- Sponsored News - How many times have you been prescribed medication by your healthcare provider, only to arrive home to find that you're unsure about possible side effects? Or the correct dose? Or the risk of taking the new medication together with other medicines you already use? Have you ever felt too embarrassed -- or too rushed -- to clarify medication information or instructions with your provider?
If you've experienced this, you're not alone. Nearly half of Americans take a prescription medicine, and more than 20 percent of Americans take at least three. However, according to a recent study conducted by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), more than 6 of every 10 patients are not aware of the risks associated with the medicines they take. Communication with your health care provider about your medications is critical. Yet too few patients speak up, or even know the right questions to ask.
In an effort to open the lines of communication between patients and providers, NCPIE, in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)*, has created the Talk Before You Take campaign, a public education initiative to increase communication about medications between health care professionals and patients.
"Open and effective communication between patients and health care providers is important and helps to ensure patients make informed decisions about their health care and the medicines they take," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "The Talk Before You Take campaign
provides a list of questions and other resources that can make it easier for patients to talk with their health care providers about medicines."
Talk Before You Take urges you to ask your health care provider these 10 questions about your medicines:
1. What's the name of the medicine, and what is it for?
2. How and when do I take it, and for how long?
3. What side effects should I expect, and what should I do about them?
4. Should I take this medicine on an empty stomach or with food?
5. Should I avoid any activities, foods, drinks, alcohol or other medicines while taking this prescription?
6. If it's a once-a-day dose, is it best to take it in the morning or at night?
7. Will this medicine work safely with my other medications, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and other supplements?
8. When should I expect the medicine to begin to work, and how will I know if it's working?
9. How should I store it?
10. Is there any additional written information I should read about?
Asking your doctor, nurse or pharmacist these 10 simple questions can help you stay healthy and safe. For more information, visit www.talkbeforeyoutake.org
*This work was supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research under grant number 5U18FD004653-03. The content is solely the responsibility of NCPIE and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Food and Drug Administration.
- Sponsored News - Being pregnant can be an exciting time in your life. It's a whirlwind of things to do and appointments to keep. Quite often, though, expectant mothers are so worried about taking care of their unborn baby that they neglect to take care of themselves.
That's why many experts agree taking prenatal vitamins is of utmost importance for both mom and baby.
"During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes many physical and hormonal changes. She can experience things like fatigue, loss of appetite and an upset stomach, which can make it difficult to maintain the proper levels of essential nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy," says Jay M. Goldberg, MD FACOG, a Los Angeles-based obstetrician.
Prenatal vitamins, which contain important ingredients such as DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and folic acid, not only help soon-to-be-moms keep up with nutrients that can be lacking in a diet, but also can help a baby develop his or her brain, eyes and central nervous system.
It's important to know that not all vitamins are the same, and now there is another choice. Vertical Pharmaceuticals LLC has created the first and only prenatal vitamin containing egg-based DHA -- OB Complete Gold
. OB Complete Gold contains OmEGGa DHA, a bio-efficient form of DHA found naturally in the brain, eyes and breast milk that comes from cage-free hens. OmEGGa DHA is easily absorbed and digested into the body and is distributed in fewer, simpler steps.
OB Complete Gold comes in a small softgel taken once daily and is a comprehensive formula with highly soluble forms of vitamins and minerals. It is sugar-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free.
To aid busy moms, the supplement vitamin comes in an on-the-go package that helps them keep track of their daily dosage, offers helpful information on baby's development during each trimester and provides offers for savings on refills. OB Complete Gold is a prescription prenatal vitamin, so talk to your healthcare provider and try it for free.
For more product and safety information, please visit www.obcompletegold.com
- Sponsored News - Childhood cancer treatments are unique and they need to be treated as so. It all starts with funding research specifically for kids. Join StBaldricks.org to help find the best cancer treatments for our youth.
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- Sponsored News - Only nine percent of Americans are meeting their daily recommended consumption of vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This May, National Salad Month, make an extra effort to get your greens and meet the 2016 USDA Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that you consume between two and three cups of vegetables per day.
While this may sound like an impossible feat, it's easy enough to accomplish with one simple dish, a salad. Not only can you make a dent in your daily consumption of vegetables, but you can also work your way towards achieving some of the other USDA Dietary Guidelines recommendations.
* Add meats such as steak or chicken and nuts such as pecans, walnuts and almonds to get a protein boost. It is recommended that an adult get anywhere from five to six-and-a-half ounces of lean and varied proteins per day.
