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Karen Miller

Stories by Karen

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Diet is a four-letter word

Individual healthy eating plans now recommended for those with diabetes

The eating plan recommended for those with diabetes is the same as that recommended for everyone.

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Chickpea Salad

This recipe for chickpea salad is low in sodium, but high in fiber and protein.

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Exercise is medicine

Physical activity key to controlling glucose

Regular exercise, or physical activity, is recommended for those with diabetes to help control their blood glucose levels.

Not just pasta

Counting carbohydrates

People with diabetes must watch their consumption of carbohydrates, which are sugar, starch and fiber.

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Diabetic retinopathy

A leading cause of blindness

Diabetic retinopathy — damage to the blood vessels in the retina — is the leading cause of new blindness in persons aged 25 to 74 years in the United States.

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Just 7 percent of body weight

Diabetes Prevention

With a change in lifestyle, researchers have found that people at risk of type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

Type 2 diabetes: Myths vs. Reality

There are several misperceptions and misunderstandings about type 2 diabetes.

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Diabetes: The leading cause of kidney failure

A major complication of diabetes

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and accounts for more than 43 percent of new cases.

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Diabetes

Often preventable … but the numbers are increasing

Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or controlled once diagnosed.

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Managing your diabetes: Not just glucose levels

Tests to prevent complications

In order to detect or prevent complications people with diabetes are advised to have several tests and checkups each year.

Diabetes signs, complications and risk factors

Although diabetes is often silent in the initial stages, specific symptoms emerge as the disease progresses. Poor control of glucose levels increases the risk of complications of diabetes.

You won't know until you are tested

Blood tests are used to diagnosis diabetes and prediabetes because disease type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms in the early stages. The test is repeated before a diagnosis is confirmed.

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Take a deep breath in

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer is largely preventable. Almost 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer are caused by tobacco smoke, which contains known cancer-causing agents.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

A healthy dose of vitamin A

Acorn squash, a type of winter squash, is heralded for its richness in vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium.

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Medication safety

October is Talk about Prescriptions Month

Medication errors, which can result in harm or even death, are largely preventable.

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OTC drugs: Safe when taken correctly

Read the drug facts label carefully

Although over-the-counter, or OTC drugs are available without a prescription, their ease of use has not diminished their potency. Dosages and precautions listed on Drug Facts Labels should be followed closely.

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A healthy whole grain snack

Whole-Wheat Fruit Bars

A “healthy snack” sounds like an oxymoron. The two words seem to be on opposite ends. But that does not have to be the case. In this recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research, whole grains are combined with dried fruit and juice for a healthy treat.

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HPV vaccine remains underutilized

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Although a vaccine for HPV has been available since 2006, the compliance rate remains low.

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Osteoarthritis: Oh, those painful knees

Osteoarthritis, which can range from mild to severe, is one of the most debilitating diseases in this country.

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Primary care physician: The CEO of your health

The primary care provider manages your health care. It is important to find one that fits your personal needs.

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A heart-healthy salad

Autumn Salad

Salads can be more than just lettuce and tomatoes. This salad combines fruit and lettuce with seeds and nuts.

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Watermelon: A combination of water and healthy nutrients

July is National Watermelon Month

Watermelon not only tastes good, it is chock full of nutrients the body requires to function efficiently.

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Melanoma: Blacks are not immune

There is a misperception — even among some health providers — that people of color do not get skin cancer. By the time black patients visit a doctor the cancer often has spread.

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Calcium — more than strong bones

Calcium is the most common mineral in the body and is responsible not only for healthy bones but for functions of the heart, muscles and nerves.

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Family medical history: An insight to your health

Knowing your family medical history can alert you to your risk of several health conditions.

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Sunglasses: More than just a fashion statement

Although many people choose sunglasses for style, the deciding factor should be safety. Sunglasses should protect against UV rays from the sun.

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Cypriot Chicken Kebabs

This recipe for Cypriot Chicken Kebabs is a good source of protein and fiber. The veggies also contain antioxidants that are considered cancer-fighting agents.

