Sunday, February 22, 2009

Health Tips for February 22

Health Tip: Living With Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is characterized by abnormally shaped red blood cells. This can cause the cells to become lodged in blood vessels -- a painful result called a sickle cell crisis.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these recommendations to help prevent a sickle cell crisis:

  • Avoid alcohol or drink only very little, and don't smoke.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
  • Keep illnesses and health conditions, such as a simple infection or diseases such as diabetes, treated and under control.
  • Avoid stress whenever possible.
  • Make time to exercise -- but moderate exercise only.
  • Don't let yourself get too cold. Dress warmly in winter or when in air conditioning, and avoid swimming in cold water.
  • Talk to your doctor if you snore, or if you have sleep apnea.

Health Tip: Coping With Pet Allergies

If being near a pet makes you sniffle, sneeze, and your eyes water, you may not have to live a pet-free life.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology offers these suggestions:

  • Always wash your hands after you touch a pet. And avoid kissing or hugging your furry friend.
  • Keep cat litter boxes away from vents, and try to limit your exposure to them.
  • Give your pet a bath each week to reduce dander. And try to have a person who isn't allergic regularly brush your pet outdoors.
  • Don't allow pets on upholstered furniture. If necessary, cover the furniture in plastic.
  • Make sure your pet is on a healthy diet to help reduce shedding.
  • Try to eliminate rugs and carpets from your home, and use a double filter or micro-filter bag in your vacuum.
  • Ask your doctor about getting allergy shots to control symptoms.

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