Older adults should be very aware of Kidney health. It has been found that kidney health is in direct correlation with longevity. Researchers have found that Cordyceps Sinensis a Chinese traditional medicine that is made from a mushroom and has been used for over 1200 years, can be the key for maintaining a healthy kidney. This Medicine can help prevent unhealthy side effects such as fatigue, joint and back pain, impotence and high blood pressure. More here and here
Ginger has long been known for its health benefits, which include everything from helping with digestion to fighting the growth and spread of both colorectal and ovarian cancer. But ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties which can benefit people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A recent study from the University of Miami found individuals who were given a highly concentrated ginger extract experienced a 40 percent reduction in pain and stiffness in their knee joints. Adding grated ginger to salads and stir fry is one way to increase your consumption, though there are also supplements and powders available. More here and here.
According to a survey from Gallup, Americans who like where they live and feel their community is becoming a better place report being healthier and better rested compared to those who say their neighborhood is becoming a worse place to live. The survey found that Americans who are satisfied with their community have Physical Health Index scores nearly nine points higher than those who are not. Americans who are happy where they live reported fewer headaches, less pain, weren’t obese, and were less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma, high cholesterol,or high blood pressure. Also, Gallup found that people who felt safe in their city were more likely to have better exercise and physical health habits than those who reported feeling unsafe while walking alone at night. More here.
More than 100 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. That’s nearly one-third of all Americans and more than the number affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. But despite costing nearly $635 billion a year in treatment and lost productivity, chronic pain receives less attention and focus than other diseases and conditions. According to the report, government agencies, healthcare providers, professional associations, educators, and public and private funders of health care need to lead a transformation to better prevent, treat, and understand pain of all types. Among the recommendations offered by the Institute of Medicine were increased education and research to help health professionals better understand pain and the available treatments, as well as improving care by increasingly tailoring it to each patient’s experience. More here and here.
A survey of more than 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 found shifting attitudes and perceptions about getting older. Among the findings, 41 percent of Americans over the age of 50 said they were optimistic about getting old compared to those who felt uneasy, angry, or prepared. People who said that aging was better than they expected it to be cited good health, wisdom, and more appreciation for family and friends among their reasons. Also, respondents feared losing independence or living with pain more than death, with 64 percent naming lost independence as their biggest fear. The survey also found that younger Americans were more likely to list money among their top achievements, while people over the age of 65 named seeing their grandchild graduate. More here.
A new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found a link between the brain and the development of chronic pain which could lead to new therapies for the nearly 40 million Americans who suffer from the condition. After following 40 participants suffering with a back injury, researchers at Northwestern University were able to predict with 85 percent accuracy which of them would go on to develop chronic pain based on the level of communication between two sections of the brain responsible for emotional and motivational behavior. Individuals whose brain reacted emotionally to the initial injury and had a greater level of communication between those two sections were at greater risk of developing chronic pain. A. Vania Apakarian, senior author of the paper and professor of physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said the findings were the culmination of 10 years of research and explain for the first time why two people can have the exact same injury but recover differently. More here.
A new report from the Institute of Medicine calls for more attention to the increasing number of Americans suffering with a chronic illness. Nearly 50 million Americans have a chronic illness and three-quarters of all health-care costs are spent on conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, chronic pain, and dementia. The report calls for more action from federal, state, and local governments in addition to more research into how to care for people with multiple chronic illnesses. More than a quarter of Americans live with more than one chronic illness, such as people suffering from both diabetes and heart disease. The report’s authors wrote that the epidemic of chronic illness is steadily moving toward crisis proportions, yet enhancing the quality of life for people living with these diseases hasn’t been given the attention it deserves. More here.
Research examining medical records for more than 11,000 men and women found women reported higher levels of pain than men did. Men and women were asked to rate their pain on a zero-to-ten scale with 10 being the worst pain imaginable. The results found that women rated their pain up to a full point higher than men with the same condition. The greatest differences in reported pain were found in patients with musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive disorders. Dr. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Stanford university and senior author of the study, said though a one-point difference may not seem like much it can be an indication of whether or not a pain treatment is working effectively. More here and here.
According to a new study published in The Journal Of Pain, listening to music may help reduce pain, especially in people with anxiety. The researchers examined the responses of 143 people who received a painful shock to their fingertip while listening to music. The results found that as participants became more involved in following the melodies and identifying unusual tones their pain lessened. Music was particularly effective in reducing pain in the people who were the most anxious about receiving the shock. David H. Bradshaw, PhD, from the University of Utah, said engaging in activities like listening to music may reduce pain in high-anxiety persons who can easily become absorbed in activities. More here.
Compared to middle-aged emergency room patients, adults over the age of 75 are much less likely to receive pain medication, even when in severe pain. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine looked at data collected from American emergency rooms between 2003 and 2009 and found patients between the ages of 35 and 54 received pain medication more often than elderly patients. Nearly 80 percent of middle-aged patients complaining of severe pain were given medication, while just 67 percent of older patients were given medication to relieve their pain. Timothy F. Platts-Mills, MD, lead author of the study, said they don’t know why this is, though it may be because physicians are more concerned about side effects in older patients. Platts-Mills said the study highlights the need to better understand how to best manage pain in elderly patients. More here.