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New kidney disease website launched

Nick Cannon speaks out

African Americans are more than three times as likely as whites to develop kidney failure. Once kidney function falls below a certain level, the only options for treatment are dialysis and transplantation.

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Garlic: Flavorful and healthful

Garlic is noted not only for its flavor and smell, but for its health benefits as well. Garlic has been found to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

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Type 2 Diabetes — Myths vs. Realities

Although type 2 diabetes is common, it is often not well understood even by those who are afflicted. There are many myths about diabetes that can blur the truth about this potentially deadly disease.

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Is your child at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is no longer an illness for adults only. Fuelled by the surge in obesity in this country, type 2 diabetes is on the rise in adolescents and pre-teens.

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Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Almost 26 million people in this country have type 2 diabetes, but 7 million do not know it. Determine your risk for diabetes and get tested if you have several risk factors for the disease.

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Regular screening can help prevent colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer. It is also largely preventable by regular screenings.

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How to spot “hidden” sugars

Sugar is the body’s source of energy. You can’t live without it, but the type and amount of sugar you consume is key to good health.

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Make half your plate fruits and veggies

Consumption of a variety of fruits and veggies is key to good health

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Glaucoma can strike at any age

Glaucoma often runs in families and, although it is more common in older people, it can strike at any age.

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Changes in vision due to glaucoma

It’s like looking through a tunnel

Glaucoma first affects peripheral, or side vision, but will progress if left untreated.

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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Comprehensive eye exams are key to controlling glaucoma

People who have 20/20 vision can still have glaucoma

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January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month

Cervical cancer is now largely preventable

Because of Pap smears and vaccines for HPV, the incidence and death rates of cervical cancer have plummeted.

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The hidden salt: Americans eat twice the recommended daily allowance

Sodium, more commonly known as salt, can make some foods taste so much better, but it doesn’t do much for one’s health. Excess salt, especially when paired with reduced amounts of potassium, can increase the risk of high blood pressure. This can start a chain reaction with unfortunate results.

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Immunizations for the elderly

A lifetime of shots

Many older adults assume that vaccinations are for young kids only. But with the development of new vaccines, such as Zoster for shingles, and the waning protection of the immune system, those 60 and older are advised to get protection against a variety of communicable diseases.

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STDs and the Elderly

you’re never too old

The incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is on the rise in older adults due in part to the high divorce rate. Older adults are less inclined to use condoms, which they tend to associate with protection against pregnancy rather than protection against STDs.

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a healthy daily eating plan

A daily eating plan should include a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low-fat proteins, such as legumes. Nuts and olive oil are good choices of health fats. The amount of food depends on one’s age, gender and physical activity.

Recommended Guidelines for Vaccines

There are five vaccines that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends for older people. Three of the shots — for shingles, pneumonia and a booster for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) — are administered once, while protection against the flu and tetanus/diphtheria are administered at regular intervals.

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T’ai chi helps improve balance in the elderly

T’ai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, consists of a series of controlled and deliberate movements called forms. T’ai chi is recommended for people of all ages, particularly older adults, to increase strength, flexibility and stamina. Research has found that it also improves the mood.

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Depression in the elderly: When fun things are no longer fun

Anhedonia, or lack of pleasure, is a common symptom

Although common, depression in the elderly is not a normal part of aging. Many factors, including poor health and poor nutrition, lack of exercise and isolation can worsen the condition. Yearly screening for depression is now offered at no cost for Medicare recipients.

Prevention Guidelines

Since many chronic diseases occur more frequently in older adults, certain screenings and preventive services are recommended well into one’s senior years. It is best to develop with your doctor a screening program that fits your medical condition and family history.

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Q&A on healthy aging with Dr. Jatin Dave

Dr. Jatin Dave, a geriatrician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and medical director of geriatrics at Tufts Health Plan, answers questions about aging.

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Healthy aging: Living longer and living better

Improvements in public health and medical treatment have significantly increased life expectancy in the past 60 years. People more frequently live into their 80s and 90s and even top the century mark.

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Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths in the elderly

When young people fall, for the most part they get up and walk away. A fall in an elderly person, on the other hand, can result in a permanent disability or even death. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older people.

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