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  • Over-the-Counter Medicine Label
    always important to inspect the outer packaging before you buy an OTC drug product and to look at the product again before you take it What s On The New Label All nonprescription over the counter OTC medicine labels have detailed usage and warning information so consumers can properly choose and use the products Below is an example of what the new OTC medicine label looks like Active Ingredient Therapeutic substance in product amount of active ingredient per unit Uses Symptoms or diseases the product will treat or prevent Warnings When not to use the product conditions that may require advice from a doctor before taking the product possible interactions or side effects when to stop taking the product and when to contact a doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding seek guidance from a health care professional keep product out of children s reach Inactive Ingredients Substances such as colors or flavors Purpose Product action or category such as antihistamine antacid or cough suppressant Directions Specific age categories how much to take how to take and how often and how long to take Other Information How to store the product properly and required information about certain ingredients such as the amount of calcium potassium or sodium the product contains The new Drug Facts labeling requirements do not apply to dietary supplements which are regulated as food products and are labeled with a Supplement Facts panel Reading the Label The Key to Proper Medicine Use The label tells you what a medicine is supposed to do who should or should not take it and how to use it But efforts to provide good labeling can t help unless you read and use the information It s up to you to be informed and to use OTC drug products wisely and

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/countermedicines2.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Full-Body CT Scans
    and monitoring therapy What s new is that CT is being marketed as a preventive or proactive health care measure to healthy individuals who have no symptoms of disease No Proven Benefits for Healthy People Taking preventive action finding unsuspected disease uncovering problems while they are treatable these all sound great almost too good to be true In fact at this time the Food and Drug Administration FDA knows of no scientific evidence demonstrating that whole body scanning of individuals without symptoms provides more benefit than harm to people being screened The FDA is responsible for assuring the safety and effectiveness of such medical devices and it prohibits manufacturers of CT systems to promote their use for whole body screening of asymptomatic people The FDA however does not regulate practitioners and they may choose to use a device for any use they deem appropriate Compared to most other diagnostic X ray procedures CT scans result in relatively high radiation exposure The risks associated with such exposure are greatly outweighed by the benefits of diagnostic and therapeutic CT However for whole body CT screening of asymptomatic people the benefits are questionable Can it effectively differentiate between healthy people and those who have a hidden disease Do suspicious findings lead to additional invasive testing or treatments that produce additional risk with little benefit Does a normal finding guarantee good health Many people don t realize that getting a whole body CT screening exam won t necessarily give them the peace of mind they are hoping for or the information that would allow them to prevent a health problem An abnormal finding for example may not be a serious one and a normal finding may be inaccurate CT scans like other medical procedures will miss some conditions and false leads can prompt further

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/CTscans.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Home Healthcare Medical Devices
    to the manufacturer s instructions Always have a back up plan and supplies Make sure you know what to do if your device fails Have emergency phone numbers for suppliers homecare agency doctor and manufacturer Be sure that you have the after hour phone numbers If appropriate keep extra batteries for your device Know how to replace them Educate your family and caregivers about your devices Include them in hospital planning meetings or any device demonstrations Ask them to do a hands on demonstration to show they can effectively use the device Keep children and pets away from your medical device Don t let children play with dials Settings on off switches tubings machine vents or electrical cords Don t allow pets to chew or play with electrical cords Check with your supplier to see if you can turn off your device when not using it Contact your doctor and home healthcare team often to review your health condition Check to see if there are new conditions that may change the way you or your caregiver use the device Are there changes in vision hearing ability to move Have you had an illness new medicines loss of feeling Report any serious injuries deaths or close calls Report these events to FDA at 1 800 332 1088 Report these events to your supplier FDA will take action when needed to protect the public s health Endorsing Organizations American Association for Home Care http www aahomecare org National Association for Home Care http www nahc org National Patient Safety Foundation http www npsf org Resource Organizations National Family Caregivers Association http www nfcacares org A medical device is any product or equipment used to diagnose a disease or other conditions to cure to treat or to prevent disease The Food and Drug

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/deviceschecklist.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Diabetes
    Carbohydrates fruits vegetables breads juices milk cereals and desserts Fats Protein Cholesterol Fiber fruits vegetables beans breads and cereals Be active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week Exercise helps your body s insulin work better It also lowers your blood sugar blood pressure and cholesterol Use Medicines Wisely Sometimes people with diabetes need to take pills or take a shot insulin Be sure to follow the directions Ask your doctor nurse or pharmacist what your medicines do when to take them and if they have any side effects Have your doctor pharmacist or nurse report serious problems with medicines or medical devices to the FDA at 1 800 FDA 1088 Check Your Blood Sugar and Know Your ABCs Help prevent heart disease and stroke by controlling your blood sugar blood pressure and cholesterol Make a plan with your doctor nurse or pharmacist Check your blood sugar using a meter home testing kit This tells what your blood sugar is so you can make wise choices Ask your doctor for an A 1 C A one see blood test It measures blood sugar levels over 2 3 months Talk to your health team about your ABC s A 1 C Blood pressure Cholesterol Women and Diabetes In the U S 9 1 million women have diabetes and 3 million of them don t even know it Women who have diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage or a baby with birth defects Women with diabetes are more likely to be poor which makes it harder to manage the disease Heart Disease and Stroke Women with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack and have it at a younger age Most people with diabetes die from heart attack or stroke Are You at Risk

