Monthly Archives: June 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

Ruling Supports Tax Credits for Health Insurance

By and Bara Vaida

Reviewed by Sarah Goodell

WebMD Health News

June 25, 2015 — Millions of people who received tax credits to pay for health insurance will get to keep them.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the tax credits, offered on Affordable Care Act insurance policies sold through, are legal.

The Court’s decision protects health insurance coverage for nearly 6.4 million Americans with low-to-moderate income in 34 states who are relying on tax credits to afford health insurance.

A decision saying the tax credits were illegal could have sent insurance markets into “sheer chaos,” says Linda Blumberg, senior fellow with the Urban Institute.

The case, King vs. Burwell, centered on one clause in the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), the health insurance law that set up the Marketplaces. The language says tax credits are available to people who enroll in health insurance “through an Exchange established by the state.” The law’s challengers said this meant that people from states that did not set up their own Marketplaces weren’t eligible for the credits.

The Supreme Court disagreed by a ruling of 6-3.

“The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State’s individual insurance market into a death spiral,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner.”

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote.

This ruling allows the Affordable Care Act to continue without interruption.

“It’s all systems go,” says John Desser, vice president of government affairs for online insurance broker eHealth.

Just after the ruling was issued, supporters outside the Supreme Court building began chanting: “ACA is here to stay.”

“Health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for all,” President Barack Obama said after the ruling was issued.

The law, he said, is working as it’s supposed to — and in many ways, better than expected to.

“We’ve got more work to do, but what we’re not going to do is unravel what is now woven into the fabric of America,” he said.

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10 Ways You Can Help Prevent a Heart Attack

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. For those over 65 years of age, the risk is even greater: eight out of ten people who die of heart disease are 65 or older. Although these statistics sound dire, take heart: With these strategies, you can help your loved ones reduce their risk — and reduce your own at the same time.

1. Know the early warning signs and seek treatment right away.

Some typical symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations (skipped beats or a racing or pounding heart)
  • Leg swelling
  • Bluish skin color (cyanosis)
  • A prolonged, unexplained cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Persistent fatigue or feeling unwell
  • Passing out

But sometimes the symptoms aren’t so obvious. The pain of a heart attack may feel like really bad heartburn or even the flu. And the symptoms of a second heart attack may not be the same as those for the first. If you or someone close to you has already had a heart attack, don’t hesitate to seek emergency medical treatment at the first sign of possible trouble.

2. Talk to the doctor about medications that might increase risk.

Hormone replacement therapy, rosiglitazone (for diabetes), and COX-2 inhibitors (for controlling arthritis pain) are all examples of medications that may increase the risk of heart attack. Review all medications with a doctor and ask if there are less risky alternatives.

More Heart Attack Prevention Tips

3. Control blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack. If your loved one has been diagnosed with prehypertension (120/80 mm Hg to 139/89 mm Hg) or hypertension (140/90 mm Hg or higher), his blood pressure should be treated. The doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications, but his blood pressure needs regular monitoring. Although it can be a bit tricky to use, an inexpensive manual cuff (starting at about $12 at your local drugstore) is a great way to monitor blood pressure at home. But if you can’t get the hang of it, you may want to consider investing in a blood pressure machine. The machine is a bit more expensive (between $70 and $150); it’s also available at your local drugstore.

4. Keep “bad” cholesterol levels low.

Another major risk factors for heart attack is a high bloodstream level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Ideally, total cholesterol should be no more than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), and no more than five times the level of HDL or “good” cholesterol; LDL levels should be below 70 mg/dL. Make sure cholesterol levels are checked regularly and treated if necessary. Following a low-fat diet and exercising regularly may help, but it might not be enough. If cholesterol levels don’t respond to lifestyle changes, medication might be necessary.

5. Make sure diabetes is under control.

Three out of four people with diabetes will eventually die of some type of heart or blood vessel disease. But by keeping blood sugar under control and taking any recommended medications, a diabetic can reduce his risk. If you can your loved ones are lucky enough not to have diabetes, it’s important to avoid developing the disease by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

6. Follow a heart-healthy diet.

The American Heart Association offers specific dietary guidelines for reducing the risk of heart attack. The best bet is a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. A good rule of thumb: Limit daily intake of fat (total fat between 25 and 35 percent of daily calories, saturated fat less than 7 percent, and trans fat less than 1 percent), cholesterol (less than 200 milligrams per day if LDL levels are high, less than 300 milligrams per day if they aren’t), and sodium (less than 1,500 milligrams per day for high blood pressure, less than 2,300 milligrams per day otherwise). Women should consume no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, men no more than two. And all adults should each eat 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber every day.

