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HEALTH

Influence of Diet and Lifestyle on Heart Health

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Heart is a major organ in the cardiovascular system. On account of world heart day, let’s discuss it in detail. Heredity is one of the main reasons for heart disease. However, diet, exercise, and lifestyle play a crucial role in maintaining your heart health. With the world seeing more people being affected by heart disease, awareness of the role of the three in preventing cardiovascular disease is the need of the hour.

There is a wide array of problems that may arise within the cardiovascular system. A few examples of these are endocarditis, rheumatic heart disease, abnormalities in the conduction system, among others. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) or heart disease refer to the following conditions.

  1. Coronary artery disease (CAD): Sometimes referred to as Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), results from decreased myocardial perfusion that causes angina, myocardial infarction (MI), and/or heart failure. It accounts for one-third to one-half of the cases of CVD.
  2. Cerebrovascular disease (CVD): Including stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  3. Peripheral artery disease (PAD): Particularly arterial disease involving the limbs that may result in claudication
  4. Aortic atherosclerosis: Including thoracic and abdominal aneurysmsimprove heart health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Western countries, representing almost 30% of all deaths worldwide. Evidence shows the effectiveness of healthy dietary patterns and lifestyles for the prevention of CVD. Furthermore, the rising number of CVD cases over the last 25 years has become a public health priority. The prevention of CVD (or cardiovascular events) through lifestyle interventions are considered to be of utmost importance now.

Several epidemiological studies in the past decade have demonstrated a 45–81% decrease in heart failure incidence in those following a healthy lifestyle (regular physical activity, healthy dietary pattern, normal BMI, no or moderate alcohol intake and not smoking).

Dietary influence

Dietary intervention allows better combination of multiple foods and nutrients. A healthy dietary pattern with wholesome food shows a greater magnitude of beneficial effects than the potential effects of a single nutrient supplementation.

The healthy eating pattern should focus on

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Fish/poultry
  • Moderate dairy
  • Heart-healthy vegetable oil intakeheart healthy foods

Poor eating pattern has a major influence on the heart health:

  • Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with Heart failure.
  • CoQ10 deficiency has been associated with myocardial dysfunction.
  • Multivitamin supplementation has been advocated to reduce cardiovascular events.
  • Probiotics plays a vital role in lowering both BP and circulating lipids.

Also awareness in avoiding or restricting the following is very important to protect the heart.

  • Refined grains
  • Added sugar
  • Trans-fats
  • Red and processed meats.

The traditional Mediterranean-type diet is the right example for this healthy dietary pattern. Given that we now understand the components of this diet sufficiently, it may be possible to translate this pattern to other regions, with appropriate similar food replacements based on food availability and preferences.

Considering the increasing trend on heart diseases for this World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation has come up with the concept of taking a mission on the following points to ensure heart health equity for all for a better life.

  • A promise to our families to cook and eat more healthily
  • A promise to our children to exercise more and help them to be more active, to say no to smoking and help our loved ones to stop
  • A promise as a healthcare professional to help patients give up smoking and lower their cholesterol
  • A promise as a policymaker to support policies that promote healthy hearts
  • A promise as an employee to invest in heart-healthy workplaces
  • A simple promise … for MY HEART, for YOUR HEART, for ALL OUR HEARTS.

By making just a few small changes to our lives, we can reduce our risk of heart disease and improve our quality of life. This World Heart Day, let’s vow to join together in improving the quality of our life by taking care of our heart.



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HEALTH

Best Wireless Workout Headphones for Running and the Gym

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When it comes to workouts — particularly solo ones — headphones are non-negotiable. Sweating it out with your favourite playlist definitely helps you to zone out while you push yourself through your session. But working out with headphones that are constantly falling out of your ears is not only a buzz kill, but a total workout ruiner.

To be certain you never suffer through another workout in a dodgy-headphone-induced rage, we rounded up our favourite headphones that will stay in while you exercise. From wireless to wired, and ones that sit in the ear and out, we discovered 12 different types of headphones that will help you rock (or dance through) your workout.



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NEWS

Choose your own healthcare transformation adventure at HLTH

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Business decision concept vector illustration. Businessman standing on the crossroads with two arrows and directions. Eps10 vector illustration.

As the second annual healthcare transformation conference HLTH approaches next month, here’s the latest preview of some of the areas of interest that will be highlighted at the conference scheduled for October 27-30 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Bold New Entrants is a track that will focus on companies that have recently moved into the healthcare space.

In retail, finance and telecom, consumer brand companies are quickly buying property across the health landscape. “Health newbies” such as Mastercard and Bose will highlight some of their plans for the healthcare sector. Among the speakers for this track are Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer for Mastercard and president of Healthcare Mastercard, and Phil Hess, CEO of Bose Corp.

Social media players will also share their perspective as patients and caregivers turn to these avenues for health information, advice, and services. Dr. Freddy Abnousi, the Head of Healthcare – Research at Facebook and Lisa Bookwalter, Director, Twitter Client Solutions, Health will offer their insights.


Attend HLTH to hear from innovative leaders from companies like Talkspace, Cleveland Clinic, Houston Methodist Hospital and more. Register here and use code medcity150 to save $150.


WEGO Health Awards will also be part of the HLTH conference this year. WEGO Health Awards recognize and honor those making a difference in the online health community, supporting patient leaders who are working to build a more human-centered healthcare system.

Jack Barrette, WEGO Health CEO said it would bring the patient advocates, influencers, and healthcare collaborators to HLTH who are helping others and transforming healthcare.

