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July 28: World Hepatitis Awareness Day

July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. Millions of people across the globe take part in this day to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, and to call for access to treatment, better prevention programs and government action. 

Worldwide, around 400 million people have hepatitis B or C and millions die from the condition every year. Here in the United States, more than 1.2 million are affected by hepatitis B and more than 3 million have chronic hepatitis C (but may not be aware) with 16,000 dying from it annually. Hepatitis, meaning “inflammation of the liver”, can cause scarring (fibrosis), liver disease, liver cancer, fatty liver, and late stage scarring, known as cirrhosis of the liver.  Here’s what you need to know about this serious disease…

Types of Hepatitis
32102682_lThere are five types of hepatitis, although many only know about A, B, and C. The other two forms are D and E. Hepatitis B and C are caused by contact with infected bodily fluids and can both lead to chronic illnesses that affect millions of sufferers for the rest of their lives. Hepatitis A and E, on the other hand, are mainly caused by water and food contamination. 

Unlike the other forms, hepatitis D cannot be contracted on its own. It can only be contracted if you are already infected with hepatitis B, and this combination can be deadly. Contaminated blood, medical procedures, sexual contact, and birth can all be modes of transmission.

Symptoms of Hepatitis
People infected with hepatitis may experience no symptoms at first. When they do, commonly they include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fever, abdominal pain, nausea, poor appetite, and fatigue. Associated illnesses like fatty liver disease can cause the same symptoms as well as a host of other problems that make it very difficult to cope.

HIV and Hepatitis40264184_l
Some individuals contract a virus that transmits hepatitis to their systems. Those who have hepatitis are also commonly the same individuals at increased risk for contracting HIV. The reason for this connection is that both illnesses are transmitted in similar ways (e.g., as an STD or unsafe injection practices). Those who have both HIV symptoms and hepatitis are considered co-infected, and they may have more problems with their conditions than those who only have one illness. Hepatitis has also become one of the leading causes of death in those who live with HIV but do not die from AIDS.

Preventing and Treating Hepatitis 
World Hepatitis Day encourages individuals across the globe to protect themselves from contracting hepatitis and 40749991_lother liver related illnesses by getting vaccinated, practicing safe sex, using sterile medical equipment, and leading a responsible lifestyle.

Living with hepatitis can be difficult. It can change a life forever. Those who have the illness may need to take antiviral medications for the rest of their lives or undergo a liver transplant. They may continue the cycle by passing on the disease to their children.

Spread the word today by tweeting with #4000voices. With better awareness and understanding of how we can prevent hepatitis we can eliminate this disease and save 4,000 lives a day.

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you provide savings on medication for you or your loved ones. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the wtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

By
 WHBlogger 

7/28/2015 

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.

How to Reduce Stomach Acid

Acid Reflux - Printed Diagnosis with Blurred Text. Background of Medicaments Composition - Red Pills, Injections and Syringe.Excess stomach acid affects between 10 and 20 million adults in the United States. While stomach acid helps break down and absorb foods during the digestive process, too much can cause anywhere from mild irritation to extremely painful symptoms.

The most common problem associated with excess stomach acid is heartburn. This occurs when acid finds its way into the esophagus and causes a burning sensation in the chest area. More severe problems, such as serious tissue damage, can happen after repeated cases in a short period of time. Here’s what you need to know…

What Increases Stomach Acid?
Often stomach acid buildup is genetic, but other factors may also result in excess production. Citrus foods/drinks and spicy dishes may increase stomach acid. Alcohol and tobacco may also be problematic, as may certain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and certain blood pressure drugs.

hiatal hernia may also cause acid issues. With this medical condition, acid moves into the stomach because part of your stomach pushes upward through your diaphragm, whose job it is to keep the acid out.

Stomach Acid Symptoms
Symptoms of stomach acid buildup include bloating, too much gas, heartburn, problems with digestion, and stomach ulcers. High stomach acidity can also cause terrible breath, nasal passage blockage, and hair loss. In cases where an eating disorder is present, nausea often accompanies excess stomach acid. 

How to Reduce Stomach AcidAntacids
Most of the time, if you control what you eat, you may be able to regulate the acid levels in your stomach.

Also, drinking water may help with stomach acid relief. High stomach acid levels are usually due to dehydration because water dilutes the acid.

If you experience mild heartburn, milk may help absorb extra stomach acid and cut down on your pain. Skim milk is preferred, as fat can make the issue worse.

