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volume 12, issue 2
Change lifestyle now to halt kidney disease BY JOYCE F. JACKSON
Are you overweight? Living with diabetes? Have high blood pressure? You could have kidney disease right now and not know it. You wouldn’t be alone. One in 10 adult Americans currently has some level of kidney disease. When the disease progresses to kidney failure, patients need regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to survive. Kidneys clean your blood of toxins, filter out waste and regulate your blood pressure. When they don’t work right, you don’t feel right. You’re tired. Feel nausea. Have swollen feet and ankles. Have trouble sleeping. It’s difficult to do things that used to come easy. But kidney damage can happen without symptoms you notice. Results of simple lab tests at your doctor’s office could be your only clue
until you have an advanced and serious problem.
KIDNEY DISEASE IS AN EPIDEMIC The number of people with kidney disease is growing. According to the TREATMENT OPTIONS United States Renal Data System, the If you have kidney failure, a number of prevalent end-stage renal transplant offers the best chance at life disease patients increased by more than like it was before you were sick. 3 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. But organs to transplant are scarce Today in the United States, nearly and transplantation is not a cure. 700,000 people have end-stage renal Most people with kidney failure — disease. 450,000 in the United States alone But that’s nothing compared to — are on dialysis, a treatment where a what’s projected. machine does the kidneys’ work. The number of Americans with Most people get dialysis at a diabetes is expected to double or even clinic. Others, including almost 300 triple by 2050. of Northwest Kidney Centers’ 1,600 Since diabetes is the leading cause patients, do self-dialysis at home. of kidney disease, the number of people They have more schedule flexibility with kidney failure will rise quickly, too, and can travel more easily. unless we make a big change. They can also spend more time in Dialysis patients are tough. They treatment, which is important because have to be. They’re connected to a the more dialysis one has, the better he machine at least three times a week, or she feels. But they still have kidney for four or five hours each time. They’ll failure. tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, Healthy kidneys work 24 hours a to take any steps possible to prevent day, seven days a week. Dialysis doesn’t. kidney disease. Not tomorrow. Not next Although people with kidney failure week. Right now! can live well with dialysis or a kidney The good news is that kidney disease transplant, the fact remains that kidney due to diabetes is preventable. disease is a very serious and often A low-salt diet, full of fruits and irreversible condition. vegetables, and 30 minutes of exercise
every day will help stave off diabetes, high blood pressure and thus kidney disease. Replace salty restaurant meals with fresh produce and home cooking. Be careful with packaged microwave snacks. Don’t eat foods that contain more than 400 milligrams of sodium in a single serving. Get regular checkups and ask your doctor to check your kidney function if you have diabetes. Control your blood pressure. Don’t be the 1 in 10. Change your lifestyle now to prevent kidney disease in the future.
Nonprofit Northwest Kidney Centers is the largest dialysis provider in Clallam County. Joyce F. Jackson is president and CEO of Northwest Kidney Centers, a locally managed provider of kidney dialysis, public health education and research into the causes and treatments of chronic kidney disease. Founded in Seattle in 1962, it was the world’s first dialysis organization. March is National Kidney Month and March 10 is World Kidney Day. Learn more at www.nwkidney.org/ prevent-kidney-disease.
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HEALTHY LIVING Volume 12, Issue 2
Patricia Morrison Coate, Brenda Hanrahan and Laura Lofgren, editors
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Weâ€™re always on the lookout for article ideas to include in our quarterly Healthy Living publication. If you have an idea for a story, please let us know. Professionals in their field are invited to contribute informative and educational articles or columns for consideration in Healthy Living. Send articles, columns and photos (jpegs at 200 dpi minimum) to special sections editor Laura Lofgren at firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot guarantee publication due to space and content considerations. If your submission is accepted, we reserve the right to edit submissions. Submitted articles are the opinions and beliefs of the contributing writer and in no way represent an endorsement by Healthy Living, Peninsula Daily News or Sequim Gazette.