Voice as a user interface in healthcare tech has been gaining ground in recent years and will be a spotlight at the HLTH conference through a partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital.

The Voice.HLTH track will include presentations from industry experts who are pioneering voice transformation in healthcare, including how to address barriers and implementation challenges, according to a press release from HLTH. A series of discussions will highlight the potential of voice tech from the likes of Katherine Vandebelt, Global Head of Clinical Innovation with Oracle Health Science Global Business Unit; Vishwanathan Krishnamoorthy, Chief Product and Experience Officer with Humana; and John Brownstein, Chief Innovation Officer with Boston Children’s Hospital. There will also be a debate that will explore the risks and benefits associated with leveraging voice tech and machine learning for patients to track their clinical encounters.

MedCity’s patient engagement conference ENGAGE will also be part of the HLTH conference for the first time this year. ENGAGE at HLTH on October 28 will feature innovators from across the health ecosystem drawing attention to innovations in care delivery, reimbursement, and health tech that are driving the consumerization of health.

Generation.AI will address the intense interest around artificial intelligence in its different forms, such as machine learning and evolutionary computation. One discussion will address the roles this technology has to play in healthcare from earlier detection of disease, which can increase the success rate of treatments and provide more options for therapies. Another segment will explore how pharma companies are enlisting AI tech partnerships to potentially transform drug discovery by helping companies screen data, identify potential targets for drug development, speed up clinical trial design and recruitment, and help repurpose approved drugs for new indications.

One byproduct of the consumerization of healthcare is the push for direct-to-consumer diagnostics. Human-Centered Care will explore how this is making it easier to order tests for food sensitivity, fertility, genetics, and more, be it online or from big box stores. In one panel, executives will discuss the impact of mainstreamed home testing and the benefits (and challenges) of keeping consumers more engaged in their health.

Picture: Getty Images, Mykyta Dolmatov

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FOOD

Fancy KitKats Available in John Lewis for Christmas 2019

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KitKats have just had a major glow up, and it’s all thanks to Christmas. Nestlé is officially launching bespoke, handcrafted KitKat bars in the UK, and you’ll be able to play chocolatier and design your own version of the classic chocolate treat. The fully-customisable chocolate bars allow you to play with a casual 1,500 flavour combinations, which has four varieties of chocolate to choose from alone — milk, dark, white, and ruby. As for the ingredients you can mix into your bar, you’ll have a tough time choosing between salted caramel chunks, shortbread pieces, toasted coconut flakes, and more.

Nestlé is also launching a suite of limited edition bars, and the range has 14 flavours, which all sounds delicious. We definitely have our eye on the zingtastic gin and tonic, and whisky and ginger, but Earl grey, lemon posset, and Eton mess are all on the menu, too. Perhaps the most exciting KitKat option though is the luxury £25 dark chocolate bar, which is super bougie. The chocolate bar, if we can even call it that, is wrapped in gold leaf and sprinkled generously with cocoa nibs and dried raspberries, so it’s definitely the best option if you want to impress your friends, or just feel fancy while sipping your afternoon tea. This bar will be available in London’s Oxford Street and the Trafford Centre near Manchester — but it’s extremely limited, so get in quick when it drops.

The KitKat kiosks will be popping up in 30 John Lewis stores around the UK between Sept. 26 and Dec. 24, and prices range from £7.50 for a six-finger special edition bar to £25 for the fancy gold-plated bar.

Image Source: Nestle



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HEALTH

Knee Pain: Symptoms, Remedies and Exercises

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Are you suffering from knee pain? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You could be 13 years old or 65 years old and suffer from knee pain. Torn cartilage or a ruptured ligament are the usual suspects in knee pain. In addition to this, arthritis, gout, infections, and other medical conditions can also cause pain in the knees. You can make use of many self-care measures to deal with knee pain. This article is going to highlight many remedies for instant relief.

Table of Contents

Knee pain

Before taking care of knee pain, you need to understand what it is. It’s easiest to understand this when looking at the symptoms of knee pain.

Symptoms of knee pain

  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching sounds
  • Inability to fully straighten the kneeknee pain symptoms

When should you see a doctor?

A doctor’s appointment might be required if you experience any of the following.

  • You feel as if your knee will give out or is unstable if you put weight onto it
  • You have marked knee swelling
  • In addition to pain, swelling, and redness in your knee, you have a fever.
  • There’s a large deformity in your knee or leg
  • You have excessive knee pain which is associated with an injury
  • You see an obvious deformity in your leg or knee

Exercises for knee pain

If you’re looking for knee pain relief, you’ve come to the right place. This section will take a look at exercises you can do to experience relief from knee pain. Remember to warm up before you perform these exercises as warming up will reduce your risk of an injury, help you stretch and also help you get more out of your workout. A stationary bike ride for 5 minutes or so or a quick 2-minute walk while pumping your arms is a great warm-up.

Straight leg raises

This exercise is perfect for knees which need a bit of extra care to start with. This exercise will work your quadriceps, which are the muscles in the front of your thigh. It puts very little strain on your knee, which makes it the perfect exercise to start building knee strength.

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor to start with.
  • Bend a knee and place one of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your other leg straight while raising it to the height of the opposite knee.
  • Do each raise 10 to 15 times for three sets.straight leg raise

Hamstring curls

Hamstrings are muscles found on the back of your thigh. You can do this exercise on the floor or while standing and holding onto a chair. If the exercise is too easy for you, you can add ankle weights. If you’re dealing with knee pain and the exercise is too easy, start slow with 1 pound of weight. You can make your way up to 5 pounds as and when you feel comfortable.