More on Preventing Heart Attack

7. Encourage regular exercise.

Exercise is essential for general cardiovascular health and is key to preventing a heart attack. But how much exercise is enough? The Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association recommend accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week on most days. This doesn’t mean you and your loved ones need to do half an hour of aerobics five days a week; instead, aim for short bursts of activity throughout the day. Just parking farther away from the store and walking the extra distance, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can quickly add up. But before beginning any exercise program, be sure to talk to a doctor about any restrictions you or your loved ones may have.

8. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for heart disease. The best way to determine whether you or your loved ones are overweight or obese is to calculate body mass index, or BMI. You can calculate BMI at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. People with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 are considered overweight; people with a BMI of 30.0 or greater are considered obese. If you or someone close to you meets either of these criteria, talk to a doctor about setting safe weight-loss goals. The best way to lose weight is by limiting calories and increasing activity, but if that approach is unsuccessful, counseling or even medical intervention may be necessary.

9. Stop smoking.

Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart attack. If you or your loved ones smoke, quitting can reduce risk of heart attack by 50 percent or more. But recognize that stopping smoking isn’t easy. Here are a few ways you can help those close to you:

  • Ask them what they think would make it easier for them. They may have suggestions you haven’t thought of.
  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings and what they’re going through. Smoking may be a comforting lifelong habit; let them mourn a little.
  • You may be tempted to nag or yell if they slip up, but it’s more effective to remind them that you love them no matter what. Be positive and encouraging — and vent your frustration to a friend instead.
  • Help them avoid situations that trigger the desire for a smoke. If they’re used to enjoying a cigarette after meals, try going for a short walk outside instead.
  • Be understanding as they go through withdrawal symptoms. Try not to take it personally if they’re especially irritable, short-tempered, and tired.
  • Quit smoking yourself. If you must smoke, don’t smoke around your loved ones. Not only will it make quitting more difficult for them, but the secondhand smoke will increase their risk of heart attack.

If your loved ones find it too difficult to quit on their own, talk to their doctor. Nicotine replacement therapy, support groups, and counseling may all be helpful.

10. Manage stress and depression.

Your loved ones’ emotional and psychological state can have a very real effect on their physical health. An important aspect of maintaining good cardiovascular health and avoiding heart attack is minimizing stress, anger, and depression. If one of your parents live alone, for example, he or she may feel disconnected and alone. Encourage him or her to get out, make new friends, or simply engage in stimulating activities. A local church or community center is an excellent place to connect with other older adults.

Perhaps someone close to you is already a social butterfly but still seems to be having difficulty with his mood. Try these stress-busting strategies:

  • Cut back on caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
  • Try meditation or yoga.
  • Play relaxing music.
  • Go for a walk outdoors.

If you’ve tried everything and still feel concerned about a loved one’s mood, talk to his doctor. Depression is a serious but treatable illness.

What to expect when caring for someone with dementia

What works better than antianxiety medications for many people dealing with the later stages of Alzheimer’s? Chocolate.

Dispensing treats can distract and soothe someone who’s upset but unable to express what’s bothersome. And what chocolate-lover isn’t soothed by a Hershey’s kiss? It’s OK to set aside concerns about sticking to a perfect diet. No nutritional changes have been found to reverse the progressive nature of dementia. In contrast, keeping your loved one happy and calm can alter the way behaviors are expressed. So it pays to find the sweet spot.

Quick Links
* Does Medicare cover nursing care at home?
* What to do when your loved one says, “I want to go home”

The Cure for High Blood Pressure is Hidden in Your Kitchen

Top 12 Rewards of Exercise

Top 12 Rewards of Exercise Top 12 Rewards of Exercise
It can improve mood, zap stress, lower the risk of cancer, and more — practically a magic wand for your health!

