Posts Tagged ‘risk factors’

Is It Alzheimer’s?

A senior couple. The wife is caring for the husband.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is not a normal part of aging. The disease usually strikes individuals 65 years and over, but younger people are not without risk. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are treatments available that can help slow the progression of the disease and help manage symptoms. Early detection can make a huge difference in the quality of life of someone who is diagnosed with this disease.

So what are some of the symptoms and how do you know whether to worry? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 early warning signs that you or your loved one may have Alzheimer’s disease. If you are suddenly forgetting dates or information you just recently learned, having difficulty completing tasks or following a conversation, and misplacing things, it may be time to call your doctor. The Alzheimer’s Association’s 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease is a great guide for knowing when a symptom is something to worry about or whether it is just a normal part of aging. Knowing your risk factors for this disease and knowing the early warning signs can help you identify red flags—and seek appropriate medical help sooner rather than later.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

close up potrait of Asian senior couple on bright green background

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S among cancers that affect both sexes. Early detection and better treatments have lead to better outcomes for many colorectal cancer patients. A healthy lifestyle—eating lots of fruits & vegetables and limiting red and processed meats, exercising and maintaining a healthy BMI, not smoking—can reduce your risk for the disease. Certain risk factors exist that are out of your control, such as family history of the disease and having Crohn’s or another inflammatory bowel disease, can also increase your risk. It is recommended that most adults get screened for this type of cancer starting at age 50, but it’s important to discuss your risk factors with your doctor to determine the right age and screening regimen for you. For more information on colorectal cancer, read the CDC’s Screen for Life informational sheet.

Some people avoid getting screened because they don’t like the idea of getting a colonoscopy, but there are other testing options available that you can discuss with your doctor. Early detection can save lives, so if you’re over age 50 don’t put off your screening any longer!

November is American Diabetes Month

Diabetes concept with insulin, syringe, vials, pills, and stethoscope.

Diabetes affects nearly 10% of the American population, and according to the American Diabetes Association, 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed each year. The outlook is even more grim for seniors, with over 25% of those age 65+ suffering from the disease. Risk factors include being overweight, an unhealthy diet, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. The American Diabetes Association’s My Health Advisor tool is a great way to assess your risk for this disease.

A key issue for diabetics is the ability to get affordable insulin. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that insulin costs have almost tripled since 2002. These rising costs may lead to “insulin rationing,” a dangerous practice that can have life-threatening complications. If you or a loved one suffers from diabetes, consider signing this petition to help keep insulin affordable.

Small lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of getting diabetes. Eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising more, quitting smoking, and losing weight are all things that you can do to prevent diabetes and many other chronic health problems.

For more information on diabetes and prevention, visit the American Diabetes Association’s website.

How Much Do You Know About Breast Cancer?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So we’re asking, how much do you know about breast cancer? What is your risk for the disease? Take this quiz from the American Cancer Society to find out how much you know about breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among U.S. woman and 12% of women will develop this disease during their lifetime. There are many lifestyle factors that influence your risk, but the good news is that these are within your control. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, not smoking, drinking only moderately—these are all steps you can take to help reduce your risk. Visit the American Cancer Society’s website to learn more about breast cancer risk factors.

Colorectal Cancer: Know Your Risk

A happy senior African American man and woman couple in their sixties outside together smiling.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. There are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed. Symptoms can include stomach pain or cramps that don’t go away, weight loss or blood in your stool. Colorectal cancer can be cured if it is caught and treated early. For the general population, it is recommendation you get screened starting at age 50. There are several different screening options, so talk to your doctor about which ones and what schedule is right for you. Many people put off their screening because they don’t want a colonoscopy, but there are other, less invasive tests that may be an option. Your doctor can discuss which screenings are best for you given your risk factors. If you have a family history of the disease, your doctor may suggest you get screened earlier than 50 years of age. You can lower your risk by eating a high fiber diet with lots of fruits and veggies, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and limiting tobacco and alcohol use.

For more information on colorectal cancer, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

March Newsletter: Season of Change


Our March newsletter is full of great information–everything from colon cancer awareness to a discussion on spring cleaning in both the literal and figurative sense to local events around Charleston and shopping the season’s freshest produce. Click here to read our March newsletter.

Gene Variant Increases Women’s Risk of Alzheimer’s

This finding could help scientists better understand how the disease works. Women are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and those with the ApoE4 gene variant have double the risk. Scientists aren’t sure why women are more likely to develop this disease than men. For more information on these findings, read’s article Gene Variant May Double Alzheimer’s Risk for Women: Study.

February is American Heart Month

med heart

Do you know the signs of a heart attack or stroke? What are your risk factors for heart disease? Find out the answers to these questions and more on the American Heart Association’s website. Learn how to be heart smart today!