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/diabetes.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Buying Drugs Online
    laws regarding the shipment of drug products The FDA regulates the safety effectiveness and manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs as well as a part of the prescribing process It is a violation of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act to sell a prescription drug without a valid prescription says Shuren Therefore FDA can take action against sites that bypass this requirement He adds that the advantage of the FDA being involved is that states have difficulty enforcing their laws across state boundaries If one state successfully shuts down sales of products by an illegal Web site within its borders the site theoretically still has 49 other potential locales in which to sell However if the federal government shuts down an illegal Web site that operation is out of business in all states In July 1999 the FDA announced that it was joining forces with state regulatory agencies and law enforcement groups to combat illegal domestic sales of prescription drugs The agency signed agreements with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Federation of State Medical Boards These organizations have made a commitment to help enforce federal and state laws against unlawful Internet sellers and prescribers of drugs in the United States Fraudulent Products Though regulating Internet sales of health products is still fairly new the FDA has successfully taken action in the past against illegal sites For example a California company called Lei Home Access Care in 1996 and 1997 used the Internet to sell a home kit advertised as a blood test for the AIDS virus Not only was the kit unapproved but the maker also fabricated test results given to users who submitted a drop of blood After an extensive FDA investigation the site was shut down and its operator Lawrence Greene was sentenced to more than five years in prison In July 1999 the Federal Trade Commission announced a program called Operation Cure All which aims to stop bogus Internet claims for products and treatments touted as cures for various diseases Over two years the FTC identified about 800 sites and numerous Usenet newsgroups containing questionable promotions Miracle cures once thought to be laughed out of existence have found a new medium says Jodie Bernstein director of the FTC s Bureau of Consumer Protection Consumers now spend millions on unproven deceptively marketed products on the Web As part of the program four companies settled FTC charges of deceptive health claims These included sites that claimed to cure arthritis with a fatty acid derived from beef tallow to treat cancer and AIDS with a Peruvian plant derivative and to treat cancer and high blood pressure with magnetic devices The FDA is working closely with the FTC on Operation Cure All by issuing cyber letters to advise and educate operators of Web sites that may not know that the products they are marketing may not be in compliance with federal law In addition to sending warning letters the FDA has also taken more serious regulatory actions by seeking

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/drugsonline.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Eating Well as We Age
    Or pay someone to do it Some companies let you hire home health workers for a few hours a week These workers may shop for you among other things Look for these companies in the Yellow Pages of the phone book under Home Health Services Problem Can t cook You may have problems with cooking It may be hard for you to hold cooking utensils and pots and pans Or you may have trouble standing for a long time What to do Use a microwave oven to cook TV dinners other frozen foods and foods made up ahead of time by the store Take part in group meal programs offered through senior citizen programs Or have meals brought to your home Move to a place where someone else will cook like a family member s home or a home for senior citizens To find out about senior citizen group meals and home delivered meals call 1 800 677 1116 These meals cost little or no money Problem No appetite Older people who live alone sometimes feel lonely at mealtimes Loneliness can make you lose your appetite Or you may not feel like making meals for just yourself Maybe your food has no flavor or tastes bad This could be caused by medicines you are taking What to do Eat with family and friends Take part in group meal programs offered through senior citizen programs Ask your doctor if your medicines could be causing appetite or taste problems If so ask about changing medicines Increase the flavor of food by adding spices and herbs Problem Short on money Not having enough money to buy enough food can keep you from eating well What to do Buy low cost foods like dried beans and peas rice and pasta Or buy foods that contain these items like split pea soup and canned beans and rice Use coupons for money off on foods you like Buy foods on sale Also buy store brand foods They often cost less Find out if your local church or synagogue offers free or low cost meals Take part in group meal programs offered through local senior citizen programs Or have meals brought to your home Get food stamps Call the food stamp office listed under your county government in the blue pages of the telephone book Read the Label Look for words that say something healthy about the food Examples are Low Fat Cholesterol Free Good Source of Fiber Look for words that tell about the food s relation to a disease A low fat food may say While many factors affect heart disease diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease The words may be on the front or side of the food package FDA makes sure these words are true Use label claims like these to choose foods that help make a good diet Look for Nutrition Facts Most food labels tell what kinds and amounts of vitamins minerals protein