  • Lie flat on your stomach.
  • Next, bring your heels slowly towards your butt. Squeeze them as close as you can and hold them in that position.
  • Do each curl 15 times for three sets.hamstring curls

Prone straight leg raises

In this exercise, you’re going to lie on your back while keeping your legs straight. You may add ankle weights as you get stronger. Your back shouldn’t hurt while doing this exercise. If your back hurts, raise your leg less. If your back still hurts, consult a doctor.

  • Begin by tightening the muscles located in your butt as well as the hamstring of one leg.
  • Lift this leg towards the ceiling and hold it there for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat with your other leg
  • Do each prone straight leg raise 10 to 15 times and switch sides.

Home remedies for knee pain

If you’re averse to going out, this section will take you through many different options you can explore to deal with your knee pain from the comfort of your home. Let’s begin.

Use RICE

If you’re suffering from strains or a sprain, you can make use of first aid at home. Adopting the acronym RICE will go a long way in treating your strain or sprain.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Grab a bag of ice and apply it to your knee. If you don’t have a bag of ice or cold compress handy, you can use frozen vegetables too. You can prevent swelling by wrapping your knee with a compression bandage. Make sure you don’t wrap your knee too tightly. You don’t want to cut off circulation. Finally, keep your leg elevated while you rest.

Tai chi

Tai chi is incredible at improving balance as well as flexibility. This ancient Chinese form of mind-body exercise has proven benefits. A study highlighted that tai chi is beneficial for people with osteoarthritis. Tai chi will also teach you plenty of mental discipline when it comes to coping with chronic pain.tai chi for knee pain

Heat and cold therapy

Use cold often during the first 24 hours after your injury. You can use a gel-style cold pack to reduce pain and swelling. For the heat side of things, you can make use of a heating pad to rest your knee while you’re reclining. This will help stop your joint from swelling up. Remember to alternate between heat and cold for maximum recovery.

Yoga for knee pain

If you’ve underestimated yoga for helping knee pain recovery, you’ve been misled. Yoga is an excellent tool for dealing with weak knees and knee pain. Yoga is a fantastic way of seeking knee pain relief.

Many of the poses in yoga are beneficial for knee stabilisation as well as muscle strengthening. Yoga is also fantastic at stretching tight muscles which pull on the knee such as the outer hips and hip flexors. Let’s look at some yoga poses for knee pain.

Mountain pose

Mountain pose tracks your knees evenly. It will also force you to engage your leg muscles isometrically.

  • Begin by touching your big toes as well as heels together.
  • Continue by engaging your lower abdominals and stretching your fingertips towards your toes.
  • Take deep full breaths while opening up your chest.
  • Be aware of your feet and work on spreading your toes and pressing them into the floor evenly.
  • Centre your weight to the arch of your foot and visualise lifting up from your inner arch through the ankle up through the knees. Engage your quadricep muscles and lift up from your kneecaps. If you feel like you’re locking your legs, micro bend your knees.
  • Finally, draw the muscles of your legs upwards instead of jamming your legs back.mountain pose for knee pain

Triangle pose

Triangle pose is fantastic at strengthening your quadriceps, inner thighs, and abdominals. It also stretches the waist, hips, and hamstrings.

  • Begin by standing in mountain pose. Continue by opening to the side of your mat.
  • Turn your right toes forward 90 degrees and your left toes in about 75 degrees.
  • Hinge to the right and go over your leg while placing your hand on your upper ankle, shin, upper thigh or a yoga block.
  • Finally, imagine you’re between two narrow walls and bring your body back in space with your hips. Engage your legs and draw up your kneecaps as well as your inner thighs. Keep holding this pose for up to eight breaths and then do the same on the other side.Trikonasana

Hero’s pose

This is the best knee pain reliever there is in yoga. Holding this pose for five minutes each day can take care of many knee-related issues. You can sit on blocks or folded blankets or towels if you feel more pull than you can handle on your knees.

  • Begin by kneeling. Next, pull your calf muscles to your sides while sitting your hips between your ankles.
  • Finally, pull up on your knee and also pull your buttock flesh back and then relax.
  • Hold this pose for five to eight breaths. Hold it for longer if you’re able to do so.

Summary

All of the above exercises, poses and remedies shouldn’t be too intense. This isn’t a hardcore workout session. You’re aiming for recovery. Recovery involves not straining your muscles too much as they’re in a delicate position. It’s always a good idea to seek professional help if you’re unsure of what you’re doing.

Knee recovery isn’t a one-night solution. It involves incremental progress in order to recover. If you’d like to see the best results, incorporate a combination of exercise, home remedies and yoga for quick recovery. All of the above have proven track records when it comes to knee pain recovery. If any of the above causes you a lot of discomfort, consult a doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. What can cause knee pain without injury?

A: Apart from physical injuries, knee pain can be caused by underlying medical conditions such as 
– Osteoarthritis
– Tendinitis
– Bursitis
– Chondromalacia patella
– Gout
– Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Q. How can I treat my knee pain?