Terry R. Ward, regional publisher Steve Perry, general manager
Articles and submissions
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Itâ€™s time for the annual Run A Muck at the Extreme Sports Park in Port Angeles. This mud run obstacle course takes place July 9. New to the run this year is the last heat that allows runners to get muddy with their mutts. Bring your pup and have a good time! Page 9
Open Swim times available Mon-Fri evenings and Sat & Sun afternoon.
225 E. FIFTH ST. PORT ANGELES WILLIAMSHOREPOOL.ORG HEALTHY LIVING
Week-by-week steps for a healthy summer Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen after swimming, sweating or staying out for extended hours.
Summer’s arrival means more time outdoors and partaking in warm weather fun with family and friends. If your New Year’s resolution to be healthier has fallen by the wayside, summer can be a great time to reinvigorate your efforts. Here are 10 things you and your family can do to have a healthier summer: 1. SPEND TIME WITH MOTHER NATURE Take advantage of the warmer temperatures and reap the physical and mental health benefits of spending time with nature. You don’t have to travel far to a hiking trail or the distant woods (although go for it if that’s your thing); nature is right in your backyard. A walk in a nearby park or an hour in the garden can deliver the health benefits of communing with nature. 2. GET SERIOUS ABOUT SUNSCREEN With more time outdoors, make sure
3. MAKE MORE HEALTHFUL MEALS AT HOME Eating out too much isn’t good for your health. You’re more likely to overeat and make poor nutritional choices when at a restaurant. “Cooking is the best way to make sure you are informed with what you are eating, because you are selecting everything in the dish you are preparing,” said Rebecca Lewis, a registered dietitian at HelloFresh, a meal-kit delivery service. Take the time to learn some simple, hearty recipes to cook at home that utilize vegetables and lean meats.
to be diligent about applying sunscreen, especially when you’re outside for several hours. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the
American Academy of Dermatology. When selecting a sunscreen, make sure it is SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum and water resistant to effectively protect your skin.
4. LEARN TO LOVE WATER Hydration is essential to a healthier life and summer heat can make it hard to stay hydrated, especially if you’re not a fan of water.
l o o P s It’ ! n o s a e S Time for a “tune-up” at Sequim Health & Rehab with our outpatient therapies. You know you shouldn’t be chasing your grandchildren around the slippery pool area, but if you do, and injure yourself, Sequim Health & Rehab is ready to help you get back to the pool with our seven-day-a-week therapy department and outpatient therapy services.
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Rather than opting for sugary drinks or caffeinated soda, flavor your water with a lemon or lime wedge, or a unique mixture of strawberry and basil. 5. TAKE UP YOGA Increasing your physical activity is important to health, but it’s not always fun to sweat it out in the gym or jog along a hot road on a summer day. Try yoga, which can be tailored to people of all ages and fitness levels. Yoga improves both your physical and mental health, including increased flexibility and strength, as well as better breathing, according to the American Osteopathic Association. 6. START HANGING OUT AT THE FARMERS MARKET Fresh, seasonal produce is one of the perks of summer. In addition to stocking your pantry and fridge with foods that
are good for you and taste great, a trip to the farmers market means some extra exercise as you walk the open-air aisles. “Variety is the key to eating more fruits and veggies,” Lewis said. “What better way to see the variety of the season than at a farmers market? It’s there you’ll find treasures on a smaller local scale that your local grocery store doesn’t carry.”
by your bed, chances are it’s caused you to go to bed later or disrupted your sleep with a new text or alert. To get a more restorative and healthy sleep, stop looking at your phone 30 minutes before going to bed to help mentally wind down, then keep it in a separate room to eliminate any disturbances.
7. FLOSS DAILY More than a quarter of adult Americans fib to their dentists about flossing, according to a survey by the American Academy of Periodontology. Flossing daily benefits more than your dental health; it helps prevent periodontal disease, which has been linked to a host of other serious health issues. Not to mention, flossing will make your teeth look brighter.