* Add fruits such as oranges or strawberries to try and hit the two cups of recommended fruit serving per day.
* Crackers or quinoa can help you reach your allotment of three to four ounces of grains, half of which should be whole grains per day.
* A little cheese can go a long way in helping you to meet the three recommended cups of dairy per day.
* Salad dressings count towards the five to seven teaspoons of oils that you should be consuming each day and the oils in dressings, such as canola and soybean, help your body to absorb nutrients
Salads provide a healthy and easy avenue to gather several of the recommended nutrients. Here's a simple recipe for Baby Greens with Roasted Pears, Feta and Walnuts
to show you how easy it is to make a healthy and delicious salad.
All you need are pears, olive oil, baby greens, feta cheese, toasted walnuts, salt, pepper and your choice of salad dressings.
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and drizzle four pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths, with one teaspoon of olive oil. Roast in the oven until the edges turn golden brown.
Once the pears have cooled, toss with eight cups of baby greens and your choice of salad dressings (champagne vinaigrette is one recommendation). Sprinkle half-a-cup of feta and half-a-cup of walnuts over the greens, and season with salt and pepper. Now you're ready to start enjoying National Salad Month like a pro!
For more recipes and ideas, visit The Association for Dressings and Sauces at www.dressings-sauces.org
- Sponsored News - Encryption and controversy seem to go hand in hand lately in the technology community. Case in point: When The FBI sought to compel Apple to assist in unlocking a cell phone in the case of the San Bernardino shooter last December. Ultimately the FBI was denied its request by a California district court.
This type of technology can be a gray area, yet one that tech companies take seriously.
On the one hand, the government insists it needs access to technology in which crimes have been perpetrated, noting that encryption also allows terrorists to communicate in ways that agencies can't track -- all the while, using encryption to secure its own communication. Privacy advocates argue that if the government is using it, private citizens should be allowed to as well, without prying eyes looking over their collective shoulder.
To that point, one company that has come down firmly on the side of citizens and their right to privacy is VirnetX. The software and technology company said it believes in personal privacy and that strong encryption is imperative in protecting those rights.
VirnetX has been so focused on providing secure communications using encryption that it designed an app called Gabriel
. Gabriel uses encryption technology derived from a CIA national security project, and is one of a kind.
"Gabriel has been designed and built with personal privacy and security as a foundational principle," says Dr. Robert Short, VirnetX chief technical officer and chief scientist. To that end, the program currently provides uncompromising data security, which means that users do not have to transmit data to, or store data with, any third party, including VirnetX. Users can therefore have peace of mind that their data is stored only on their devices, be it phone, tablet or computer.
Gabriel is a product unto itself and can be found in Apple's App store, the Google Play store or gabrielsecure.com. This set of integrated applications allows for secure messaging, secure voice and video calling, secure mail and secure file sharing -- all encrypted.
Other benefits to using Gabriel's encrypted apps include:
* Making free voice or video calls or sending instant messages to other Gabriel members in your network.
* Receiving spamless email.
* Allowing for person-to-person messages that disappear once the session has ended.
* Sharing pictures or files that can't be intercepted.
Gabriel transmits person-to-person with end-to-end encryption to further eliminate hacking possibilities.
For more information or to download Gabriel, go to www.gabrielsecure.com
- Sponsored News - Sarcoidosis may be a new term for you, but for the more than 200,000 people in the U.S. who are living with the condition, it is a frustrating struggle.
The condition has been acknowledged for more than 150 years and has impacted several well-known people, including Bernie Mac, Reggie White, Evander Holyfield, Tisha Campbell-Martin and Daisy Fuentes. Yet little is known about sarcoidosis, including the cause, typical symptoms or disease progression.
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease where the immune system goes into overdrive, causing cells to group together into clumps called granulomas. When too many granulomas form on an organ, they can interfere with its function. Sarcoidosis can impact any organ; however, the lungs and lymph nodes are affected in more than 90 percent of cases. Although anyone can develop the disease, it is most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40, and occurs more frequently among African-Americans and people of Scandinavian descent.
Since each case of sarcoidosis is unique, the CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians and the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) have teamed up to create Sarcoidosis: Seek Answers. Inspire Results.
, a campaign that encourages people living with sarcoidosis to take a proactive role in their treatment and spread awareness to those who might be at risk.