Special: Guide to Healthy Aging

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Saturday, June 20, 2015
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Is This Normal Aging?
Does getting older have to mean aching joints, hearing problems, and unwanted hair? Here’s what’s normal and what’s not.
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  • Is Weight Gain Just a Fact of Aging?
  • 18 Secrets to a Longer Life

18 Things Your Feet Say About Your Health

The state of your feet can yield unexpected clues to your overall health

By , contributing editor
98% helpful

Want to make a simple, ten-second check on the state of your health? Sneak a peek at your feet.

“You can detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies just by examining the feet,” says Jane Andersen, DPM, president of the American Association of Women Podiatrists and a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

The lowly left and right provide plenty of insightful data: Together they contain a quarter of the body’s bones, and each foot also has 33 joints; 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments; and countless nerves and blood vessels that link all the way to the heart, spine, and brain.

Unresolved foot problems can have unexpected consequences. Untreated pain often leads a person to move less and gain weight, for example, or to shift balance in unnatural ways, increasing the chance of falling and breaking a bone.

So when the feet send one of these 18 warning messages, they mean business.

1. Red flag: Toenails with slightly sunken, spoon-shaped indentations

What it means: Anemia (iron deficiency) often shows up as an unnatural, concave or spoonlike shape to the toes’ nail beds, especially in moderate-to-severe cases. It’s caused by not having enough hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in the blood cells that transports oxygen. Internal bleeding (such as an ulcer) or heavy menstrual periods can trigger anemia.

More clues: On fingers as well as toes, the skin and nail beds both appear pale. The nails may also be brittle, and feet may feel cold. Fatigue is the number-one sign of anemia, as are shortness of breath, dizziness when standing, and headache.

What to do: A complete blood count is usually used to diagnose anemia. A physical exam may pinpoint a cause. First-step treatments include iron supplements and dietary changes to add iron and vitamin C (which speeds iron absorption).
2. Red flag: Hairless feet or toes

What it means: Poor circulation, usually caused by vascular disease, can make hair disappear from the feet. When the heart loses the ability to pump enough blood to the extremities because of arteriosclerosis (commonly known as hardening of the arteries), the body has to prioritize its use. Hairy toes are, well, low on the totem pole.

More clues: The reduced blood supply also makes it hard to feel a pulse in the feet. (Check the top of the foot or the inside of the ankle.) When you stand, your feet may be bright red or dusky; when elevated, they immediately pale. The skin is shiny. People with poor circulation tend to already know they have a cardiovascular condition (such as heart disease or a carotid artery) yet may not realize they have circulation trouble.

What to do: Treating the underlying vascular issues can improve circulation. Toe hair seldom returns, but nobody complains much.

Clues your feet give about your health, 3-4

3. Red flag: Frequent foot cramping (charley horses)

What it means: The sudden stab of a foot cramp — basically, the hard contraction of a muscle — can be triggered by fleeting circumstances such as exercise or dehydration. But if it happens often, your diet may lack sufficient calcium, potassium, or magnesium. Pregnant women in the third trimester are especially vulnerable thanks to increased blood volume and reduced circulation to the feet.

More clues: Charley horses tend to rear up out of nowhere, often while you’re just lying there. They can be a single sharp muscle spasm or come in waves. Either way, soreness can linger long afterward.

What to do: Try to flex the foot and massage the painful area. You may also be able to relax the muscle by applying a cold pack or rubbing alcohol. To prevent cramps, stretch your feet before you go to bed. Then drink a glass of warm milk (for the calcium).
4. Red flag: A sore that won’t heal on the bottom of the foot

What it means: This is a major clue to diabetes. Elevated blood glucose levels lead to nerve damage in the feet — which means that minor scrapes, cuts, or irritations caused by pressure or friction often go unnoticed, especially by someone who’s unaware he has the disease. Untreated, these ulcers can lead to infection, even amputation.

More clues: Oozing, foul-smelling cuts are especially suspect because they’ve probably been there awhile. Other symptoms of diabetes include persistent thirst, frequent urination, increased fatigue, blurry vision, extreme hunger, and weight loss.

What to do: Get the ulcer treated immediately and see a doctor for a diabetes evaluation. Diabetics need to inspect their feet daily (older people or the obese should have someone do this for them) and see a healthcare professional every three months.

