Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes can harm your nerves. That damage, called neuropathy, may be painful.

It can happen in several ways, and they all seem to be related to blood sugar levels being too high for too long. To prevent it, work with your doctor to manage your blood sugar.

Symptoms include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Pain

Early symptoms usually get better when your blood sugar is under control. There are medications available to help manage the discomfort.

What you should do:

  • Check feet/legs daily.
  • Use lotion for dry skin.
  • Take care of toenails.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes

If you think you may have a nerve problem, talk with your doctor, so they can check for the cause.

How to Become a Happier Person in the New Year

  • Put some pep in your step - Walking tall with swinging arms helps you feel more positive. Even if you're not feeling happy a spirited stroll can help you fake it until you make it!
  • Slap on a smile - When you smile like you mean it, you can change your brain's chemistry and feel happier.
  • Volunteer - Find ways to get involved in your community or help a friend in need. It can improve your mental helath and well-being.
  • Make new friends - Studies show the more connected you are, the happier you are. So be open to new relationships, whether it's someone you meet at the office, gym, church or park.
  • Break a sweat - It can take as little as 5 minutes for exercise to put you in a good mood. Regular exercise helps keep depression at bay.
  • Turn on some tunes - Pick your favorite music mix and get in the groove. You will get a real feel good vibe.
  • Tackle your goals - Ask yourself if they are realistic and within your reach or choose things that you can start to work towards.
  • Forgive and forget - Forgiveness frees you from negative thoughts and makes more room for inner peace.

Dementia: What Raises Your Risk?

Age - Alzeheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. About 1/3 of people 85 and older show signs of the disease.

Heart Disease - Heart disease could lead to heart attack or stroke, which makes dementia more likely. It is usually caused by plaque buildup in arteries around your heart which slows blood flow to the brain, making it harder to think well or remember things.

Diabetes - People with diabetes are more likely to have damaged blood vessels. This can slow or block blood flow to the brain, and damage areas of the brain, leading to what's called vascular dementia.

High Cholesterol - Some research shows that high cholesterol in midlife could be risk for Alzheimer's disease later in life, but the exact link isn't clear.


Why Your Liver is so Important

Your liver does three main jobs: It filters harmful things from your blood, stores fuel, and makes a liquid called bile that helps you digest food. The average adult liver weighs around 3 pounds and holds 1 pint of your blood at any given time. Cone shaped and colored a deep reddish-brown, it sits between your diaphragm and your stomach. If injury or disease damages your liver, surgeons can sometimes take out as much as 3/4th of it without destroying it. It often grows back to its former size within a few weeks.

Most medications pass through your liver. In some cases, they have to so they'll work the right way. The liver has chemicals that "activate" some drugs so they can work. These chemicals also control how quickly the drug...

Nurse's Notes September 2018

Blood Clots: What you Need to Know

What is a clot?

A clot is a clump of cells and protein in your blood. A clot helps slow bleeding when you are injured. It usually dissolves as you heal. But if it doesn't, or if it forms when it's not needed, it can clog up or completely block a blood vessel.

What problems can it cause?

In an artery, it can give you a heart attack or a stroke. If it happens in a vein, you can feel pain and swelling. A clot deep inside your body is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). One in your lungs is a pulmonary embolism (PE). They are both medical emergencies.

Know your chances

You can get a clot if you break a bone or pull a muscle badly. But sometimes you may not know why it happened or that you have one...

How High Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Body

  • Makes you Urinate More
    • Your kidneys have to work hard to process all that extra sugar in your blood. When they can't keep up, your body gets rid of it, along with water that your body needs
  • Makes you Thirsty
    • To get rid of that extra sugar, your body draws water from its own tissues. Because you need that fluid to make energy, transfer nutrients, and get rid of waste, a switch flips in your brain to tell you that you're thirsty so you'll drink more.
  • Dry mouth
    • Your mouth could get dry and cracked at the corners as your body draws fluid from it. Less saliva and more sugar in your blood make infection more likely. Your gums might swell, and white patches can grow on your tongue and inside your cheeks.
  • Skin problems
    • Your body takes water from all over to get rid of extra blood sugar. That may cause dry, itchy and cracked skin, especially on your legs, elbows, feet and hands.
  • Vision problems
    • Your body may pull fluid from your lenses in your eyes, which makes it harder to focus. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels in your retina causing long-term vision loss and even blindness.
  • Fatigue
    • When your blood sugar is high too often, you become less sensitive to insulin, which helps move energy to your cells. A lack of fuel can make you tired.

Gout Myths and Facts

Both men and women can get gout, but it's much more common in men. Gout usually develops in middle age or later in men and after menopause in women.

Uric acid can form when your body breaks down purines - a substance found in many foods. Normally uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes easily through your kidneys. But when too much uric acid builds up in your body, forming sharp crystals in and around your joints, you can have painful gout attacks.

Many people with gout say they have a tingling feeling in a joint right before a flare up starts. The pain can be so sudden and severe that it often wakes up people in the middle of the night. The affected joint is usually red, swollen, hot and painful to touch.

To find out if you have go...