9. MAKE TIME TO NAP If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t get a full eight hours of sleep each night (even if you do stow your cellphone away from the bed). Napping for even just 20 minutes can help you feel more rested throughout the day. And few experiences are more relaxing and restorative than a nap in the shade on a summer afternoon.
8. FIND A NEW NIGHT-TIME HOME FOR YOUR PHONE If you sleep with your phone
10. LAUGH IT UP! It’s summer! Enjoy it with family, friends and lots of
It’s also a great stress laughter. Laughing benefits your reliever, so learn a new joke, physical and mental health, find a funny meme or attend a increasing the oxygen intake comedy show. and endorphins in your brain.
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ACHOO! Control those seasonal allergies BY BRANDPOINT
According to a recent survey by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), which was sponsored by Meda Pharmaceuticals, nearly onehalf of allergy sufferers (48 percent) are highly satisfied with their prescription allergy treatment and report high satisfaction for their children, too, suggesting that a visit to a health care professional might be the best way to identify the right treatment. The online survey included 1,001 U.S. adults (18 and older) and parents of children ages 12-17 with seasonal allergies. Most reported having moderate to severe symptoms in the spring, summer and fall. Millions of adults and children have seasonal allergies and its prevalence continues to rise. Trees, grass, and/or weed pollens usually trigger seasonal allergies at
certain times of the year. Some people are allergic to many types of pollens and experience seasonal symptoms throughout the year, while others have symptoms only for a few weeks out of the year. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, congestion and nasal itching. Allergy experts Dr. Eli O. Meltzer, Allergy & Asthma Medical Group & Research Center, San Diego, and Dr. William E. Berger, FACAAI, Allergy & Asthma Associates, say the survey’s results underscore the importance of knowing how best to treat your allergy symptoms and what is triggering them. There are many different types of prescription and nonprescription treatments available so it’s important to have a discussion with your doctor about what the best choice is for you. According to the survey, parents are more likely to seek out medical attention For example, parents of adolescents for their children with seasonal with seasonal allergies reported their allergies, but not for themselves. children are significantly more likely to
be treated by an allergist (24 percent), primary care physician (35 percent) or pediatrician (30 percent).
JONATHAN COLLIN, MD
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Chelation therapy with EDTA, known to remove heavy metals from the blood, has been used to treat coronary artery disease since the 1950’s. TACT was a double blind study of chelation in stable patients with a history of myocardial infarct. The primary endpoint of the trial--the composite of death, heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery, stent procedure, and OVZWP[HSPaH[PVUMVYHUNPUH^HZZPNUPÄJHU[S`SV^LYPU[OLJOLSH[PVUNYV\W 7VY[;V^UZLUK 2PYRSHUK6MÄJLZ• (360) 385-4555 www.drjonathancollin.com • www.townsendletter.com
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But adults surveyed reported receiving allergy care from a primary care physician (58 percent). Far fewer adults (14 percent) see an allergist for care. “Involving an allergy specialist and having conversations about seasonal allergies can lead to higher rates of satisfaction, more symptom relief and appropriate treatment for individual success,” said lead author Meltzer. “Parents are already doing this for their kids to a large extent, which is good news, but they need to take the time to care for themselves, too.” An allergy specialist can help determine what’s triggering an allergic reaction and work with patients to control or prevent symptoms. Some treatments don’t adequately control symptoms and others have unacceptable side effects for some people. An allergist can help navigate the options and help identify strategies and treatments that work best for every individual. “Moderate to severe seasonal allergy symptoms can impact productivity, sleep and drain energy. Many people suffer miserably, yet there are very effective treatments to manage
symptoms,” Berger said. “What is most important is taking the time to see a physician to learn how to best manage symptoms and not selftreating without first seeking a doctor’s advice.” Dr. Berger suggests scheduling appointments well in advance of allergy season because treatment is more effective when it begins early. A professional can explain the different types of treatments and work with patients to determine what type of treatment is the best fit. “Many seasonal allergy sufferers don’t take any action until they start to experience symptoms, which quickly can escalate from bothersome to debilitating,” said Bryan Martin, DO, Ohio State University and president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But allergy treatments work best when they’re taken before the onset of symptoms, so it’s important to plan ahead, before the season hits full force, so you’re armed with the tools and medicines that provide the most effective symptom relief for you and your family.”