A: Treatments for knee pain are as varied as the conditions that cause the pain. Each cause of chronic knee pain has a specific type of treatment. These treatments may include:
– Physical therapy
– Medication
– Surgery
– Injections
– Partial/total knee replacements

Q. When should I see a doctor for knee pain?

A: Make an appointment with your doctor if your knee pain was caused by a particularly forceful impact or if it’s accompanied by:
– Pain and swelling lasting more than 48 hours
– Instability or reduced range of motion
– Redness, tenderness and warmth around the joint
– If you’ve had minor knee pain for some time, make an appointment with your doctor if the pain worsens to the point that it interferes with your usual activities or sleep.
Seek immediate medical attention, and ask someone to drive you to urgent care or the emergency room if your knee pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by:
– A joint that appears deformed
– A popping noise at the time your knee was injured
– Inability to bear weight
– Intense pain
– Sudden swelling

Q. Is walking good for knee pain?

A: – For mild to moderate knee pain, regular exercise maintains and builds muscles, which you need to support your knee and maintain functioning. 
– Weight-bearing exercise such as walking also helps maintain bone health.
– Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity and can help you maintain joint health.
– Discuss your exercise options with your doctor and physical therapist when you have any condition that is causing knee pain. While walking is recommended for many people, it may not be appropriate for you.



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FITNESS

Mole Mapping: What It Is and Whether You Should Have It Done

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Cropped shot of an attractive young woman inspecting her skin in front of the bathroom mirror

Image Source: Getty / Grady Reese

Anyone who knows me personally also knows that I wax lyrical (read: go on, and on) about the importance of daily SPF use and avoiding long stints in the sun. So, you can imagine my shock when I moved to the UK in 2018 and discovered the sunbed industry is not only alive and well, but thriving. See, I grew up in Australia, where we were regularly schooled on sun safety, with slogans like “Slip, Slop, Slap”, and “No Hat, No Play” being drilled into us by school teachers almost daily. Fast forward to 2019, and there are grassroots initiatives like Call Time on Melanoma that are highlighting the importance of regular skin checks from a young age, and serving 20-somethings the hard truths that if you think you’re too young to get on top of your skin health, well, you’re wrong.

But I’ll admit that even with all the sun safety messaging being pushed on me since birth, skin checks have always been a relative blind spot, let alone mole mapping. Mole mapping is a term that is increasingly popping up as the awareness of skin cancers rises, but I had never heard of the procedure before this year. That’s why I sat down with Dr. Catherine Borysiewicz, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London, to get the lowdown on exactly what this emerging skin cancer detection tool is. Keep on reading to find out how mole mapping is different from a regular skin check and whether everyone should make an appointment to have it done ASAP.

What Is Mole Mapping?

Simply put, mole mapping is a process designed to detect very early skin cancers by monitoring atypical moles and tracking them for changes over time. In practical terms, that means a dermatologist, usually with the help of a nurse, will take digital photographs of your entire body, documenting every single one of your moles, to compare with your previous mole mapping images.

Should Everyone Have Their Moles Mapped?

According to Dr. Borysiewicz, mole mapping is most useful for anyone who has many moles on their body, moles in hard-to-see areas, multiple moles that all look different from one another, or someone who is considered at a high risk of developing skin cancer (that is, anyone who had significant sun exposure in childhood; has fair skin, freckling, and light or red hair; a family history of melanoma; use of sunbeds; or anyone with irregular moles in varying pigmentation that are more than five millimetres in diameter). “In those patients, mole mapping is invaluable,” she said. “[Without mole mapping] each time you saw a dermatologist because you were worried about a mole’s changing appearance, the sensible and the safe thing [for the doctor] to do would be to remove it.” Instead, this type of skin check helps to save patients from unnecessary surgery because the dermatologist is able to compare the mole with previous images and confirm whether a mole is harmless, even if it looks a little unusual in isolation.

On the flip side, considering the highly specialised nature of mole mapping skin checks, Dr. Borysiewicz told POPSUGAR that anyone who has “three or four scattered moles on the arms, stomach and legs would be able to keep an eye on those at home between regular skin checks. Even with the digital photos you can take on your phone.”

What Will Happen During My Mole Mapping Appointment?

A typical mole mapping appointment is a two-stage process that takes roughly 40 minutes all up, but will be shorter for follow-up appointments. The first half involves a consultation with a dermatologist — to identify a family history of skin cancer, risk factors, and any skin concerns you may have — followed by a thorough skin check. During the skin check, the dermatologist inspects every single mole and freckle on your body with the dermatoscope, making a note of any specific moles that require mapping. A dermatoscope is a small, hand-held (and non-invasive) device that is basically a high-tech magnifying glass designed specifically to inspect moles. The device, which has a daylight bulb and a 20-times magnification, allows the specialist to “zoom in and out through the first layers of the skin to see the incredibly detailed structure,” Dr. Borysiewicz said.

Female dermatologist examining female patient's skin with dermascope, doctor is carefully looking for signs of skin cancer

Image Source: Getty / zoranm

The second half of the appointment is usually performed by a nurse, who will first take photographs of your entire body from all angles to ensure every inch of your skin has been recorded. Next, they’ll use a more detailed imaging device to take microscopic photos of any moles the dermatologist has determined to be atypical, and map them with the full-body images. Rest assured, the entire process is completely painless.

How Is Mole Mapping Different From a Standard Skin Check?

A standard skin check at either your GP or dermatology clinic is generally a quick process that takes only 10 minutes to complete. Specifically, you will be asked to remove your clothes and put on a medical exam gown, then the dermatologist looks at every inch of your body to inspect your moles. At this point, you would point out any moles that have caught your eye, or you feel are concerning for the doctor to have an even closer look at.

During the standard skin check, the doctor follows the very strict NICE guidelines, set by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), which, simply put, are the ABCDE guidelines, Dr. Borysiewicz said. That is, they’ll be evaluating the asymmetry, border irregularity, colour, diameter, and evolution (aka changes over time) of your moles.

What Happens After My Mole Mapping Appointment?