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/eatingwell.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Growing Older, Eating Better
    vitamins minerals and fiber Or they may avoid dairy products believing they cause gas or constipation By doing so they miss out on important sources of calcium protein and some vitamins Adverse reactions from medications can cause older people to avoid certain foods Some medications alter the sense of taste which can adversely affect appetite This adds to the problem of naturally diminishing senses of taste and smell common as people age Other medical problems such as arthritis stroke or Alzheimer s disease can interfere with good nutrition It may be difficult if not impossible for example for people with arthritis or who have had a stroke to cook shop or even lift a fork to eat Dementia associated with Alzheimer s and other diseases may cause them to eat poorly or forget to eat altogether Money Matters Lack of money is a particular problem among older Americans who may have no income other than Social Security According to 2001 U S Census Bureau data the median annual income in that year for people 65 and over was 14 152 More than 10 percent of people that age had an income below the average poverty level for their age group defined as 8 980 a year Lack of money may lead older people to scrimp on important food purchases for example perishable items like fresh fruits vegetables and meat because of higher costs and fear of waste They may avoid cooking or baking foods like meats stews and casseroles because recipes for these foods usually yield large quantities Financial problems also may cause older people to delay medical and dental treatments that could correct problems that interfere with good nutrition Food Programs Many older people may find help under the Older Americans Act which provides nutrition and other services that target older people who are in greatest social and economic need The program focuses particular attention on low income minorities and rural populations According to the U S Administration on Aging which administers the Older Americans Act the nutrition programs were set up to address the dietary inadequacy and social isolation among older people Home delivered meals and congregate nutrition services are the primary nutrition programs The congregate meal program allows seniors to gather at a local site often the local senior citizen center school or other public building or a restaurant for a meal plus health screenings exercise or recreational activities Available since 1972 these programs funded by the federal state and local governments ensure that older people get at least one nutritious meal five to seven days a week Under current standards that meal must comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and provide at least one third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances for an older person Often people receive foods that correspond with their special dietary needs such as no added salt foods for those who need to restrict their sodium intake or ground meat for those who have trouble chewing Other nutrition services provided under the

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/eatingbetter.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Eating for a Healthy Heart
    safflower sunflower soybean cottonseed olive canola peanut sesame or shortenings made from these oils smoked cured salted and canned meat poultry and fish Eat unsalted fresh or frozen meat poultry and fish fatty cuts of meat such as prime rib Eat lean cuts of meat or cut off the fatty parts of meat one whole egg in recipes Use two egg whites sour cream and mayonnaise Use plain low fat yogurt low fat cottage cheese or low fat or light sour cream and mayonnaise sauces butter and salt Season vegetables including potatoes with herbs and spices regular hard and processed cheeses Eat low fat low sodium cheeses crackers with salted tops Eat unsalted or low sodium whole wheat crackers regular canned soups broths and bouillons and dry soup mixes Eat sodium reduced canned broths bouillons and soups especially those with vegetables white bread white rice and cereals made with white flour Eat whole wheat bread brown rice and whole grain cereals salted potato chips and other snacks Choose low fat unsalted tortilla and potato chips and unsalted pretzels and popcorn Tips for Losing Weight Eat smaller portions Avoid second helpings Eat less fat by staying away from fried foods rich desserts and chocolate candy Foods with a lot of fat have a lot of calories Eat more fruits and vegetables Eat low calorie foods such as low calorie salad dressings Read the food label The food label can help you eat less fat and sodium fewer calories and more fiber Look for certain words on food labels The words can help you spot foods that may help reduce your chances of getting heart disease FDA has set rules on how these words can be used So if the label says low fat the food must be low in fat Read the Food Label Look at the side or back of the package Here you will find Nutrition Facts Look for these words Total fat Saturated fat Cholesterol Sodium Look at the Daily Value listed next to each term If it is 5 or less for fat saturated fat cholesterol and sodium the food is low in these nutrients That s good It means the food fits in with a diet that may help reduce your chances of getting heart disease Eating for a Healthy Heart You can lower your chances of getting heart disease One way is through your diet Remember Eat less fat Eat less sodium Reduce your calories if you re overweight Eat more fiber Eat a variety of foods Eat plenty of bread rice and cereal Also eat lots of vegetables and fruit If you drink beer wine or other alcoholic beverages do so in moderation Here are some other things you can do to keep your heart healthy Ask your doctor to check your cholesterol level This is done with a blood test The test will show the amount of cholesterol in your blood with a number Below 200 is good The test will also show

    Original URL path: http://lifealert.org/articles/eatingforheart.htm (2016-04-26)
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