This program is designed to be a comprehensive and fun approach to aging well that encourages people to take actions to enhance their health, ﬁnancial well-being, social connectedness, and overall quality of life. Central to the AMP philosophy is the belief that modest lifestyle changes can produce big results and that people can be empowered and supported to cultivate health and longevity.
The fall session starts September 6, 2016 2 pm to 3:30 pm Jefferson Healthcare Conference Room 2500 W. Sims Way, 3rd Floor Port Townsend
SEQUIM MEDICAL ASSOCIATES “modern medicine with old fashioned care”
The free session consists of 10 core curriculum classes and one elective, and meets consecutive Tuesdays from September 6 to November 15, 2016.
Dr. William Hobbs
Dr. Jennifer Swanson
For more information go to JeffersonHealthcare.org/AMP
Drs. Samantha Reiter, Roger Olsen and Charles Sullivan of Sequim Medical Associates are pleased to announce Drs. William Hobbs and Jennifer Swanson are currently accepting new patients. Both physicians are boardcertified in Internal Medicine and credentialed with most major insurance companies. Appointments can be made by contacting Sequim Medical Associates at (360) 582-2850, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 to 4:30.
Class size is limited and registration is required by Aug 30. Call Mitzi Hazard at (360) 385-2200 ext. 1270.
840 N 5TH AVE, SUITE 2100 SEQUIM, WA 98382 PENINSULA DAILY NEWS/SEQUIM GAZETTE
PHONE: (360) 582-2850 FAX: (360) 582-2851 HEALTHY LIVING
‘The Watchman’ is lowering risk of stroke BY IRENE MAHER TAMPA BAY TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bob Icenogle spent the last five years living with a serious heart problem that could trigger a stroke at any time. Atrial fibrillation, also known as A-fib, can cause blood clots to form in a tiny pouch in the heart. If a clot migrates out into the bloodstream, it could become lodged in a vessel and cut off blood flow to the brain. To lower the risk, doctors usually put A-fib patients on blood-thinning medication for life so clots are less likely to form. But Icenogle can’t take blood thinners long term. He found that out after starting on the medication, and over time developed such severe internal bleeding that he needed transfusions. He tried other nondrug procedures, but none controlled the A-fib. Then late last year, one of his doctors told him about the Watchman, a new device approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015. It looks like a miniature umbrella
and is placed in the heart with a catheter threaded through a small puncture in the groin. The umbrella is opened and tissue eventually grows around it, closing off the pouch, which is known as the left atrial appendage. Doctors say we can live without it. Atrial fibrillation is an electrical problem in the heart where the upper and lower chambers don’t work together properly, causing the organ to sometimes fibrillate or quiver rapidly and irregularly. Because blood isn’t being pumped normally, it can pool in the left atrial appendage, where clots can form and cause a stroke. It may or may not cause symptoms, which include fatigue, palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and confusion. According to the American Heart Association, 15 to 20 percent of all strokes occur in people with A-fib, and nearly 3 million people have the condition. In addition, strokes related to A-fib are more likely to be fatal or disabling.