"Diagnosing sarcoidosis can be a long and frustrating process for patients," said Doreen J. Addrizzo-Harris, MD, FCCP and trustee of the CHEST Foundation board. "Symptoms of sarcoidosis can often mimic those of other diseases, such as cancer or arthritis, resulting in misdiagnosis or unnecessary treatment. If symptoms are present, it is important to weigh the possibility of sarcoidosis, and the educational resources available at www.chestnet.org/sarcoid
Common symptoms include:
1. Fever, fatigue, weight loss, night sweats and an overall feeling of ill health.
2. A persistent cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.
3. Enlarged lymph nodes -- most often located in the neck, but they can also be under the chin, in the armpits or the groin area.
With good medical care, most cases of sarcoidosis are not severe and do not cause lasting damage to the body. However, 30 to 40 percent of cases have a persistent condition that may require treatment to control symptoms.
For more information and to download sarcoidosis resources -- including patient and provider toolkits -- please visit www.chestnet.org/sarcoid
- Sponsored News - To the life insurance industry, $186 million represents the fulfillment of promises made to policy owners who turned to life insurers to protect their families' financial futures.
$186 million is the amount insurers deliver every day in life insurance benefits.
For the families receiving these benefits, life insurance proceeds represent the financial peace of mind that comes with knowing that they can maintain their quality of life, pay for their children's education and realize their hopes and dreams after the death of a loved one.
Life insurers have a long history of fulfilling their obligations to policy owners and their families. Companies act promptly to pay benefits, usually within 30 days of receiving a claim.
In a small percentage of cases, life insurance policies go unclaimed because family members may not have known that a policy existed. If no claim is made, the policy benefits are transferred to the state in accordance with state laws.
Life insurers want beneficiaries to receive their benefits before the state can claim the money.
In recent years, many companies have been doing more than is required by law. They are making better use of technology to identify policy owners who have died, locate beneficiaries and help them begin the process to claim their benefits.
The American Council of Life Insurers
wants all life insurers to try to identify deceased policy owners and seek out beneficiaries. That is why ACLI has been advocating since 2012 for all states to adopt legislation requiring companies to regularly compare their records against the Social Security Administration's Death Master File, which tracks deaths. If companies find a match, they should try to locate the beneficiaries and help them file a claim.
Twenty states have enacted laws requiring the comparison of company records with the Death Master File. Several others are considering similar laws.
While life insurers work to ensure that fewer policies go unclaimed by beneficiaries, policy owners have an important role to play as well. If you own a life insurance policy, let your beneficiaries know where it is located. Keep it with other financial records or legal papers, or anywhere your survivors are likely to look for it if they need to file a claim.
Keep your agent's name and contact information easily accessible. The agent can help your beneficiaries fill out the necessary forms and act as an intermediary with the insurance company.
For more information, including tips for finding a missing life insurance policy, please visit www.acli.com
- Sponsored News - If choosing the right Mother's Day gift has been your biggest challenge over the years, try taking a cue from mom herself.
Millions of dollars have been spent researching and/or polling what moms desire most, so use it to your advantage! Thank mom, a mother figure or wife for all that she does -- from giving you style advice to motivating you when you needed it most -- celebrate your unique bond with a gift she will celebrate for many years to come.
Mom has always been there when you needed it, and she deserves the best. Below are a few ways to treat her on Mother's Day:
* Handwritten Letter. Showing your appreciation for mom with a handwritten note takes time and thought, and she'll recognize this. Remember all of the moments that mean the most to you and express your gratitude in a way that is unique to the bond you share. It will be a letter she'll cherish.
* Time to Unwind. A thoughtful way to thank mom for all she does is to give a gift that helps alleviate her busy schedule so she can relax. Whether giving a spa package or simply cleaning the home, research has shown that moms expressed wanting to have time to themselves as a top Mother's Day gift.
* Create Unexpected Wrapping Paper. Because mom wants a thoughtful gift, why not put extra care into how you wrap it? A unique way to showcase the special bond you share is to create custom wrapping paper decorated with photos of the two of you at different stages of your life.
* Jewelry. Research has shown that jewelry is one of the best-received gifts on Mother's Day. The question then becomes which jewelry to choose for the one-of-a-kind woman in your life.
Country singer Jessie James Decker and wife to football player Eric Decker, has her own personal favorite: "I'm a huge fan of PANDORA Jewelry," says Jessie, herself a mother of two. "Their handcrafted pieces are so customizable that you can have fun stacking and layering them to wear every day or on special occasions. On the top of my wish list at the moment are the Sparkling Love Knots earrings
and Sparkling Love Knot Pendant
, which can be styled on one of PANDORA's .925 sterling silver or 14K gold necklace chains."