Over-the-counter heartburn medications may help mitigate symptoms, too. Take your body into consideration when purchasing these medications because some people are sensitive to the calcium and aluminum found in them.

You should consult a physician before making any changes to your diet or taking any medications. If you experience heartburn on a regular basis or your condition is getting worse, you should consult with your doctor.

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you provide savings on medication for you or your loved ones. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using thewtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

Sources:

http://www.sts.org/patient-information/esophageal-surgery/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease
http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease
http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Excess-Stomach-Acid

By WHBlogger 

7/23/2015 

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.

What Is Juvenile Arthritis and What Causes It?

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month. According to the Arthritis Foundation, almost 300,000 children ages 18 and younger suffer from this condition in the United States. Juvenile arthritis is not defined by a single set of symptoms. It is a term used to describe several conditions that cause significant inflammation in the musculoskeletal system. Causes may vary drastically for each person. Here’s what you should know… 

What Causes Juvenile Arthritis? 
38756854_lIn some cases, doctors may not be able to pinpoint the cause of juvenile arthritis. Typically, however, it’s caused by an underlying autoimmune disorder. These conditions occur when the body’s immune system (organs, cells, and tissues that fight infection) start to attack healthy tissues and cells. 

Children who get arthritis may be genetically predisposed to the autoimmune disorder, while others may have a virus that precipitates the inflammation. Research also indicates that allergies and toxins may play a role in childhood development of arthritis. Lyme disease, if unaddressed, may also cause arthritis.

Arthritis Symptoms and Types
Arthritis affects joints, bones, muscles, and more. Stiffness, clumsiness, lymph node swelling, and rashes may indicate the presence of arthritis. Common types include:

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis: This is the inflammation of the small joints in hands and feet, and it may lead to eye inflammation and growth development problems. In some cases of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a child may develop osteoporosis from his or her disease, or from the medications used to treat the disease.

    arthritis
  2. Psoriatic arthritis: A form of arthritis that affects those who have psoriasis, a scaly, red skin condition.  Psoriatic arthritis causes pain and swelling in the joints and can lead to the ultimate destruction of joints.

  3. Gout: A severe form of arthritis that can develop over time. It’s very painful and difficult to treat.

Some juvenile arthritis patients may recover from their symptoms and go into remission, while others must manage them into their adult lives.

Diagnosing and Treating Juvenile Arthritisrhuematoid
There’s no test to diagnose arthritis. A physician will carefully evaluate medical history and conduct a thorough physical exam. Most often, this will be done by rheumatologists – doctors who specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal, vascular, and autoimmune disorders. The field of rheumatology is increasingly focused on finding immune related treatments to address all forms of arthritis.

38774182_lTreatment will depend on the type of arthritis a child is experiencing. Many methods involve managing the pain associated with arthritis by using a combination of anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, and eating anti-inflammatory foods. 

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you provide savings on medication for you or your loved ones. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using thewtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

Related Posts:

Living With An Autoimmune Disease
About Arthritis
Exercises Suited for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Psoriasis: An Overview
Pain Management without a Prescription

By
 WHBlogger 

7/16/2015 

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.

What Is Group B Strep?

Most people are familiar with streptococcus bacteria that infects the throat, causing what’s known as strep throat. It is classified as a group A strep infection. However, many people are unaware of another category known as group B strep infection, in which the bacteria routinely colonizes in the human body without causing symptoms. Group B bacteria is often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. Occasionally, it can become dangerous. Here’s what you need to know…strep

What Is Group B Strep?
This type of strep infection, also known as beta strep, can affect adults who suffer from chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and newborns. If left untreated, it may lead to dangerous cases of sepsis (widespread bodily inflammation), pneumonia (lung infection), and meningitis (inflammation around the brain and spinal cord). Thousands of group B strep infection cases happen in the U.S. every year, and the highest rate of occurrences are found in those over the age of 65.

Group B Strep in Pregnancy 
Strep B in pregnancy is not always a cause for concern. Many pregnant women and newborns may never suffer from symptoms or conditions associated with the infection.

However, infants who experience respiratory difficulty, fever, excessive tiredness, or who are not feeding well may have a related infection. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal and may take a baby’s life within his or her first week. In some cases, babies born with group B strep suffer from life-altering conditions like cerebral palsy, hearing loss, or vision loss. Babies can contract the infection before or during the birth.

pregnantPregnant women should have a routine strep B test to decrease the chance of the child becoming infected. It is recommended that the test be conducted between the 35th and 37th weeks of pregnancy. When caught early, treatment involves a simple round of antibiotics. 