Clues your feet give about your health, 5-6

5. Red flag: Cold feet

What it means: Women, especially, report cold feet (or more precisely, their bedmates complain about them). It may be nothing — or it may indicate a thyroid issue. Women over 40 who have cold feet often have an underfunctioning thyroid, the gland that regulates temperature and metabolism. Poor circulation (in either gender) is another possible cause.

More clues: Hypothyroidism’s symptoms are pretty subtle and appear in many disorders (fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin).

What to do: Insulating layers of natural materials work best for warmth. (Think wool socks and lined boots). If you also have other nagging health complaints, mention the cold feet to your doctor. Unfortunately, however, aside from treatment with medication in the event of a thyroid condition, this tends to be a symptom that’s neither easily nor sexily resolved.
6. Red flag: Thick, yellow, downright ugly toenails

What it means: A fungal infection may be running rampant below the surface of the nail.Onychomycosis can persist painlessly for years. By the time it’s visibly unattractive, the infection is advanced and can spread to all toenails and even fingernails.

More clues: The nails may also smell bad and turn dark. People most vulnerable: those with diabetes, circulatory trouble, or immune-deficiency disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis). This condition is also relatively common in older people, and often causes problems walking, since as infected nails grow thicker, they’re harder to cut and simply go ignored to the point of pain.

What to do: See a foot specialist or your regular physician for care and treatment. In serious cases, over-the-counter antifungals are usually not as effective as a combination of topical and oral medications and the professional removal of diseased bits. Newer-generation oral antifungal medications tend to have fewer side effects than older ones.

Clues your feet give about your health, 7-8

7. Red flag: A suddenly enlarged, scary-looking big toe

What it means: Probably gout. Yes, that old-fashioned-sounding disease is still very much around — and you don’t have to be over 65 to get it. Gout is a form of arthritis (also called “gouty arthritis”) that’s usually caused by too much uric acid, a natural substance. The built-up uric acid forms needlelike crystals, especially at low body temperatures. And the coolest part of the body, farthest from the heart, happens to be the big toe.

“Three-fourths of the time, you wake up with a red-hot swollen toe joint as the first presentation of gout,” says podiatrist Andersen.

More clues: Swelling and shiny red or purplish skin — along with a sensation of heat and pain — can also occur in the instep, the Achilles tendon, the knees, and the elbows. Anyone can develop gout, though men in their 40s and 50s are especially prone. Women with gout tend to be postmenopausal.

What to do: See a doctor about controlling the causes of gout through diet or medication. A foot specialist can help relieve pain and preserve function.
8. Red flag: Numbness in both feet

What it means: Being unable to “feel” your feet or having a heavy pins-and-needles sensation is a hallmark of peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nervous system. That’s the body’s way of transmitting information from the brain and spinal cord to the entire rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy has many causes, but the top two are diabetes and alcohol abuse (current or past). Chemotherapy is another common cause.

More clues: The tingling or burning can also appear in hands and may gradually spread up to arms and legs. The reduced sensation may make it feel like you’re constantly wearing heavy socks or gloves.

What to do: See a physician to try to pinpoint the cause (especially if alcohol addiction doesn’t apply). There’s no cure for peripheral neuropathy, but medications from pain relievers to antidepressants can treat symptoms.

Clues your feet give about your health, 9-10

9. Red flag: Sore toe joints

What it means: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a degenerative joint disease, is often first felt in the smaller joints, such as the toes and the knuckles of the hands.

More clues: Swelling and stiffness usually accompany the aches. This pain tends to be symmetrical; for example, it happens simultaneously in both big toes or in both index fingers. RA develops more suddenly than degenerative arthritis, and attacks may come and go. Women are almost four times more affected than men.

What to do: A full workup is always needed to pinpoint the cause of any joint pain. For RA, there are many medications and therapies that can minimize pain and preserve function, though early diagnosis is important to avoid permanent deformity. (In the feet, the toes can drift to the side.)

10. Red flag: Pitted toenails

What it means: In up to half of all people with psoriasis, the skin disease also shows up in the nail as many little holes, which can be deep or shallow. More than three-fourths of those with psoriatic arthritis, a related disorder that affects the joints as well as the skin, also have pocked, pitted nails.