Like Icenogle, many patients cannot tolerate the bloodthinning drugs that address the clotting. The treatment requires frequent blood testing and physician visits, dietary changes and can cause skin bruising and other serious complications, including the internal bleeding that Icenogle experienced. A 69-year-old small-business owner, Icenogle says there aren’t many things he fears. But stroke is one of them. “I’m scared to death of a stroke,” he said, noting that he’s seen how disabling it can be. “I don’t believe that I, mentally, could survive a stroke.” So last month, a team at Tampa General Hospital implanted his Watchman, a first for the hospital. Not all A-fib patients will be candidates. “We decide which [A-fib] patients are at highest risk for stroke, and if they can’t tolerate blood thinners they may be a candidate for the Watchman,” said Dr. Bengt Herweg, director of electrophysiology and
LEARN THE SIGNS OF STROKE If you have A-fib or know someone who does, it’s important to know the sudden signs of stroke. It’s easy if you think F.A.S.T.: • Face drooping • Arm weakness • Speech difficulty • Time to call 911 Other symptoms include: • Sudden face, arm or leg numbness, especially if one-sided. • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, understanding speech. • Sudden vision trouble. • Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance, dizziness. • Sudden severe headache. Source: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
arrhythmia at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Herweg also was part of the TGH team that implanted Icenogle. As a precaution, Watchman patients — Icenogle included — must be able to take a blood thinner for about 45 days after the operation to be certain the device is doing its job. After that, most will no longer need it. “It’s another good tool in our cardiology tool chest,” Herweg said.
Manufactured by Boston Scientific, the Watchman received FDA approval in March of last year. Icenogle believes his body feels different since getting his Watchman. “I’m not short of breath anymore, I feel stronger, I can work longer. Before, some days I was just frazzled by 2 o’clock and couldn’t go any further. I’d get winded just talking to you,” he said.
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Run A Muck 5k encourages muddy fun Who’s ready to get mucked up? The annual Run A Muck Challenge is back for another afternoon of muddy fun at the Port Angeles Extreme Sports Park, located at 2912 W. Edgewood Drive. On Saturday, July 9, runners will sprint, fumble and fall through a 5k obstacle course that traverses some rugged terrain. The family-friendly event welcomes runners ages 10 and older. New this year is the Run A Muck with your Mutt, where, during the last heat of the race at 2 p.m., runners can bring their dogs with them through the mucky course. Gates open at 9 a.m., with the first heat starting at 11 a.m. Heats run every hour, with the last heat at 2 p.m. with the pups. Registration can be done online now through July 7 at 7 p.m. Individual adults are $45; kids/ military are $35; and groups of five or more are $35 per person.
Day of registration at the gate is $55 for individual adults; $45 for kids/ military; and $45 per person for groups of five or more. On race day, where comfortable shoes you don’t mind get dirty and whatever
is comfortable for racing. Bring a full change of clothes (including undies!), a towel, a trash bag or gear bag for all those mucky belongings, some spare cash for food and refreshments and your ID, especially if
you want to visit the beer garden. One beverage coupon will be provided to all runners. There will be food vendors on site for any additional needs. The beer garden will have entertainment, life-sized beer pong and other fun things to do. Again, you need your ID to enter the beer garden. Extreme Sports Park offers rinse stations for runners who don’t want to spend any more time being dirty. There will be a free gear check-in for belongings while you run. For those who want to watch the race, spectators get free admission and are encouraged to cheer on the racers. There is free on-site parking. The Run A Muck Challenge happens rain or shine, so there are no refunds for registered runners. And if it does rain, things will only get muckier! For more information and to register, visit www.getmucked.com.
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For a free online test to determine your risk of heart disease, visit OlympicMedical.org/HeartAware.
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the edible backyard: A SOURCE FOR FAMILY MEALS AND FUN giving but educational, as well. According to a study conducted by Have your kids ever asked you where Tractor Supply Company, the nation’s the food they’re eating comes from? It’s largest rural lifestyle retailer, 89 a question many parents are answering percent of Americans feel their children right from their backyard and porches. need a better understanding of where To create a hands-on educational their food comes from. experience, many families are “Four years ago, we moved from Los transforming their usable spaces Angeles to a small, rural town outside of into fruit and vegetable gardens that Ashville, N.C., with dreams of growing as feed the whole family, and sometimes much of our own food as possible,” said neighbors, too. Beryl Frohriep of WildRootsHomestead. For the price of a few seeds or com, a homesteader and Tractor Supply seedlings, you can produce fruits and Company contributor who relies on vegetables that are delicious, safe, homegrown food for her family of four’s economical, nutritious and fresh. plant-based diet. The best part is, your whole family “By growing what we eat, we know can dig in together. what goes into the soil and what comes Truly, a lifetime of gardening for your out of it; our food is fresh, delicious, safe children can start with a simple seed, and nutritionally rich. and the benefits are not only health“These days, it is my 5-year-old son BY BRANDPOINT
that your family likes. If your family eats a lot of salad, think about planting lettuces, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and, of course, tomatoes. It’s also smart to think about the types of meals you cook. Do you stir-fry? Grow bell peppers, HOW DO I START? onions, peas, and broccoli. The first thing to do is decide where Do you enjoy Mexican food? Consider your garden will go. various hot peppers and cilantro. Choose an area with the most Do you create main dishes from southern facing sun exposure. vegetables? Then potatoes, squash, Next, get a soil test kit at a local eggplant and spinach might be the way rural lifestyle store. to go. When planning your garden’s If you’re going to invest time, work vegetables, consider adding some that and money into your garden, you should your household considers tolerable, but make sure your soil is fertile. This simple, not great. inexpensive test will determine that. You may find that homegrown freshness increases the taste, and that WHAT SHOULD I GROW? vegetable just might turn into a family Simply put, plant the vegetables favorite.
doing much of the harvest, and I love that we get to learn and grow as a family by working together outdoors.” If you’re interested in starting your own backyard garden, here are a few tips:
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The NORTH OLYMPIC HEALTHCARE NETWORK, a federally qualified community health center, provides high-quality, full-spectrum Primary Care, Behavioral Health, and Oral Health services to meet the needs of North Olympic Peninsula. NOHN provides safe, effective, patient-centered, continuously measured and improved health care to every patient regardless of age, gender, race, creed, national origin, insurance status or ability to pay.
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Ride the Hurricane slated
Plant an unfamiliar vegetable or two, just for kicks. If it’s not to your liking, give the harvest to neighbors or your local food bank. HOW LARGE SHOULD MY GARDEN BE? A great size for a beginner’s garden is 10-by-18 feet, which can easily feed a family of four to six; however, your garden should reflect the size of your family, availability of space, amount of time you can spend tending to it and the amount of work you’re willing to do. It’s important to remember that too large a garden can easily overwhelm you and become a discouraging chore instead of an enjoyable pastime. Keep it manageable. You’ll be amazed at the amount of delicious food you can grow in any spaceeven on a patio or balcony. No space is too small.
The annual Ride the Hurricane bicyclist bash is gearing up for another leg-burning event. Presented by Black Ball Ferry Line, this event allows cyclists to have the famed Olympic National Park Hurricane Ridge Road all to themselves and free of vehicles from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday, Aug. 7. Riders can register between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Port Angeles Visitor Center, 121 E. Railroad Ave. Day-of registration will open at 6 a.m. that Sunday morning at the Peninsula College parking lot, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd. Hurricane Ridge Road is closed to vehicles from 7 a.m. to noon the day of the race; however, a few event support vehicles will be on the road. The road opens to the public at noon, and all event participants are encouraged to be off the road at that time. This is not a race but a recreational ride open to all abilities and ages. Riders will have two options as to where they can start: either at the entrance gate by Heart of the Hills Campground for a 24-mile round-trip, or from the base of the lower ridge road, which is 36 miles round-trip. The 24-mile round-trip starts at roughly 1,100 feet, and the 36-mile ride starts at 700 feet, with the summit at 5,200 feet.
Riders may start the longer ride from the Peninsula College parking lot using the lower ridge road after registration, but the Heart of the Hills access gate to the upper section of the Hurricane Ridge Road will not open until 7 a.m., at which point all riders can proceed. All riders must show an official event wrist band in order to proceed past Heart of the Hills. New this year is a third ride option for riders who want to ride from sea level to the Hurrican Ridge summit. This additional portion starts at Peninsula College, then heads down Ennis Street to the former Rayonier Mill site, where riders can access the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT). This additional portion will add 5 miles. An informal after-ride party will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Peninsula College parking lot, and all riders are encouraged to stop by. The event will supply five aid stations that will have water and snacks available along with portable toilets. Celebratory “I Made It to the Top” photos also will be taken and available online after the event. The pre-registration cost is $40. All riders are required to sign a waiver, and all riders must wear a cycling helmet. For more information or to register, visit www. portangeles.org/pages/RideTheHurricane.
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Best practices for managing back pain BY METROCREATIVE
Back pain can have a debilitating impact on those suffering from it. But even those who have endured back pain might be unaware of just how far-reaching and expensive it can be. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), lower back pain is the foremost cause of job disability around the world. The NINDS study, in which researchers examined data from 117 studies conducted in 47 different countries, found that one in 10 people suffer from lower back pain, a discovery that no doubt startles many people, especially when considering the global scope of the study.
A condition that affects 10 percent of the world may seem impossible to prevent, but there are steps men and women suffering from back pain can take to make their condition more manageable. CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN A bruised back or mild stiffness may not require the help of a physician. Such issues will likely disappear shortly enough to make medical attention unnecessary. But EmblemHealth recommends that people suffering with back pain visit a doctor if they experience numbness or tingling in their back, legs or arms; suffer pain after a fall; and/or are feeling pain with additional symptoms, including fever, trouble passing urine or
something that may need to be treated by a professional. When a physician visit is necessary, the doctor will attempt to understand just what’s causing the pain. Identifying the cause can help to develop an appropriate and effective course of treatment. The most common causes of back pain include bulging discs, pinched nerves, arthritis, muscle spasms or strains, and sciatica, a nerve condition that goes from the lower back through the hips. Some cases of back pain are a result of poor posture or tight muscles.
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EXERCISE REGULARLY When speaking with a physician, men and women who suffer from back pain should discuss exercise as a treatment method.
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Regular exercises such as riding a bicycle or swimming can improve strength and flexibility in the back. More complex exercises, such as yoga, also have been recommended to sufferers of back pain. Yoga improves flexibility and builds strength while also promoting strong bones which can reduce a person’s risk of injury. Injuries that limit movement can increase a person’s risk of developing back pain, so an exercise routine that builds flexibility and strong bones can be an effective way to manage or even prevent back pain.
SIT UP STRAIGHT AT WORK Many people can trace their back pain to their offices, where uncomfortable chairs and poorly positioned desks don’t provide the necessary support men and women need to reduce or prevent back pain. Chairs should provide adequate lower back support, and desks should be at a comfortable height that does not force the body to hunch or place itself in another awkward position just to get work done. When sitting, make sure you are sitting upright with your shoulders relaxed and your body against
DON’T RESORT TO TOO MUCH REST Long-time sufferers of back pain no doubt recall a time when physicians would prescribe rest to treat back pain. But too much sitting around has now been shown to worsen back pain. If you must rest, do so for only a day or two before gradually becoming more active. Swimming or walking can be great and less physically taxing ways to acclimate your body to physical activity after resting for a day or two due to back pain.
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Fast forward a few months later and now he is seen climbing the set of stairs several times in the therapy gym, waving at the top and playfully swatting away a friendly therapist saying, “I got this! I can do it!” He is now able to reach down for his favorite sandals, put them on and stand up and transition to a bed side chair to engage in one of his favorite past times—computer games.
