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Aspirin Dos and Don’ts

An aspirin a day keeps the stroke away.

One thing aspirin does is interrupt the process that makes your blood clot. Taking one every day helps keep your blood flowing smoothly and helps prevent blockages in your blood vessels that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Talk to your doctor about whether it’s a good idea for you.

 

Regular aspirin use may help women avoid Parkinson’s disease.

A study found that women who took at least two aspirin a week had a 40% lower risk of Parkinson’s. Researchers aren’t sure why. Maybe it’s because women tend to take higher doses for arthritis and headaches than men take for heart problems.

 

Aspirin was developed in the 1890s

As far back as 1500 B.C., people were hip to the medicinal powers of the willow bark plant. But it wasn’t until the 1800s that scientists figured out which part of that plant was doing the healing. In 1897, a scientist used a new form of the drug to treat his father’s rheumatism. And the aspirin we know today — acetylsalicylic acid — was born.

 

Don’t’ give a child with the flu aspirin because it can make them sicker.

Aspirin is a no-no for kids who have a fever or a viral infection like the flu. It’s linked to Reye syndrome, a serious condition with symptoms like vomiting, confusion, and being overstimulated. It causes swelling in the brain and liver and may lead to a coma.

Until age 19, you’re usually better off reaching for acetaminophen or ibuprofen, unless your doctor specifically says to use aspirin.

 

50% of North American adults consuming aspirin

The No. 1 reason over half of people ages 45-75 pop these pills is to help prevent a heart attack.

 

It is safe to take aspirins another way besides swallowing it.

Aspirin comes in different forms: tablets, powder, gum — and as a suppository.

It’s probably easiest to take it by mouth, but it affects your body the same, no matter how it gets in there. Follow the directions on the package.

 

Too much aspirin could cause ringing in your ears.

High doses can cause tinnitus. The ringing should go away once you stop taking the medicine.

The most common side effect is a tummy ache. Eat something before you take a dose to help avoid that.

It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to aspirin, but it’s rare.

 

You cannot take aspirin for a headache when you are pregnant.

For moms-to-be acetaminophen is a better choice for pain relief.

But if you’re at high risk for preeclampsia, your doctor will probably recommend a low dose of aspirin to prevent high blood pressure and protein in your urine.

Since aspirin can cause extra bleeding during labor, you shouldn’t take it during the last 6-8 weeks your baby’s on board, unless your doctor told you to.

 

Dissolve aspirin in your water to give it added zing when you working in your garden.

Who knew? Aspirin can be good medicine for plants, too. A solution of one and a half tablets in 2 gallons of water sprayed on your garden every 3 weeks can give you more and bigger veggies. The key ingredient, salicylic acid, bumps up plant growth and helps protect them from disease.

Other reported fixes with aspirin — making a paste for acne or bee stings, protecting your hair from chlorine, boosting your car battery — don’t have the science to back them up.

 

It’s not bad for you to take aspirin after the date on its bottle.

One large study found that most drugs are still OK up to 15 years after they’re made. Manufacturers are required by law to give an expiration date: It’s their suggestion for when you should use the medicine for the best results.

To be safe, check with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any expired medicines.

 

The Word “Muscle” Comes From the Latin “Musculus,” Which Means Little Mouse

What percent of your body weight is muscle?

If you’re a lean man, your body is about 45% muscle, 15% bone, and 15% fat. If you’re a woman, you have around 30% muscle, 12% bone, and 30% fat. The other 25% of your weight comes from your organs.

Which muscle(s) in your body works the hardest?

It may not do any heavy lifting, but your heart is a muscle your body uses constantly. From the minute it forms while you’re in the womb until you die, it beats without stopping, helping move blood through your body.

The human body has about how many muscles?

You need muscles for everything you do, from running and lifting to digesting, breathing, and even getting goosebumps! It’s no wonder you have more than 600 of them to keep your body in working order.

It takes more muscles to frown than to smile.
It’s been a rumor for a long time that frowning uses more muscles than smiling. But scientists tested it and put an end to the myth. You use about 11 muscles to frown, and a mere 12 to turn it upside down.

Each of your fingers has ___ muscles in it.
Your fingers are like puppets and your hands are the puppeteers. There’s no muscle on your finger bones — only tendons that hold them to the muscles in your palm and wrist.

Spinach can help give you strong muscles.
Looks like Popeye was really on to something. Spinach is a rich source of iron, which your body needs to carry oxygen through your blood. Without enough of it, your muscles would be too tired to work. Spinach alone won’t make you a champion bodybuilder, but the iron in it is a key player in muscle health.

What is muscle memory?

When inactive muscles quickly regain strength. Scientists found that when you build muscle, it forms new structures, called nuclei, which can make more muscle later on. Even when you stop using these muscles, the nuclei stick around. That gives you a head start when you start training again.