What happens immediately following your mole mapping appointment depends on the outcome of the exam. When I asked Dr. Borysiewicz whether she would alert a patient during their mole mapping appointment if she identified a mole that’s worrying, she confirmed that she would discuss it immediately. Currently, the best practice following mole mapping is to remove any mole that the dermatologist feels is worrying, and send it for further testing.

Logistically, it’s important that the doctor discusses any concerns with the patient at the mole mapping appointment, in order to organise a timely follow up. She also thinks it’s a great opportunity to teach the patient how to spot an atypical mole in the future, “particularly in terms of helping people learn what to look out for when self-checking at home.” She said, “the beauty of the mole mapping is that when I take the photographs, I can actually show you, visually, what I’m looking at, and what I’m worried about,” so you’ll know what to look out for in the future.

If the dermatologist doesn’t identify any concerning moles while performing your mole mapping, then they will likely tell you on the spot too, before creating a more thorough report which will be sent to yourself and your GP. As for how often you should have mole mapping done, Dr. Borysiewicz said, “For people where everything looks normal and stable, it would be a 12-monthly appointment.” As for people who have slightly unusual-looking moles, it may be a six-month follow-up instead, but your doctor will recommend what is best for you.

Can I Map My Moles Myself at Home?

In short, yes. But that doesn’t mean you should delay seeking medical advice if you notice a mole that worries you. According to Dr. Borysiewicz, one of the most useful tools you have to monitor your moles at home over time is the camera on your phone. This is also helpful if you’ve seen your GP about a specific mole, have been assured it is harmless, but have a niggling feeling that something isn’t quite right. “If you’re worried about a mole, take a picture of it regularly over a couple of weeks, so you can prove change over time [to your GP],” she said. “That is immensely helpful if you’re trying to persuade a GP [to refer you to a dermatologist] if you feel that they’re not understanding what you’re saying.”

When it comes to full-body skin checks at home, Dr. Borysiewicz suggests you become very comfortable looking at yourself naked in a full-length mirror to learn what your skin’s version of normal looks like. “Every patient should be looking at their skin at least every three months . . . literally just when they come out the shower, have a good look,” she says. “You want to look in a mirror, front and back, and, not in any huge amount of detail, focus on a few hidden places on your feet, between your toes, and your fingers.” It’s important to do these at-home skin checks regularly, she says, to notice when a new mole appears, or something that looks a bit off. “The big advice I give patients over all the years I’ve done melanoma work is called the Ugly Duckling sign. This is literally when you look in the mirror, it is the one thing that your eye goes straight for.” The NHS also has a helpful self-assessment tool on their website if you don’t know where to start.

Is Mole Mapping Covered by the NHS?

In short: yes. The longer answer is a little bit more complex, though. The highly specialised mole mapping process outlined above will not be offered to every patient through the NHS since it’s reserved for very high-risk patients. If you are considered to be at a high risk of developing skin cancer, and have been through the process of a regular skin check with a dermatologist who has referred you for mole mapping at a public clinic, it will be fully covered.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists, one in six people in the UK are not aware that a mole can be checked for free by a GP. Furthermore — there are no long waiting lists for patients seeking a skin check through the NHS. “Most GPs are very, very good at assessing [moles] and making a decision,” Dr Borysiewicz said. “If they’re worried that the mole is changing, or if it has features that also make them worried, you will be referred to see a specialist dermatologist within two weeks.” She also notes that full-body skin checks by your doctor are very important as it is “very difficult to assess moles in isolation.” That means, if you are concerned about any mole (or feel that you’re simply due for a skin check), you should seek advice from your GP as soon as possible, and request a referral to a dermatologist if you feel that you require a more thorough examination.



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HEALTH

Urologists Explain How to Prevent a UTI

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Shot of an unrecognisable woman using the toilet at home

Urinary tract infections are common. In fact, over 50 percent of women and about 12 percent of men will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, the Urology Care Foundation reports. And, about a third of women will seek treatment for one by the age of 24. (For the purpose of this article, the experts we spoke to and the statistics we cited referred to people with female sex organs as “women” and people with male sex organs as “men”). A recurrent UTI, also called “recurrent cystitis,” is classified as two or more UTIs within six months, or three in a year. Read up on recurrent UTIs specifically here.

UTIs happen more frequently in women than in men because the female urethra is shorter and it’s easier for bacteria to travel from the outside into the bladder, Ricardo Soares, MD, urologist at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in Illinois, told POPSUGAR. (The CDC notes that infections can affect several parts of the urinary tract, but they most commonly affect the bladder). Dr. Soares said that if bacteria is found in your urine but you aren’t experiencing symptoms, this is referred to as asymptomatic bacteriuria and isn’t the same as a UTI. “It only requires treatment in certain situations, such as in pregnant women and in patients who are going to have a urological procedure,” he said.

On the other hand, he stressed that if you’re having symptoms but urine tests show there’s no bacteria, this is also not an infection. “The symptoms might be caused by a different problem such as an overactive bladder, [which is] very common in post-menopausal women,” he said. Vannita Simma-Chiang, MD, assistant professor of urology at Mount Sinai in New York, told POPSUGAR that other conditions that might have similar symptoms as UTIs are interstitial cystitis (or painful bladder syndrome), yeast infections, and vaginitis. In terms of yeast infections, though, you’d most likely experience vaginal discharge that isn’t typical with a UTI, she said (discharge is also common with vaginitis). Let’s get into what UTI symptoms actually are.