More clues: The nails (fingers as well as toes) will also thicken. They may be yellow-brown or have salmon-colored patches. The knuckle nearest the nail is also likely to be dry, red, and inflamed.

What to do: A variety of medications can treat both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and can restore the nail bed surface in many cases, especially if treatment begins early.
##Clues your feet give about your health, 11-12 11. Red flag: Being unable to raise the foot upward from the heel

What it means: “Foot drop” (also “drop foot”) signals nerve or muscle damage that can originate well north of your feet — as far as your back or even shoulder or neck. Certain chemotherapy drugs can also cause trouble lifting the front part of the foot while walking or standing.

More clues: There may be pain and numbness as well, though not necessarily. Sometimes the pain is felt in the upper leg or lower spine, where a nerve is pinched (by damage or a tumor). In many cases, the foot drags when the person walks, sometimes causing him or her to have to hike up the knee and hip with each step. It’s rare for both feet to be affected.

What to do: Report this serious symptom to your doctor. Foot drop can be completely reversible or permanent, depending on its cause and treatment. Wearing a brace to keep the foot from flopping is often recommended, in order to prevent back and hip pain caused by hiking up a floppy foot.
12. Red flag: Dry, flaky skin

What it means: Even if your face or hands tend to be powdery-dry, don’t dismiss this skin condition on your feet. You don’t have to be a jock to contract athlete’s foot, a fungal infection that usually starts as dry, itchy skin that then progresses to inflammation and blisters. When blisters break, the infection spreads.

(The name comes from the moist places the fungus thrives — places athletes tend to congregate, such as locker rooms and pools.)

More clues: Athlete’s foot usually shows up between the toes first. It can spread to the soles and even to other parts of the body (like the underarms or groin), usually due to scratching.

What to do: Mild cases can be self-treated by bathing the feet often and drying them thoroughly. Then keep the feet dry, including using foot powder in shoes and socks. If there’s no improvement in two weeks or the infection worsens, a doctor can prescribe topical or oral antifungal medication.

Clues your feet give about your health, 13-14

13. Red flag: Toes that turn patriotic colors

What it means: In cold weather, Raynaud’s disease (or Raynaud’s phenomenon) causes the extremities to first go white, then turn blue, and finally appear red before returning to a natural hue. For reasons not well understood, the blood vessels in these areas vasospasm, or overreact, causing the tricolor show.

More clues: Other commonly affected areas include the fingers, nose, lips, and ear lobes. They also feel cool to the touch and go numb. Women and those who live in colder climates get Raynaud’s more often. It typically shows up before age 25 or after 40. Stress can trigger Raynaud’s attacks, too.

What to do: See a doctor for further evaluation. Raynaud’s is usually uncomfortable but not dangerous. However, in a minority of people, Raynaud’s is a sign of an underlying autoimmune disease that may benefit from treatment. All people suffering from Raynaud’s can benefit by learning basic non-drug techniques to keep the extremities warm, and to reverse an attack of vasospasm. In some cases the doctor may recommend a medication that can widen blood vessels, which reduces the severity of attacks.
14. Red flag: Feet that are really painful to walk on

What it means: Undiagnosed stress fractures are a common cause of foot pain. The discomfort can be felt along the sides of the feet, in the soles, or “all over.” These fractures — they often occur repeatedly — may be caused by another underlying problem, often osteopenia (a decrease in optimum bone density, especially in women over age 50) or some kind of malnutrition, including a vitamin D deficiency, a problem absorbing calcium, or anorexia.

More clues: Often you can still walk on the broken bones; it just hurts like heck. (Some hardy people have gone undiagnosed for as long as a year.)

What to do: See a foot doctor about any pain. If, for example, you’ve been walking around Europe for three weeks in bad shoes, your feet may simply be sore. But a 55-year-old sedentary woman with painful feet may need a bone-density exam. An X-ray can also reveal possible nutritional issues that warrant a referral to a primary care provider.

##Clues your feet give about your health, 15-16 15. Red flag: Toes that bump upward at the tips

What it means: When the very tips of the toes swell to the point where they lose their usual angle and appear to bump upward at the ends, it’s called “digital clubbing” or “Hippocratic clubbing” after Hippocrates, who described the phenomenon 2,000 years ago. It’s a common sign of serious pulmonary (lung) disease, including pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. Heart disease and certain gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, are also associated with clubbing.

More clues: Fingers can be clubbed as well as toes. It can happen in just some digits, or in all.

What to do: Treatment depends on the underlying cause, so report this serious symptom to a doctor. (Physicians are also well trained to look for clubbed digits during exams.)
16. Red flag: Shooting pain in the heel

What it means: Plantar fasciitis — a fancy name for inflammation of a band of connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar) of the foot — is abnormal straining of the tissue beyond its normal extension.

More clues: The pain starts when you take your first steps in the morning and often intensifies as the day wears on. It’s usually concentrated in the heel (one or both) but can also be felt in the arch or in the back of the foot. Running and jumping a lot can cause it, but so can insufficient support. You’re at risk if you go barefoot a lot or wear old shoes or flimsy flip-flops, have gained weight, or walk a lot on hard surfaces.

What to do: If pain persists more than a few weeks or seems to worsen, have it evaluated by a podiatrist. Stick to low shoes with a strong supportive arch until you get further advice and treatment (which may include anti-inflammatory drugs and shoe inserts).
##Clues your feet give about your health, 17-18 17. Red flag: “Phee-uuuuw!”

What it means: Though smelly feet (hyperhidrosis) tend to cause more alarm than most foot symptoms, odor — even downright stinkiness — is seldom a sign something’s physically amiss. (Whew!) Feet contain more sweat glands than any other body part — half a million between the two of them! And some people are more prone to sweat than others. Add in the casings of shoes and socks, and the normal bacteria that thrive in the body have a feast on the resulting moisture, creating the smell that makes wives and mothers weep. (Both sexes can have smelly feet, but men tend to sweat more.)

More clues: In this case, the one olfactory clue is plenty.

What to do: Wash with antibacterial soap and dry feet well. Rub cornstarch or antiperspirant onto soles. Toss used socks in the wash; always put on a fresh pair instead of reusing. Stick to natural materials (cotton socks, leather shoes) — they wick away moisture better than man-made materials. Open up laced shoes after you remove them so they get a chance to fully air out; don’t wear them again until they’re fully dry.
18. Red flag: Old shoes

What it means: Danger! You’re a walking health bomb if your everyday shoes are more than a couple of years old or if walking or running shoes have more than 350 to 500 miles on them. Old shoes lack the support feet need — and footgear wears out faster than most people think, foot specialists say.

More clues: Blisters (too tight), bunions (too narrow), heel pain (not enough support) — if you’re having any kind of foot trouble, there’s at least a 50-50 chance your shoddy or ill-fitting footwear is to blame.

Older people are especially vulnerable because they fall into the habit of wearing familiar old shoes that may lack support, flexibility, or good traction.

What to do: Go shoe shopping.

Controlling Diabetes: When Pills Aren’t Enough

Thirsty woman Is Your Blood Sugar Out of Control?
You should call your doctor if you notice these changes.

8 Types of Good Lighting Your Loved One With Depression Needs

Are your loved one’s living spaces well lit? Good lighting can reduce depression for people with dementia. It may also slow cognitive decline and the loss of functional abilities, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Part of the explanation may be as simple as the fact that being able to see better builds confidence. Good lighting also lets your loved one more easily continue everyday activities and helps keep circadian rhythms on track.

Here are 8 lighting sources to check:

  • A good bedside lamp in the bedroom. Use 100-watt bulbs (make sure they’re safe for the lamp).
  • A night-light in the room that stays on all the time. Position it so the bulb doesn’t directly shine where it can be seen from bed.
  • Clean windows with shades that open easily in both the bedroom and whichever room your loved one likes to sit.
  • Strong, clear light over the dining table. You want your loved one to see the food!
  • A porch light, if you sit outside in the evenings.
  • A well-lit path to the bathroom at night. Use night-lights to illuminate the entire route from bedroom to hall to bathroom.
  • Easy-on, toggle-style light switches throughout the house, especially in the bathroom.
  • A night-light inside the bathroom, in case the overhead light isn’t used.

The Truth About Type 2 Diabetes

woman eating dessert The Truth About Type 2 Diabetes
Can the disease be prevented? Are children affected? Can you have it without showing any symptoms? Get the facts.