Coping with Migraines

imgres-2Medical News Today describes a migraine as “a severe, painful headache that is often preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.” The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days.

Migraines are considered somewhat of a mystery because there is no one cause associated with them, and there are numerous triggers that can cause them including:

Foods
• Hormonal changes
• Weather
Stress

migraine-iiThere are more than 36 million people (men, women, children), who suffer from migraines in the U.S. Of that number, between 2 and 3 million suffer chronic migraines, meaning they will have at least 15 headaches per month, though not all of these will be migraines.

Facts about migraines:

• Women are the more likely candidates (18% of women and 6% of men suffer from migraines).
• People between the ages of 25 & 55, who are at the peak of productivity, are more likely to have migraines.
• About 10% of the population suffers with migraines.
• More children suffer from migraines than from diabetes and asthma combined.
• Migraines run in families.

did you know migraines

Because migraines tend to be more debilitating than the average headache, they are costly to our economy:

• On average migraines cost American employers more than $13 billion annually due to lost work days.
• Cost to our health care system is about $50 billion per year.
• Most individuals who suffer chronic migraines will end up with higher medical bills.
• Migraine sufferers also tend to use more medical resources including prescription medicines, office and emergency room visits.

How do you treat a migraine?

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While medication is an effective treatment, health professionals recommend that taking care of yourself could avert the onset of a migraine. Practicing a healthy lifestyle can reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines.

When you feel a migraine coming on, try the following recommendations from the Mayo Clinic:

• Seek a calm environment
• Turn off the lights
• Try temperature therapy (apply hot and cold compresses)
• Massage painful areas
• Drink a caffeinated beverage

Migraines have some common triggers, and a poor night’s sleep is one of them. Here are some helpful tips for a better night’s rest:

• Keep to a regular sleep schedule
• Unwind at the end of the day to relieve stress
• Minimize distractions (don’t take your work to bed)
• Don’t try to sleep when you can’t fall asleep, it becomes harder
• Don’t take medications that contain stimulants like caffeine

Always remember that knowing your specific triggers could help you avoid doing the things that will cause a migraine.

WTH_webcard_printed BBBIf you are on prescribed medications for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

References: Medical News Today, National Headache Foundation, Migraine.com, The Migraine Trust, Migraine Research Foundation, The Mayo Clinic
By WHBlogger
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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Treating Heel Pain

heel-spur-x-ray-300x224When the weather is warmer, we do more jogging, running, climbing, hiking, and walking. All of these activities are good for our health and wellbeing, but these high intensity activities can put stress on the feet, causing heel pain that can be directly attributed to two conditions–foot or heel spurs and/or plantar fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss).

What is a foot or heel spur?

If you have ever felt a sudden sharp pain under the heel of your foot or the back of your heel, chances are you’ve had a foot or heel spur. WebMD defines a heel spur, more commonly, as a calcium deposit build up over time, on the underside of the heel bone. In X-rays, the spur shows up as a protrusion that extends forward. Most times the condition is not painful. The American Podiatric Medical Association reminds us that the heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot and supports the body’s full weight. Strains on the foot muscles and ligaments, as well as repeated tearing of the membrane covering the heel bone can also lead to bone spurs.

imgresWhat’s the difference between a bone spur and plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is probably the most common reason for heel pain affecting approximately 2 million annually. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeona (AAOS) says that plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed.

Risk factors for heel spurs include:

  • Walking abnormalities, which place excessive stress on the heel bone, ligaments, and nerves near the heel
  • Running or jogging, especially on hard surfaces
  • Poorly fitted or badly worn shoes, especially those lacking appropriate arch support
  • Excess weight and obesity

Other risk factors associated with plantar fasciitis include:

  • Increasing age, which decreases plantar fascia flexibility and thins the heel’s protective fat pad
  • Diabetes
  • Spending most of the day on one’s feet
  • Frequent short bursts of physical activity
  • Having either flat feet or high arches

imgres-1Treatment

While both heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can be treated with surgery, there are a number of non-invasive ways recommended by health professionals:
  • Orthotic devices can help with both conditions (night splints)
  • Sports running shoes with good shock absorption
  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest
  • Non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cortisone injections

If you think you might be suffering from one of these two conditions, consult your health care professional.

If you are on prescribed medications for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

References: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), WebMD, The American Podiatric Medical Association, The Mayo Clinic, How Stuffworks.com
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog. 

Any Tips for Traveling with Medicines?

images-1-e1403283631999Continuing Series: Questions from Consumers …

While traveling this summer, there are a few rules to observe that will optimize your safety and the experience away from home, especially if you are being treated for a chronic condition and traveling with medicines. 

Packing and Storing Your Medicines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests you know how readily available health supplies will be where you are traveling. Make sure you always have a copy of all your prescriptions in either your purse or wallet, including the generic names. You will also want to include your doctor’s name and your pharmacist. This information will be very helpful in case you need a new prescription when you are away.

Experts suggest leaving a list of all your prescriptions with a family friend or relative as well as taking extra medication(s) with you in case you need to stay longer.