Symptoms of a UTI

According to the CDC, you’re more at risk of getting a UTI if, for instance, you are sexually active, you’ve had a UTI before, or are going through menopause (you lose the hormonal support of oestrogen after menopause, Dr. Simma-Chiang noted). Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Frequency or urgency to pee
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen
  • Blood in your pee

Dr. Simma-Chiang wanted to note that some people have come to her with completely different symptoms such as a stomachache or simply feeling ill. Some can also experience fever, but Dr. Soares said this could be an indication that the infection has spread to your kidneys.

How to Prevent a UTI

You’ve probably heard companies (or your friends!) touting the positive effects of cranberry. Both Dr. Simma-Chiang and Dr. Soares said that cranberry pills aren’t guaranteed to help prevent UTIs because there’s no significant evidence. There are small studies that suggest the active ingredient, PACs, may prevent UTIs, though “we’re not quite sure whether or not that active ingredient is actually present in cranberry pills or if it gets digested,” Dr. Simma-Chiang said. She added that she’s perfectly fine with her patients taking these pills if they seem to be working. (Note: cranberry pills aren’t regulated by the FDA.) Read more about cranberry juice specifically here.

Dr. Soares said good genital hygiene can help prevent UTIs because “most infections travel from the anal area up into the urethra.” Drinking water is good as well since increased urination acts as a cleanser for the bladder, he said. In people who have recurrent UTIs, a regular low dose of antibiotics can prevent infection, he explained. For those with female sex organs who have recurrent UTIs most closely linked to sex, they can try to prevent those infections by using protection or taking one dose of antibiotics after sex. “In post-menopausal women, use of vaginal, not oral, oestrogen provides good results,” Dr. Soares said (since, like mentioned before, these people have a decline of oestrogen, which can negatively impact the immune system).

Dr. Simma-Chiang recommended peeing after sex and also stressed the importance of a strong immune system overall. “I always remind patients that there’s organisms everywhere,” she said. “We catch colds all the time, and I hope people can think of urinary tract infections as something similar.” So, she said, to make sure your immune system is as strong as it can be, get enough sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, and stay properly hydrated. She said that constipation, too, can affect the way your bladder empties. “Urine is left behind and you can get a UTI,” Dr. Simma-Chiang explained. Make sure you’re passing regular bowel movements and focusing on your gut health.

How to Treat a UTI

Ultimately, even if you do end up getting a UTI, know that it’s treatable. If you want to treat your UTI at home, Dr. Simma-Chiang suggests drinking a lot of water to flush out the infection. A doctor will typically treat a UTI with oral antibiotics (as little as one dose). But, if it’s what Dr. Soares described as a “complicated UTI” — meaning it’s harder to get rid of because it’s occurring in someone with male sex organs or in someone who has diabetes or some sort of functional abnormality of their urinary tract — it may require intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. These, he said, can be changed to oral antibiotics once the person has had no fever for over 48 hours and lab results show there’s an improvement; then they’ll be able to finish treatment at home. “UTI in a man is, by definition, considered complicated and therefore requires a seven-day course of antibiotics,” he explained. So, it’s less likely to occur in those with male sex organs, but more difficult to treat.



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House-call service Heal pays $15M for NYC-based Doctors on Call

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Heal, a fast-growing provider of in-home doctors’ visits, has made its first acquisition, paying $15 million in cash and stock for Doctors on Call, a house-call service that treats thousands of homebound Medicare patients in and around New York City.

The acquisition closed in May but was announced Monday after Heal had already begun working to integrate Doctors on Call, according to Nick Desai, Heal’s co-founder and CEO.

Existing Medicare patients will continue to be served under the Doctors on Call brand, Desai said. Heal, based in Santa Monica, California, plans to see patients of all ages under its own brand.

Heal is in the midst of negotiating contracts with private insurers doing business in New York, the company’s biggest market to date, Desai added.

“We always wanted to bring Heal here,” Desai said. “The acquisition gave us the opportunity to jumpstart our presence.”

Founded in 2014, Heal allows patients to order in-home doctors’ visits via an app or a visit to the company’s website. The service, which employs more than 100 doctors, is available in California, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, and now New York.

The company is eyeing other large metro markets in the U.S., such as Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Seattle, Desai said, but it does not yet have firm plans.

Heal began seeing patients in 2015 and said it has made about 150,000 house calls to date. It expects to make more than 100,000 house calls this year, a practice it says can save money and prevent hospitalizations. Doctors on Call, founded in 1968, averages about 42,000 house calls per year, according to Heal.

The merger is proving beneficial for both parties, Desai said.

Doctors on Call is benefitting from Heal’s back-office systems for booking, billing and other functions, as well as from Heal Hub, a connected health device that provides Heal with real-time data on blood pressure, heart rate and other health metrics for its patients.

“We’re taking something that was very good and building on it and making it better,” Desai said.

Heal also is delivering appointments sooner, Desai said. Doctors on Call typically saw patients two to four days after they made an appointment. Heal can make house calls within two hours.

“We are honored to become part of the Heal family and move our services to the next level,” Dr. Paul R. Rosenstock, the founder of Doctors on Call, said in a statement. He has been named Heal’s medical director.

Desai said he expects Doctors on Call to reach 84,000 Medicare house calls per year within the next three years, not counting non-Medicare calls made in New York under the Heal brand.

Heal also is learning from Doctors on Call. The longstanding practice has been successful at cultivating relationships with and referrals from home health agencies, Desai said.

Investors in Heal include Fidelity ContraFund, Jim Breyer, the Ellison Family, Lionel Richie and others. The company has raised nearly $70 million. Heal’s other co-founders are Dr. Renee Dua, its chief medical officer and Desai’s wife, and Greg Drobnick, executive vice president for corporate development.