PANDORA Jewelry (Pandora.net)
released a special Mother's Day collection of 14K gold and .925 sterling silver rings, bracelets, necklaces, charms and earrings with whimsical blooms, symbolic knots and love-filled hearts sure to be on mom's "most wanted" list.
Whether the woman in your life is modest or tuned into the latest trends, she deserves a gift that makes her feel as special as she actually is. So this Mother's Day put some thought into it and give her something she'll actually want to keep.
- Sponsored News - Just in time for Earth Day, a new book introduces young readers aged 7 to 11 to a whole new world of unique and compelling endangered species, environmental awareness, teamwork and, best of all, a rollicking, outlandish group of characters that entertain the whole family.
The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions
, by Tracey Hecht, focuses on a group of animals who form an unlikely team to solve the mystery of why other nocturnal denizens of their forest are disappearing. Dawn the fox, Tobin the pangolin and Bismark the sugar glider embark on a fantastic adventure that takes them to the depths of the earth and places their survival at stake.
R.L. Stine, author of the bestselling Goosebumps children's series, describes the book as "an enchanting story about a group of animals who band together to protect their friends and find adventure. The characters are delightful, and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected -- because the best stories always take place in the dark!"
The book is aimed not only at children, but at their parents, and is written with an ear toward being read aloud to educate all ages about the importance of protecting animals and the environment. The story combines snappy dialogue with plot twists and action, and slips in education about different types of animals and how they live and behave.
Author Tracey Hecht noted in an interview that the benefits of shared reading aren't limited to pre-readers.
"I didn't stop reading aloud to my kids -- I still haven't -- and it's the best part of my day," she said. "I keep books everywhere and I?think of reading like a conversation -- just have it. Just pick up a book and have it. You'll be amazed at how well it bridges the gaps," she emphasized.
Children, parents and teachers can visit www.nocturnalsworld.com
for more information about the book, including a sample chapter that introduces the main characters. In addition, the website offers bonus animated shorts, activities and educational materials, including a Next Generation Science Guide, templates for animal trading cards and library resources including guidelines for middle grade book clubs.
- Sponsored News - Just as Miami has mojitos and Mexico has margaritas, so too is a French Caribbean Island. Martinique, also known as the "island of flowers," is not only home to warm, tropical breezes and blue waters, but also to Ti' Punch -- the cocktail that is the heart of this island's culture.
With a selection of just three simple ingredients: Rhum Agricole, sugarcane syrup or natural raw sugar, and a piece of lime, one can experience the spirit of Martinique and enjoy the island's culture in a glass. Islanders already know Ti' Punch (short for 'petit ponch,' or 'small punch') is to be savored throughout the day in the French West Indies, much like espresso is woven into daily lives in Italy. The cocktail's foundation is Rhum Agricole, a French-style rum made from freshly squeezed sugarcane juice rather than molasses. The spelling of rum with an "H" distinguishes it from its counterparts and signifying that it is Rhum Agricole.
In the spirit of promoting this classic cocktail, Rhum Clement
, a world-class producer of Rhum Agricole, hosted the first Clement Ti' Punch Cup beginning with several regional contests in 2015, and finally concluding early last month at Habitation Clement. The Ti' Punch Cup world final brought together 17 finalists from 10 countries, whittled down from more than 400 accomplished bartenders who hailed from Hong Kong to the United States, as well as other local and European countries. All entrants submitted recipes that stuck to the skeleton of the cocktail recipe, with an added twist.
More than 1,400 people attended
the event held at Habitation Clement, a historical landmark in Martinique, and watched as the finalists first presented their winning cocktail recipe qualifying them to travel to Martinique. From there, 10 contestants competed in the semifinal "marketplace" round, challenged by creating a Ti' Punch using a secret ingredient sourced from a banquet table of more than 60 local fruits, herbs, spices and local elixirs. The final round, the Ti' Punch Speed Challenge, ultimately awarded Dirk Hany, the head barman of The Widder Bar in Zurich, Switzerland, the coveted first Clement Ti' Punch Cup trophy.
"Rhum Clement has demonstrated that Rhum Agricole has an equal footing in the world of cocktails? and that Ti' Punch is in the spotlight as one of the world's great classic cocktails," says Gregoire Gueden, CEO of Rhum Clement.
Due to the success of the first Ti' Punch Cup, Rhum Clement has set the dates for its second contest. Registration will begin in the spring of 2017 and the next world final in Martinique will be held in March of 2018.
Follow Rhum Clement at facebook.com/rhumclement, on Twitter at @rhumclement and on Instagram at @rhumclementofficial for more information on this popular event.