Posted by admin | February 7, 2013
You’ve all heard this fact before: heart disease (including heart attacks and heart failure) is the leading cause of death among American men and women, claiming around 600,000 lives each year. But what are you doing about it? Are you and your family working on the controllable risk factors that play a role in this largely preventable disease?
For example, how are you doing with these controllable risk factors?
During American Heart Month this February, it’s the perfect time to ride the momentum of your New Year’s resolutions and move towards a more heart-healthy lifestyle. That means making small to large changes in your daily routine that really pay off. From what you eat to how much walking you do, take stock of what you can control…and share your experiences with other PatientsLikeMe members.
Not sure where to start? Use a BMI calculator to find out whether your Body Mass Index (BMI) falls within a healthy range. Also, make sure you go in for an annual checkup this year, which will give you and your doctor a chance to look at your cholesterol, blood pressure and heartbeat. That way, if there’s a red flag anywhere, you can start doing something about it sooner rather than later.
Also, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the warning signs of a heart attack – and how they may be different for men and women. Here’s to keeping the blood pumping this year and many more!
Posted by admin | May 31, 2012
We’ve written about how smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. We’ve also highlighted some of the treatments that our 4,000+ members who report tobacco addiction have tried in their quest to quit.
But today, in honor of World No Tobacco Day, we’d like to focus on the global consequences of secondhand smoke, or the smoke that fills restaurants, offices, homes and other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products. Given that there are one billion smokers around the world, secondhand smoke (also known as “passive smoking”) has become a serious public health issue.
How serious? Deadly serious. Here are ten hard-hitting facts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the sponsor of World No Tobacco Day.
- There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
- There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful.
- More than 600,000 premature deaths are caused by secondhand smoke each year.
- In 2004, children accounted for 31% of the deaths attributable to secondhand smoke.
- Over 40% of children around the world have at least one parent who smokes.
- Almost half of all children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
- Secondhand smoke can cause sudden death in infants and low birth weight in pregnant women.
- Cigarettes, bidis and water pipes all produce secondhand smoke.
- Less than 11% of the world’s population is protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
- Research shows that smoke-free laws do not harm business – and in fact, are popular.
Want to show your support for World No Tobacco Day? Join the cause on Facebook. If you live in the US, you can also check this map to see your state or city’s laws regarding smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces.
Posted by admin | November 17, 2011
That’s what the American Cancer Society hopes.
Today, November 17th, is the Great American Smokeout, now in its 36th year. It’s a day for quitting smoking or making a plan to quit. The reason for doing so is pretty compelling: tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. Despite that, there are still more than 46 million American smokers, which is approximately 21% of the adult population.
Have you tried to quit smoking in the past year? So did at least half of the current smokers in this country. Quitting isn’t easy, but it’s easier when you have support. Take the “Do You Need Help Quitting?” Quiz to determine your level of nicotine addiction as well as the kind of personal cessation plan you’ll need. For extra motivation, check out the health benefits of quitting over time (which start as soon as 20 minutes afterwards!) as well how much money you could save by quitting.
Another way to find support is to connect with other smokers who are trying to quit. PatientsLikeMe considers tobacco addiction a health condition, which is why we include it in our platform. 3,914 of our patient members say they are addicted to tobacco, with 1,263 of them officially diagnosed. What are their methods of quitting? Two commonly reported treatments are Buproprion (Wellbutrin), an antidepressant used as an adjunct for quitting smoking, and Varenicline (Chantix), a drug that blocks the pleasurable effects of nicotine on the brain. (Click each name to read our patients’ evaluations of effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.)
The bottom line is you don’t have to quit alone. Join PatientsLikeMe and do it together.
Posted by admin | September 6, 2011
Every September, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) observes Recovery Month. The goal is to promote the societal benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrate people in recovery, recognize treatment providers and spread the message that recovery is possible. As the SAMHSA slogan says, “Prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover.”
Recovery Month also inspires millions of people to raise awareness about addiction, share their stories of recovery and assist others who are still struggling. As one person writes, “Since I have attained recovery, I have accomplished all of my dreams – something I never would have imagined 26 years ago, when my dependence to alcohol and narcotics had created a hopeless life.”
Do you have a recovery story of your own? Add your voice to this month-long celebration. Or if you’re still struggling – or know someone who is – you may want to consider downloading SAMHSA’s free mobile app for iPhones/iPads/iPods. It’s a Treatment Locator that helps connect people with the services they need, whether it’s for mental health services or substance abuse.
Here at PatientsLikeMe, thousands of patients are sharing experiences, support and data regarding their mental health conditions and addictions. For example:
If you are affected by a mental health condition or addiction – either as a patient or a caregiver – we encourage you to join our growing community. Learn about the path to recovery for others and connect with those who can relate.