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Cold-related Mortality

We've all heard that the elderly are vulnerable to cold weather, but do you know why? Almost all cold-related deaths are due to common illnesses which are increased by cold weather, such as blood clots and respiratory diseases. So, make sure you stay warm during the winter months. Wear layers, keep an extra blanket in your car, and bundle up at home too, especially when sedentary. In this case, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. If you do catch a cold, take care of it early. Believe it or not, the simplest treatment for a cold is an old one--inhaling steam for 30 minutes. This not only reduces the symptoms of a cold almost immediately, but moderates the entire course of the illness.

"Impact of Global Warming on Health and Mortality" Drs. W.R. Keatinge and G.C. Donaldson

From the University of London, Southern Medical Journal, November 2004

Diabetes Prevention

Type 2 diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic in this nation, due to increased rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. There is good news, however. A recent study by the Diabetes Prevention Project determined that lifestyle intervention alone prevented almost 60% of at-risk patients from developing the disease during a 3 year followup period. So, if you have a family history of diabetes, or have been informed by your physician that you are at risk, a few changes in your exercise and eating habits could prevent the onset of this debilitating and deadly disease.

"Type 2 Diabetes: Epidemiologic Trends, Evolving Pathogenetic Concepts, and Recent Changes in Therapeutic Approach" Ali Rizvi, MD

From the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Southern Medical Journal, November 2004

Migraine Headaches

The medical costs of migraine headaches in the United States is approximately $1 billion a year, and the cost in human suffering is immeasurable. Since treatment varies depending on lifestyle impact, maintaining a headache diary is a good way to let your physician know how the headaches affect your life. (A sample can be found at It's a good idea to keep track of the duration and frequency of symptoms, possible triggers and how you react to treatment. Also, studies have shown that inconsistent mealtimes and sleep habits, variations in exercise routines, and stress can all trigger migraines. Being aware of your specific migraine triggers will help your physician choose the best treatment course for you, whether it's non-pharmacologic, pharmacologic, or a combination of the two.

"The Diagnosis and Management of Migraine Headaches" Elizabeth Lawrence, MD

From the Albuquerque Veterans Administration Medical Center, Southern Medical Journal, October 2004
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Special Section
Publication:Southern Medical Journal
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Previous Article:Medical Webwatch.
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