The company has begun taking steps to raise about $50 million in a Series C round of funding by the end of 2019, Desai said.

Heal’s acquisition of Doctors on Call underscores the consumerization trend in healthcare as consumers demand more convenience from their healthcare experiences.

Photo: Nicolas Mero, Getty Images

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HEALTH

Ab Workouts: Workouts for Men and Women

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The formula to get six-pack abs is simple – you need to exercise every day and eat a healthy diet. Also, staying away from junk food is essential, as they can have the opposite effect on achieving your fitness goals.

While you focus on giving your abdominal region a good workout, there are a lot of health benefits. For instance, the chances of suffering from lower back pain come down significantly. Ab workouts strengthen the abdominal muscles while making the lower back more flexible simultaneously.

Having a good posture is vital, as it ensures your spine is in good condition. With ab workouts, the muscles around your spine become stronger. As a result, it improves your posture, stability, and balance.

A lot of people suffer from health issues in their later years. This is due to body fat in their waistline. It increases the likelihood of developing obesity and diabetes. Ab workouts, in addition to a whole body strength and cardio routine, increases your body’s metabolism. In turn, it ensures you burn more fat, which keeps your waistline trim.

Ab workouts make it easier for your body to handle the weight, such as lifting a heavy box. The reason is that it makes your torso stronger while giving you a solid foundation for these activities. Also, if you are into sports, ab workouts help with your performance. It helps in the transfer of energy from your core muscles to your limbs.

With the ab workouts given below, you will get a toned body, along with the above health benefits.

Table of Contents

Ab workouts for men and women

These ab workouts are excellent for both men and women. Make sure you do at least two sets of each exercise every day. Also, you should get at least 30-45 seconds rest between each set, and 1-2 minutes rest before moving to the next exercise:

Cannonball extension

The first step is to get into the cannonball position, which is to bring your knees to your chest. Hold your legs by putting your arms around them. The next step is to extend your arms and legs while pushing your back to the floor. However, you need to make sure that your upper back doesn’t come in contact with the floor.

Hold this position for at least six to eight seconds before going back to the cannonball position, for a single set. Remember to engage all your muscles while you are in the extension pose. For this exercise to be effective, one set should do three to five reps.

Knee-in

In this exercise, you need to sit on the floor or the edge of the exercise bench (if you have one). While placing your hands on the ground for support, extend your legs away from your body.

Slowly pull your legs towards your chest, until you reach a point where you can’t move anymore. Hold this position for a second, before returning to the original location, which becomes one rep. You need to do 12-15 reps, for it to count as a single set.

Mountain climbers

The beauty of mountain climbers is that it is great for all parts of your body, despite falling under the ab workouts category. First, you need to go down, ensuring both your hands and legs are on the floor.

Move your right knee to your chest before bringing it back to the starting position. Perform the same action on your left knee. For each side, you need to do 12-15 reps, which counts as a single set. Squeeze your abs to give it a proper workout with this exercise.Mountain-climbers

Ab Workouts at Home

When you are at your house, you may not have access to gym equipment such as dumbells or exercise benches. For these types of physical activities, you should do at least two sets, to observe noticeable results. Fortunately, there are a handful of ab workouts you can do within the comforts of your home:

Floor wiper

Floor wipers are good ab workouts because of the tension it creates in this specific region. For this exercise, you need to lie down on your back. Open your arms and place them on either side of your body. Make sure you keep them straight for extra stability.

Raise your legs and bring your knees closer to your body till it forms 90°. Start moving both legs together from one side to another. Try to keep your upper body steady, so that your abs do all the work. One set requires 12-15 reps on each side, after which, you should take a break for 30-45 seconds.

Reverse crunches

As it focuses on both your upper and lower abdomen muscles, this is excellent for ab workout at home. The first step is to lie down on your back and keep your legs right in front of you. You need to place both your arms beside your body for support. Bend your knees and bring them to your chest slowly.

Once it is close to your chest, the next step is to raise your hips off the ground. Go back to the starting position, to complete one rep. You need to do this 12-15 times to finish one set. Make sure you do at least two sets of these types of ab workouts.Reverse-crunches

Plank

Plank is one of the best ab workouts, as it focuses on the entire upper half of your body. Your shoulders, hips, chest, and abdomen will be burning by the end of this exercise. To get into position, you need to lie down on your chest. Raise your body up, while ensuring your elbows and shoulders are on the same line. Also, curl your fists into a ball, while you are in this position.

As a beginner, you can hold this for 10-20 seconds for the set. Once you become comfortable doing a plank, you should increase it to 30-60 seconds.Plank

Ab workouts at the gym

A gym is a great place for best ab workouts with weights, as you have access to a myriad of equipment. Perform the following exercises in sets of two, with a break of 30-45 seconds between sets and 1-2 minutes rest before moving on to the next exercise.

Superman to pike

For these ab workouts, you need to use an exercise ball. Get into a pushup position, while placing your toes on the ball. Start to bend your hips while rolling the ball towards your chest.

Keep doing this until your torso becomes vertical, before going back to the initial position. Continue rolling the ball up your legs, until it forms a straight line with the extended arms. Make sure you keep the hands on the floor at all times. Doing all these three positions is the equivalent of one rep. You should do this at least 12 times, for it to become a set.Superman-to-pike

Leg raise

You need to lie on your back to begin these types of ab workouts. Keep your hands by the sides of your body, for support. Raise your legs until it becomes perpendicular to the ground. Make sure you flex the lower half of your abdominal muscles.