Tips For Flying With MedicationTSA-AGENT-300x199

  • Before going through security, show your medicines to a TSA Agent.
  • Keep your medications in your carry on so you have easy access to them during the flight.
    • The storage area for your luggage has a tendency to become very hot or very cold. This is not a very safe place for your medicines to be.
  • If you are changing time zones when traveling, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to create a specific travel action plan to stay on schedule when taking your medicines.

When you arrive at your destination be sure to keep your medicines in a cool dry place. Avoid placing medicines on/near: 

  • Any part of a car (trunk, glove compartment)
  • Bathroom
  • Top of electronics
  • Directly on top of a windowsill with the sun glaring in

If you are on a beach vacation, out at sea, or anything in between, keeping these easy tips in mind will help you enjoy your summer vacation!

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Did You Know?: There are many travel agencies who specialize in planning trips for people who are chronically ill.

If you are on prescribed medications for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request one be mailed to you.  It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic).  Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

References: CDC, Safe Medication, Everyday Health, TSA.Gov, Hospital for Special Surgery, Mayo Clinic
WHBlogger
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.

June – Men’s Health Month

It is the 20th year anniversary of  Men’s Health Week (June 9 – 15), and the celebration of National Men’s Health Month. This time is generally highlighted with a number of activities aimed at increasing awareness of preventable health problems, as well as encouraging early detection and treatment for disease and injury.

We often think of men as active, strong and independent, but when it comes to their health, men are more likely to forego a doctor’s visit until a condition worsens. Of the number of excuses used by men the most common are:

• Don’t have the time
• Don’t have insurance
• Don’t want to hear what you might be told
• There’s probably nothing wrong

According to a USA Today article (2012), few men would allow their cars to go without a tune up, oil change or proper maintenance, for fear that the engine would be ruined or worse. Yet, more than a third of men don’t have a regular checkup. Women learn from a very early age to go for routine checkups to screen for a variety of potential issues.

Men, on the other hand, may disappear from the patient rolls at age 18, avoiding checkups until age 40 or 50, when they show up for a cancer screening.
images-5The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a variety of easy things men can do to improve their health and stay healthy:

Get good sleep – insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions.
Toss out the tobacco – a side from cancer, there are many other health risks affiliated with smoking.
Move more – adults need at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) every week, and muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups.
Eat healthy – eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a natural way to get vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.
Tame stress – it can be harmful when it is severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.
Stay on top of your game – schedule regular visits to the doctor, it will help your health and well being.
Find Affordable Healthcare – federally funded health centers provide care, even if you have no insurance.

Do something nice for your father, husband, brother or any important male in your life – encourage them to get regular checkups.

If you are on prescribed medications for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

References: MensHealthMonth.org, Heart.org, CDC, USA Today “A preventative maintenance schedule for men’s health”, Men’s Health Network

By WHBlogger
06/08/2014

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.

Athlete’s Foot – Know the Cause & Treatments

Athletes-foot-2While athlete’s foot (Tinea Pedis) can occur year round, chances are that during the summer the number of reported cases will probably spike.  One reason is that we sweat more when it’s hot.  When our feet are confined in shoes or sneakers for long periods of time during the summer, bacteria can easily grow.

The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine (ACFAOM) says that almost 70% of the population will be affected at some time in their lives, and men and adolescent boys are more prone.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?
One key cause of athlete’s foot is a fungus that is often found on floors, socks, shoes and clothing is the likely culprit. The fact is that athlete’s foot is not contagious, but it can spread like ringworm and jock itch when a person scratches an infected area and then touches other parts of their body.

According to the ACFAOM, here are some other causes of athlete’s foot:

• Not washing and drying feet thoroughly after athletic activity, or not washing/drying at all after feet become wet in any situation (being caught in a rainstorm, or after any activity that makes feet sweat, such as a long walk, or standing for a long period of time) – also, continuing to wear the same shoes and socks after they have gotten wet, regardless of having washed and dried the feet.
• Wearing athletic shoes (or any shoes) that have become too worn; shoes that are regularly exposed to sweat will become a breeding ground for mold spores.
• Not rotating shoes (athletic, dress or casual) between wears; rotation allows shoes to dry and inhibits the growth of mold spores within the shoe.
• Wearing others’ shoes or socks.
• Not changing socks when changing shoes.
• Using the same shoes for athletic and casual wear.
• Wearing heavy shoes and socks that make feet sweat.
• Wearing socks and/or shoes made of man-made (not breathable) fibers which do not allow for air circulation.
• Not wearing stockings, socks or some sort of foot covering when trying on shoes in a shoe store.

Symptoms to Look For
The condition can manifest itself several ways:

• Itching which gets worse over time
• A red rash that can generally be found between the toes
• Dry, cracking, peeling skin
• Sometimes blisters occur
• There are cases that have no symptoms

Look for signs around the sole of the foot, between toes or inflammatory type of blistering that might be worsening.

Athletes-footd-300x209Treatment
Most athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the counter-medications. If treated immediately, chances are the infected areas of your feet will clear up as soon as treatment begins. If it is a more serious condition, refer to your doctor for treatment.