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Protecting your vision from blue light BY BRANDPOINT
Blue light is everywhere — from the sunshine you enjoy on a beautiful day, to the digital devices you have come to depend upon. You might think blue light does not affect the quality of your vision now, but studies are showing that the cumulative effects of blue light can negatively shape your vision quality many years into the future. Blue light from light-emitting diode (LED) televisions, smart phones or computers can cause accumulating damage, increasing the risk and severity of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Blue light can damage photoreceptors: the rods and cones within the eyes. Blue light exposure over time contributes to an increased risk of superoxide, according to Stuart Richer, who serves as director of Ocular Preventative Medicine at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago. Superoxide is toxic, eventually causing damage to the photoreceptor cells, ultimately leading to cell death. Since rods and cones can’t be regenerated, vision problems like AMD develop.
pigment optical density screening. Measuring the macular pigment can serve as a biomarker for patients and assess whether supplementation is necessary. Since zeaxanthin and lutein aren’t produced by the body, they must be ingested in order to ensure optimal macular pigment density. Because the average American diet is scarce in zeaxanthin, supplementing this antioxidant can be beneficial to many. Eye vitamins, like EyePromise’s vizual EDGE, Restore or AREDS2, can replenish macular pigment optical density levels. In spite of the consequences to vision, blue light is here to stay. In fact, LED “Modifying environmental factors is from blue light is to increase the density is expected to take 90 percent of the lighting market in the next 10 years currently the only approach to reduce of macular pigment. because the lights are more energy genetic risk of AMD,” Richer said. The macular pigment acts as a efficient. Zeaxanthin and lutein, two pair of internal sunglasses, shielding Be smart about your sight and carotenoids found within the eye, photoreceptors from blue light. find an optometrist who measures have been found to benefit by virtue of If macular pigment optical density MPOD. Benchmarking your MPOD protecting and enhancing vision. (MPOD) is at suboptimal levels, this score gauges whether you’ll need These carotenoids create macular pigment can’t properly protect the supplementation. pigment, which is found in the retina, or photoreceptors from damage and This measure can protect your eye back of the eye, and are found at a 2:1 oxidation. health while you enjoy your digital ratio. Another way eye care professionals devices now and in the years to come. One way to protect photoreceptors can help patients is to offer a macular INTERNAL MEDICINE
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Ways to reduce digital eyestrain
portfolio of products to help users maintain optimal eye health while interacting with our digital world. From Digital Lens, which helps to combat digital eyestrain and support screen viewing, to Duravision BlueProtect, which is specifically designed to protect against blue and violet light waves, these solutions help users better and more comfortably view the world.
If you’re regularly using mobile devices, it’s possible you’re one of 70 percent of U.S. adults who suffer from digital eyestrain. And if you’re using technology before bed, you’re probably suffering from the sleep- and health-altering effects of blue light. Consistent exposure to blue light can cause disruptions in your circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, especially if you’re exposed to blue light before bedtime. The poor sleep quality caused by these disruptions has been associated with a myriad of health issues, from diabetes to heart disease. Our technology consumption isn’t expected to decline anytime soon, but we still need our eyes to function properly to experience and interact with the world. Here are some tips that can help you maintain your health while using modern technology:
PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN BEFORE BED Avoid looking at bright screens two to three hours before bed so your body and eyes can “power down,” and help you start the essential nightly restoration process that is sleep. HACK YOUR SLEEP When sleeping, try to make sure all digital devices are completely off. Sleeping in a completely dark room has been shown to improve recovery and restoration from the day’s activities, allowing you to feel more rested in the morning. GET OUT IN THE SUN Exposing yourself to lots of bright light during the day will acclimate your body to the cycle of being alert and present throughout the day, and improve your body’s ability to sleep at night. GO FOR THE 20-20-20 SOLUTION Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen for
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