If you’re a healthy adult, there is probably no reason to be screened for group B strep.  It is recommended that you take the test if you become pregnant. 

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you provide savings on medication for you or your loved ones. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using thewtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

By WHBlogger 

7/10/2015 

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.

My Guiding Principles: From the Court to Daily Life

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health

As a basketball player, I quickly learned to be a team player. But I never expected that so many lessons learned on the court would continue to guide me through life’s daily challenges. My coaches, teammates, and my own personal hurdles as an athlete have all helped shape my composure in the business world. The five most important lessons from basketball that continue to help me lead as President of Watertree Health, include the following:

  1. Be a coach—As a college and professional athlete, I’ve observed numerous coaching styles. But one thing is always the same—a coach must always lead by example. As a team member and now as a business leader, I strive to do my best every day. When I was playing basketball, I was part of a team of 12, now I’m the coach of almost 200 people. Ultimately it’s the effort of the entire team that makes a difference in both a game and in business.
  1. No one can want it more than you do—Part of being a team leader, and a team player, is staying focused. You have to bring the best version of yourself to the court and to the office. I can’t expect any of my employees to want my company to succeed more than I do. Being a leader means being the biggest and the loudest cheerleader.
  1. You are going to lose—No one likes to lose. Ever. But sometimes it’s inevitable, and ultimately all part of the process whether in a game or when running a business. Even in a loss lies a victory – which is that you’ve tried. And, you can’t get feedback without failure.
  1. Be of service—As a basketball player, there was never a doubt in my mind that I loved what I was doing. Competition was my life. In business I’ve learned that, if you are serving a mission you believe in, then it can turn into a passion and not just a way to earn a paycheck. When I was at Mississippi State, I was serving my coach, my fellow team members and the greater college community. Today I run a company that helps people live healthier lives. It’s something I can feel good about.
  1. Work it out—When all else fails and the stresses of daily life take their toll, I still seek refuge in the gym. Maybe it’s because I was an athlete for so long, but I know that I’m a better leader when I can come to the table with a “clean slate”. For me, this means daily workouts combining cardio and weights. The less stress I have, the better I lead.

Whether you play sports or participate in debate matches, it is important to listen and learn from those around you. As the Head Basketball Coach at Mississippi State, Rick Stansbury, once said, “Do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it, with the best attitude and effort possible.”

4 Ways to Eat More Fruit This Summer

Summer is a great time to start eating more fruit—many are at the height of their season. According to the USDA, most people should try to eat at least 1.5 or 2 cups of fruit daily.  For the best deals, visit a bulk food store or go for frozen fruits. 

To incorporate more fruit into your diet this summer, consider the following:

Note: Anyone with blood sugar sensitivities like hypoglycemia or diabetes should be wary of using too many sweet fruits without veggies for balance. Please consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet. 

1. Fruit Salad: Chop & Mix37802338_l

July’s peak-season fruits include: watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, apricots, kiwi, raspberries, and plums. Different fruits have different health benefits, so a fruit salad is a great way to receive a variety of nutrients. For example, plums have high levels of potassium, which may help manage high blood pressure. One easy way to know you’re mixing nutrients is to mix colors. 

2. Smoothies: Toss & Blendsmoothie

A smoothie is a great way to get more fruits, extra protein and even veggies into your diet. Try some protein-packed yogurt or add veggies like spinach, kale, or spirulina powder to improve your amount of daily nutrients. A simple recipe is to blend berries, banana, and 100% apple juice. 
TIP: Put over-ripe bananas in the freezer and use them for extra sweet and refreshing smoothies.

3. Easy Desserts: Chop. Dip. Freeze. popsicle

Try chopping up your favorite fruit, dipping them in yogurt, then freezing them. You can also make homemade popsicles using fresh fruit juice or small fruit chunks in coconut milk or yogurt. If you have left over smoothie, you can freeze that as well! 

4. Juicing: Press or Squeeze31571565_l

If you like fresh juice not from concentrate, you may want to consider investing in a juicer. Juicing, however, does remove a lot of natural fiber, so it should not replace all of the fruit in your diet.

 

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you save on your monthly prescriptions and other medications. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 
WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the wtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

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. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like.