Generally there are a number of different antifungal medications available as:

• Tablets
• Powders
• Liquids
• Sprays
• Creams

Ask your pharmacist which they would recommend.

Preventing Athlete’s Foot
Especially in summer, when chances are you will be at the beach, pool, involved in more outdoors activities and sweating, it is important according to Medical News Today to follow these simple tips:

• Wash your feet often with soap and water
• Make sure your feet are completely dry after washing them, especially between your toes
• Wear cotton socks (make sure they are clean!!)
• In order to keep your feet dry, change your shoes and socks often
• Wash your towels regularly, do not share them

Treat your feet like your best friends, and they will serve you well forever.

If you are on prescribed medications for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

References: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine, MedicineNet.com, Medical News Today

By WHBlogger
 06/07/2014

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.

Make-A-Wish®, Matters On A Human Level

By: Shane Power, President of Watertree Health

Chris

Imagine being a child and being diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Your childhood is disrupted. You are subjected to endless visits to hospitals, a battery of tests, injections, x-rays, and scans – scary treatments such as chemotherapy or even surgery. This is what happens to children who are referred to Make-A-Wish.

Make-A-Wish was started in 1980 when Chris, a 7-year-old leukemia patient wished to be a police officer and to help catch bad guys. Volunteers and a generous, caring community took action to make a very sick little boy’s wish come true. Granting Chris’ wish felt so great in fact, it sparked the start of the now 34-year-old organization, Make-A-Wish.

Since that day, Make-A-Wish has continued to enrich the human experience of kids with life-threatening medical conditions, by granting their one true wish. In addition, a recent study by Make-A-Wish shows that children who are granted a wish “feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle the fight against their illnesses.”

The organization’s history and its mission to address the health and mental wellbeing of wish children and their families is in line with Watertree Health’s mission, centered on helping people improve their lives by improving their health, through access to affordable prescription medicines.

Today, Watertree Health is responsible for saving those without proper health care, millions of dollars on their prescription medicines. This has been accomplished through distribution of the organization’s free prescription discount card.

With the guidance of our co-founder and CEO, Matt Herfield, the organization found a way to support Make-A-Wish and help make wishes come true for the children it serves.

Watertree Health donates 50 cents to Make-A-Wish on every script discounted using the special program cards. Also, the money raised within a community will help grant wishes locally. To date, our donations have helped grant 19 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. 

Matt Herfield speaks for everyone associated with Watertree Health when he says, “There is something fundamentally good about an organization that inspires kids to fight back by giving them hope. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in support of Make-A-Wish.”

Make-A-Wish began because of one child’s wish. Now on average they deliver a wish every 38 minutes and with that wish, change a life for the better. According to Make-A-Wish, 27,000 children a year are diagnosed with a medical condition that makes them eligible for a wish experience. Watertree Health hopes to continue to help the organization make more wishes come true.

Due to the success of three pilot chapters—Arizona, Northern & Central Florida and NebraskaWatertree Health and Make-A-Wish formed a national partnership as of November 1, 2014. The program is currently active in almost all 61 chapters across the United States.  To get a free Prescription Discount Card benefitting Make-A-Wish, click here. Or, text WISH to 95577. 

Digital Card








References: The Make-A-Wish Foundation, ABC-TV News, Newsfeed.times.com

Avoiding Heatstroke

What is Heatstroke?

Signs-of-Heat-Exhaustion

Heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature reaches 104°F+ and has no way of cooling itself off. This is not a fever, which is the body’s reaction to an infection. Exposure while working outdoors, relaxing at the beach, or doing any activity that prolongs sun exposure without shade or proper hydration can result in heatstroke.

How Can Heatstroke be Prevented?

  1. Make sure you have a working fan or air conditioner to cool your home.
  2. Hydrate frequently with water or sports drinks (electrolyte-infused or regular) to cool the body down.
    • Do not use alcohol or alcoholic drinks to hydrate.
    • Don’t wait for thirst to drink, make sure to hydrate often.
    • Don’t drink very cold drinks, best to drink fluids that are cool or at room temperature.
  3. Use a hat or bandana to protect your head and forehead from direct exposure to the sun. 
  4. Wear light clothing that protects you but does not trap heat.
  5. Use a moistened cloth or towelettes to cool face, forehead and neck area.
  6. If possible, find shaded areas for brief stops to refresh and hydrate.
  7. Take cool showers to refresh yourself and keep the body’s temperature balanced.

Signs of Heatstoke According to Medical News Today

  • Temperatures 104°F or higher
  • Profuse sweating that abruptly stops (the body cannot produce sweat)
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Hyperventilation
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you suspect that you or someone you are with is having heatstroke, call for medical assistance, especially if it is a person who suffers a chronic condition, an elderly individual or a small child. Keep that person as cool and hydrated as possible until help arrives.

Enjoy your outdoor summer activities safely.

References: WebMD, Medical News Today, Mayo Clinic, Sports Medicine
By WHBogger
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover.