Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Hy-Vee, Iowa Health Agencies Team Up to Promote Falls Prevention Awareness Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Tara Deering-Hansen   
Friday, 12 September 2014 14:13

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 10, 2014) — Hy-Vee, Inc., the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries have partnered to help educate Iowa’s elderly about ways they can prevent falls and injury during National Falls Prevention Awareness Month in September.

The seventh annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day will be observed on Sept. 23, the first day of fall. This year’s theme, Strong Today, Falls Free® Tomorrow, seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. Nearly 500,000 people over the age of 65 live in Iowa.

Hy-Vee, IDPH and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries hope to keep Iowa’s older population strong and falls-free by providing education and resources through several avenues — pharmacies, websites, social media and a Sept. 17 webinar — during the awareness month.

In September, when senior citizens fulfill their prescriptions at a Hy-Vee Pharmacy in Iowa, they will see educational information in their prescription bags.

“Our pharmacy staff often witness and help treat the aftermath of a fall, but this initiative enables us to bring awareness to the role we can play in prevention,” said Andy McCann, executive vice president and chief health officer of Hy-Vee. “We encourage our customers to review their prescription and non-prescription medications with us, as this is one of the main preventive measures our elderly can take.”

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65 years of age and over, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Every 14 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. And the chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age, the NCOA’s website says.

“Older Iowans in our communities had 29,590 fall-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations in 2012. These fall-related injuries resulted in 429 fatalities and approximately $135 million in hospitalization charges,” said Maggie Ferguson, IDPH brain injury and disability program manager. “We can change this by bringing greater attention to the many preventive measures that can be easily employed to keep our seniors safe.”

Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Falls Prevention Awareness Month promotional materials will encourage Iowa’s elderly adults to take the following steps:

  • Review all their prescription and non-prescription medicines with their doctor and pharmacist.
  • Talk to their health care provider about their risk of falling.
  • Have their vision checked at least once a year.
  • Talk to their family about their concerns.
  • Exercise to improve their strength and balance.
  • Make their home safer by removing things they can trip over.

“We thank the Iowa Department of Public Health and Hy-Vee for helping us to bring awareness to this issue. I have personally witnessed how injuries resulting from a fall can steal the quality of life from seniors and their families,” said W. Dave Johnson, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries.

On Sept. 17 at 11 a.m., the Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition will host a webinar titled “Aging, Fall Risk and Prevention Through Exercise.” To register for the webinar, visit

For more information about falls prevention, visit a local Hy-Vee Pharmacy; the IDPH Falls Prevention website at; or the NCOA website at


Red Cross launches Blood Donor App PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:41
The American Red Cross is launching a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App today that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. The new app makes it easier and faster for users to find a nearby blood drive, schedule blood donations, track their total donations, get rewards and invite friends and family to join them on a lifesaving team. It’s free and available for download through the App StoreSM and Google PlayTM.

As the nation’s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is uniquely positioned to bring this technology to blood and platelet donors. The attached news release details the new app and highlights its key features. By providing this information to your community, you can introduce them to a new way to help meet the constant need for blood.

Dining Out With Diabetes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Everyday Health   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:06
Going to a restaurant can be challenging for diabetics, but there are ways to eat wisely and still enjoy yourself.

Maintaining a healthy diabetes diet away from home requires planning ahead and making smart choices. It can be a challenge, but dining out doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Many of the dietary rules people with type 2 diabetes need to follow — limiting salt, sugar, and fat intake — are beneficial for anyone.

The key to enjoying a meal at a restaurant is to have a plan going in, according to Dietlinde Wolter-Nitta, RD, CDE, of the Clinical Diabetes Center of Montefiore Hospital in New York City. That means knowing what’s on the menu, what to avoid, and how to control the way food is prepared and served.

Here are some ideas to make your night out more fun and less work.

Tip 1: Do Your Homework

Wolter-Nitta suggests looking at the menu before trying a restaurant. “It’s hard to make smart diet decisions when you’re hungry,” she said. “So if you decide beforehand, you can make yourself stick to it.”

For people with diabetes, when they eat can be as important to maintaining their blood sugar level as what and how much they consume. It’s a good idea to make a restaurant reservation whenever possible, and avoid peak times when the wait for a table is longer.

If you’re concerned about slow service, speak to the waiter and ask if certain meals take longer to prepare than others.

Tip 2: Portion Control

One of the biggest challenges to eating sensibly is the temptation to finish everything on your plate. There are tricks you can use to control that urge.

“Decide to take a doggie bag home before you start eating,” suggests Wolter-Nitta. “Put half of the food away before you dig in. With diabetes, you have to watch out for sugar, sodium, and fat, and this will cut those in half.”

Another way to reduce portion size is to split a meal with a dinner companion. “Order an appetizer each and split an entrée,” she said. “That’s a great way to lower calories.”

Tip 3: Know What to Eat and What to Avoid

The first thing you usually have to watch out for in a restaurant is the bread basket. “They put it out on the table and it’s so hard to say no,” said Wolter-Nitta. “You have to ask yourself whether you’re at the restaurant to eat bread or your meal.”

Sauces and salad dressings can be loaded with salt and fat. “Sauces such as butter sauces, béchamel, au gratin, and hollandaise should definitely be on the do-not-eat list,” she said. If you must have salad dressing, try dipping your fork in it rather than pouring it on.

Certain cuisines are trickier than others. For instance, “Chinese restaurants add corn starch and sugar to most foods,” she said. “Stick to white rice and vegetables and avoid the soy sauce.”

When it comes to food preparation, ask if a dish can be baked, grilled, or broiled rather than fried. When you do eat fried food, remove the fat- and calorie-laden bread coating.

It’s not just what you eat: Sugary drinks affect your weight and glucose levels, and they have been directly linked to type 2 diabetes.

Tip 4: Indulge — a Little

“Eating dessert isn’t forbidden,” said Wolter-Nitta. “It’s just a matter of doing it the right way.” One suggestion: “Instead of going for the chocolate cake, go for a piece of fruit or something sugar-free.”

A meal at a fast-food restaurant can easily exceed your daily recommended allowance for calories, fat, and salt. If you’re going to treat yourself to a grab-and-go bite, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) reminds you to check the nutritional information before ordering, avoid “super-sized” or “deluxe” meals, and ask for healthy substitutions when you can.

Whatever you’re treating yourself to, moderation is key.

Here are some more suggestions from the ADA when ordering out: ·

Be Creative. Just because dishes are labeled “appetizers,” “entrees,” and “desserts” doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up. The ADA suggests a fruit cup as a starter, or a salad and appetizer as a main course. ·

Order Ahead. Call the restaurant and ask if your food can be prepared to meet your dietary needs. By giving the kitchen advance notice, they might be able to better accommodate you. ·

Think About What You Drink. If you’re going to treat yourself to an alcoholic beverage, remember that mixers can pack a lot of calories and sugar.

Watching what you eat and drink all the time “takes a lot of discipline,” as Wolter-Nitta points out. “But it pays dividends for your health.”

How to Support a Loved One Who’s Fighting Cancer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:54
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Woman Living
with Incurable Cancer Offers 4 Suggestions

Shy about asking, “What’s the etiquette for supporting my loved one, friend or  colleague in their battle against cancer?” many people simply avoid the question altogether – and offer nothing.

“It’s okay to wonder, and it’s okay to ask. Be direct!” says Jane Schwartzberg, who has been battling stage 4 metastatic cancer for several years. She’s the co-author with Marcy Tolkoff Levy of “Naked Jane Bares All,”, which shares her story with candor and humor.

Jane was a 31-year-old newlywed when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent treatment and eventually was declared cancer free. She moved on with her life, giving birth to two children and launching a technology company. Then, when she was 42, the cancer returned. She’s now 45.

“I’m a fighter, and the support I’ve received from my family and friends has given me  an immeasurable amount of strength, without which I don’t know what I would do,” Schwartzberg says.

What are some suggestions for providing support? She offers these:

•  Do it without any expectations or requirements for a response. “I’m often asked, ‘What can I do to help?’ ” she says. “What I’ve suggested: Be in my life at my pace, let me take the lead; make your presence, availability and support known, but do it without any expectations or requirements for a response.”

•  Embrace their big dream, even if it doesn’t sound realistic. During a very low point, Schwartzberg was asked by a friend: If you could have anything, swinging for the fences, what would help you get out of this pit? Without skipping a beat, she answered, “I want to take [comedian] Larry David out to lunch.” As impossible as it seemed, her friend encouraged her to write to the co-creator of “Seinfeld” -- and he accepted.

“As terrible as having terminal cancer is, there is that undeniable quality of embracing every moment, including asking your heroes out to lunch,” Schwartzberg says. “Cancer brings out the boldness in people, which may entail a dream vacation to Hawaii. Don’t be afraid to embrace their wishes.”

•  Don’t hesitate to say, “You look beautiful,” when health has returned. After her chemotherapy treatments ended, Jane slowly started looking like her old self – healthy Jane, not cancer Jane. Part of reengaging with life is caring about the superficial things, at least to some extent. On the unforgettable day she met Larry David, the maître d had beforehand told her that she looked beautiful, to which Jane responded, “You have no idea how much I appreciate that.”

•  Don’t sugarcoat it. “If you want to really infuriate me, you’ll tell me that this whole mess is beshert, Yiddish for ‘meant to be’ – that it’s all part of a plan from a higher power,” she says. “Maybe terminal cancer is part of some crazy plan, but I promise you that these are the last things I want to hear from anyone.”

Don’t sugarcoat or try to put a positive spin on what’s going on – in fact, it’s more of a comfort to Jane when others acknowledge that her situation stinks and that she is looking at a life that’s far different from, and likely to be shorter than, anything she’d imagined.

About Jane Schwartzberg

Jane Schwartzberg, 45, is the co-author of the new book, “Naked Jane Bares All,”, the many-layered story – told with humor and candor -- of how she learned to embrace life when she was down for the count. Jane is a financial services executive and founder and former CEO of a start-up technology company.
“Naked Jane Bares All” was co-written by veteran writer Marcy Tolkoff Levy. Following a year of interviews and many late nights with Jane, her family and friends, Marcy formed the foundation of a colorful, poignant and even humorous collection of vignettes about how Jane continues to get back up when life throws her down.

Chronic Pain & Painkillers: Why You Should Consider Alternatives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:59
Physician Offers 4 Natural Ways to End the Pain

Roughly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain lasting more than six months, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. Throughout the past decade, the use of painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin has soared by 300 percent. For many – 17,000 people per year, or 46 each day – the treatment is worse than the pain; those are the number of users who die from the medicine, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

For every person who dies from the use of painkillers, 30 more are admitted to emergency rooms due to complications.

“Those figures are appalling,” says Dr. Frank King, a doctor of naturopathy, president of King Bio natural medicine company, and author of The Healing Revolution (

“Death is just one of the many side effects of heavy-duty pharmaceuticals, and researchers unanimously agree that addiction to painkillers has risen drastically in recent years. People are so focused on pain that they miss the fact that it is a signal of deeper health problems. Don’t shoot the messenger! Listen to the pain, and it will lead you to the root causes.”

With decades of experience helping patients, Dr. King offers four natural suggestions for pain management.

•  Identify the root causes of pain. Pain is a signal of deeper problems, similar to the warning light on the dashboard of your car. You can mask the light with duct tape, which is what prescription drugs do with pain. You can cut the wires, which might symbolize a surgical approach. Or you can look for the root causes, which is what our more natural, holistic approach seeks to do. Address the problem, and the pain will subside.

•  Make good choices. Most chronic conditions are caused by bad lifestyle choices. Try walking more, eating and sleeping better, eliminating stress and bad habits from your life, and watch pain decrease and health increase. It’s that simple. Moreover, surround yourself with a healing community of like-minded “healing buddies” who support your healthy choices.

•  Explore natural healing techniques, and if necessary, see a natural healing practitioner. You are your best doctor, on call 24/7. I developed many self-healing techniques that address the needs of every aspect of mind-body health. These techniques are free and easy to implement at home, on the job, and wherever you might be. You might also explore meditation, yoga and other approaches for filling the holes in your wholeness.

•  Look into homeopathy. Homeopathy predates modern medicine. Homeopathic medicines are safe and effective, with no known side effects or negative drug interactions. They target the root causes, not the superficial pain. I have personally seen homeopathy dramatically raise the quality of life and happiness for countless of my patients.

With the appalling death toll due to pharmaceutical pain medication, natural solutions like homeopathy are our safest, brightest hope for the future of pain management.

About Dr. Frank King

Dr. Frank King is a chiropractor, doctor of naturopathy, and founder and president of King Bio, an FDA-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing company dedicated to education, research, development, manufacture and distribution of safe and natural homeopathic medicines for people and pets. Dr. King is also the author of, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally! ( A fourth-generation farmer, Dr. King raises yak, camel, boar, wisent and American bison sold under the Carolina Bison brand. He is a member of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States.

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