Hold this position for a second, before bringing your legs to the floor. Make sure you tense the abdominal muscles, to give it a solid workout. You should do at least 12-15 reps per set, to get your six-pack abs faster.

Scissors

Despite being simple, these ab workouts will ensure your lower abdominal muscles develop properly. You need to lie on your back and lift both your legs until it is perpendicular to the floor.

Raise your shoulder blades and head off the ground, while bringing down your left leg. It should be as close to the floor as possible before you raise it and get the other leg down. To do one set of these good ab workouts, you need to do ten reps on both sides.

Summary

If you are a beginner, you should perform only two sets of all the exercises in the ab workouts. You can improve your endurance and fitness, by increasing the number of sets, while cutting down on the rest time.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. What is the best workout for abs?

A: There is no such thing as the best workout for abs. You must do a variety of ab exercises 2-3 times a week.

Q. Should you do abs everyday?

A: No. You should give at least 48-72 hours rest before repeating the routine as it will ensure better recovery and muscle development

Q. How can I get abs in one month?

A: One cannot possibly get abs in one month. First you must focus on losing all the fat surrounding your abdominal muscles by doing whole body strength and cardio exercises along with good diet.

Q. How many times a week should I do abs to get a six pack?

A: You should do ab workouts 2-3 times a week.



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Your guide to networking events at HLTH

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Everyone goes to conferences for different reasons but networking is one essential ingredient. Having the right content is important but if you can’t make connections you’ll inevitably be disappointed. Fortunately, the second annual HLTH conference has you covered.  Here’s a roundup of networking opportunities at the healthcare innovation conference in Las Vegas October 27-30 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Hosted Buyer Meetings

Goal: Matching qualified buyers with HLTH sponsors.

What’s a qualified buyer? People representing  payers, providers, employers, pharma and government responsible for buying or evaluating health technologies or solutions for their company.

When: Monday, October 28, 1:30-2:30pm and 6-7:30pm, and Tuesday, October 29, 12:45-2pm and 6-7:30pm.

Note: Participants must agree to eight, 15-minute meetings with HLTH’s participating sponsors. Meeting schedules are sent out before the event. To apply, click this link.

Funding Founders

Funding Founders is a curated networking program, matching fast-growing startups with leading investors in a series of 7-minute, 1:1 meetings speed dating-style.

What startups can take part? If you’re the CEO and/or founder seeking seeking seed to Series C funding you qualify. When you register for HLTH, simply note that you are a startup and note that you’re interested in “Funding Founders”.

What about investors? When you register for HLTH simply indicate you are an investor and note you, too, are interested in “Funding Founders”.

Here’s a peek at the investors taking part.

Table Talks 

To spark discussion about some of the pressing issues in healthcare, Table Talks seeks to bring attendees together to talk about a particular health concern, problem or opportunity and develop actionable strategies to improve and create health’s future.

Who can take part? It will be by an invitation only, including non vendor attendees from healthcare providers, payers, pharma, government, benefits professionals from an employer, and other healthcare organizations. Table talk leaders will organize and facilitate the discussions based on their experience.

When? Monday, October 28: 7:30 – 8:15 am and 12:45 – 1:30pm and

Tuesday, October 29: 7:30 – 8:15am

Employer Lounge

Part of a sponsorship deal with Mercer, employer benefit attendees can connect with peers and exchange ideas with invited partners. They will be encouraged to explore innovative solutions, meet with Mercer Consultants in an intimate setting conducive to confidential conversations exploring the path forward for employer health benefits. Or just relax and unwind over snacks and beverages.

HackHLTH

The hackathon is designed to bring together developers, designers, and entrepreneurs with sponsors to solve the industry’s toughest problems.

Participants will have 36 hours to collaborate and create meaningful solutions, with the eight most impactful projects sharing more than $80,000 in prizes.

When: It starts with a kickoff party at 6pm on October 25. The hacking begins after an opening ceremony with presentations on October 26 at 1pm. Demos are presented at 2pm on October 27 from the top 16 teams, two from each sponsoring company. The hackathon culminates in an awards ceremony at 4pm.

The winning team will join HLTH’s General Session Kickoff on the Main Stage presenting the HackHLTH award winners in front of investors, media and other stakeholders from the healthcare ecosystem.

To register, click here.

Tech Talks

The talks consist of 6-minute presentations from participating HLTH sponsors to showcase the latest technologies in health. Held on two stages in HLTH Hub, adjacent to the exhibit hall, during designated times, all attendees are welcome to pull up a seat and hear from up to 160 different companies and solutions.

Welcome Reception

On October 27, the opening reception for HLTH will kick off with the Topgolf Welcome Reception and help support the HLTH Foundation. The event will spotlight United States of Care, a movement to ensure that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care – regardless of health status, social need, or income.

Industry Night

A reception on the night of Tuesday October 29 at Hakkasan Nightclub will include Flo Rida!

HLTH Happy Hours

Located inside the main exhibit hall, HLTH Happy Hours will encourage peer-to-peer conversations, sponsored lounges, and specialty entertainment acts.

Thousands of the healthcare industry’s most forward-thinking executives will gather for the second annual HLTH conference October 27-30 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The conference will spotlight executives from different segments of healthcare such as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Geisinger, Google, Cambia Health Solutions, Anthem, Optum, Philips, and CVS Health. The diversity of companies represented at the event reflects the trend of receding boundaries defining the healthcare industry as retail, banking and finance, transportation, and other sectors push into healthcare.

This year, MedCity is joining forces with HLTH to roll our annual ENGAGE conference into the HLTH conference. [email protected] will cast a spotlight on patient engagement on October 28.

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