You can body-build in your sleep.
A workout will set the tone for strong muscles, but sleep is when you really get pumped up. Your body strengthens and repairs tissues during your deepest sleep cycles. So get your ZZZs — you need a full night’s rest for optimal muscle mending and growth.

 

Where is the smallest muscle in your body?

It’s called the stapedius, and it’s in your middle ear. It’s connected to the smallest bone in your body, the stapes. This little muscle keeps the stapes from vibrating too much when loud noises hit your ear — including the sound of your own voice.

 

 

Canadians to government: Help keep seniors at home

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Canadians want to stay at home when get older, and they want the government to help.

The vast majority, 93%, of Canadians believe the country should adopt a national health-care strategy to keep seniors at home as long as possible, found a Canadian Medical Association report. And they say that strategy should involve lightening the burden on hospitals, hospices and long-term care facilities by keeping seniors at home longer.

“The results of this year’s CMA report card send a clear and direct message to policy-makers and public office holders that all levels of government need to act to address the demographic tsunami that is heading toward the health-care system,” said CMA president Dr. Anna Reid in a press release.

What’s more, most people think the country currently is doing a poor job at taking care of its seniors and isn’t ready for the growing population of elderly Canadians.

Less than half, 41%, believe facilities in their areas can handle the number of seniors who can’t stay at home.

Canadians are worried about their own futures, with 83% saying they’re concerned about health care in retirement, and 77% saying they’re worried about having access to high quality home care and long-term care.

“The anxiety Canadians have about health care in their so-called golden years is both real and well-founded,” Reid added. “Let there be no doubt that a national strategy for seniors health care should be a federal priority.”

The CMA surveyed 1,000 Canadians over 18 between July 17-26, with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

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Home care clients who require urgent care need an alternative to the Emergency Department

Between 2008 and 2013, the number of Canadians receiving some form of home care grew by 55 per cent, to 1.4 million. And as our population continues to age, more and more Canadians expect that care at home will be a viable option. Since the beginning of many coordinated home care programs in the late 1980s home care clients have changed. They are sicker, frailer, more acute, and more complex. The challenge is that in spite of the growth in numbers and increasing complexity and acuity, home care programs are having to do more with less. Demand for home care is increasing, but funding has not kept pace. Although home care programs are seeing more clients who are sicker, the volume of service per client is shrinking in order to keep up with this growing demand.  If home care is to be sustainable in this environment, we need new and innovative options to adequately address care needs in the community.

Home care programs offer sophisticated care and effectively manage complex conditions and multiple chronic conditions. However, there are times where a more acute event, a decrease in health status, or a need for more intensive observation or intervention is required. Interventions that are not required, nor are they best provided, in an acute care hospital or busy emergency department. Yet because we do not currently have an integrated health care system, if someone currently requires more urgent intervention for a condition that is not life threatening, there is little option other than going to an emergency department.

A promising alternative to the current situation is a transitional or halfway hospital. A transitional hospital could serve a population in a geographic area in an integrated manner when they are already a part of a home care program. A home care client may have fluctuating levels of health and need an urgent intervention, but not necessarily from an acute care hospital. For example, a frail elderly person who suffers from a short-term illness like a virus that creates a state of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance that cannot be fully managed at home and requires a short term intervention. There are a myriad of other health concerns that are urgent – but not emergencies -, that lead home care clients to seek hospital care because there are no intermediary options.

This kind of solution exists in many parts of Sweden. A transitional short stay (24-72 hours) unit designated just for home care clients—for clients known to their team and connected to their team – a truly integrated system. Such an option could be offered in Canada. There would of course be parameters around the type of concerns that could be seen and how many over-night stays could be accommodated. In a transitional, or half way hospital, the services provided would be much less intensive than the hospital would provide, but more intensive than home care can provide. Most often the individual might require frequent intervention for a few days such as IV antibiotics, comprehensive wound care, or monitoring of a frail elderly person for a few days. Home care provides regular but episodic care whereas in a transitional hospital care would be more regular and could support integrated care; at least for home care clients. Monitoring and decision making by a health care professional such as physicians or nurses or more frequent observation by a regulated professional would be possible. This level of care would be less expensive than occupying space in an emergency department or in an acute care hospital and being seen by member of the health care team would be expedited because the client is already known to the team. This would be the case in an integrated system.

In Canada, this level of care is only available in acute care hospitals. In many cases clients with complex chronic conditions recognize a problem they are experiencing that requires intervention. It is time for some creative problem solving and decision making if we hope to create a sustainable health care system into the future. . It is time to stop doing things the same old way in home care programs—after 30 odd years it is time for a change.

Kimberly D. Fraser is a professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta.

The 5 Main Warning Signs of a Stroke

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