 hour urine tests (a third 24 hour urine test was recommended but I declined)
- 2 CT scans
- 1 MRI
- 4 specialist visits, 2 primary care visits, 2 ER visits (involving IVs, pain meds, lab studies)
… Continue reading
Here comes the sun!
Once again, the Seattle area is experiencing record-breaking temperatures and it’s not even summer yet! This seems like a good time to re-post some sun safety tips. People can die from excessive heat, so here are some tips to protect yourself and those most vulnerable to the heat—the very young and very old. Sláinte, Frugal Nurse
This post was first published June 26, 2015
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we rarely have to worry about heat stroke or other heat-related illnesses.
In fact, it so often rains through the Fourth of July, we joke that summer … Continue reading
Scary headlines sell news
Last week the media blitzed us with headlines that linked cell phones with an increased risk of brain and heart cancers.
Don’t believe everything you read in a headline!
That news story was based on a study out of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that looked at the effect of cell phone radiation on rats.
Most journalists, if you bothered to read the entire article, did point out that the study was not perfect and it did use rats, after all, and not humans.
However, if you just read the headlines or skimmed … Continue reading
May is National Osteoporosis Month
I can’t let May and the NOF’s awareness campaign pass without giving a shout out to the best way to prevent bone loss or osteoporosis.
It’s not taking enormous calcium supplement tablets every day or occasionally choking down a couple of chalky TUMS.
It’s a combination of eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods and exercising every day.
Actually, no one can prevent bone loss altogether. That’s like saying you can prevent wrinkles. As we age our bones lose strength and flexibility. But we can slow the process down and prevent it from turning into significant … Continue reading
It’s OK for steps, but not much else
I was feeling really good about myself the other day when I came home after finishing a 6,000 step walk that burned—according to the Fitbit Zip in my pocket—720 calories.
I boasted about this to my husband, who immediately burst my pride bubble by saying, “There is no way you burned that many calories in a 40-minute walk. Think about it.”
He was right. I knew in the back of my mind that 720 calories was just too high. Have you ever run on a treadmill for 15 minutes and felt … Continue reading
Do you suffer from DBS?
As far as I know, Dormant Butt Syndrome (DBS) isn’t really a disease, but rather a phrase coined by a physical therapist at a medical center in Ohio.
Millions of Americans (myself included) suffer from knee, hip and/or lower back pain. Therapist Chris Kolba, PT, PhD, MHS, blames too much sitting, which is weakening our gluteus or butt muscles.
The entire body works as a linked system, and a lot of times when people come in with knee or hip injuries, it’s actually because their butt is not strong enough. The rear end should
… Continue reading