Avoid A Holiday Heart Attack By doing This

Heart attacks are highest December 25th, avoid being a statistic.

Holidays can be a time of connecting with loved ones that you don’t normally connect with. It is also the time when strained relationships magnify because of family get togethers. Either way, holidays have a way of bringing on intense feelings and expectations that are rarely met in real life. Changes in health, loss of or additions of family members (passing of a loved one, marriage, birth, adoption, etc.) job loss, (or new job) and even pressure to show up at holiday gatherings when you may not be able to afford presents change the family dynamics and add additional stress to the holiday season.

Our activities and stress levels

Filling our lives with activities we really don’t want to do or have little meaning sets you up for depression and a downward spiral of emotions. Manage stress through eliminating meaningless chores and responsibilities taken on during past years. This will free you to experience a fulfilling life rooted in meaning and purpose.

Set Realistic Expectations and Priorities

Remember, you are in control

Hallmark movies, retailers and clever marketing have played on our emotions and can lead us to feel inadequate. Decide what is truly important and makes the holiday season special If you now have additional responsibilities, life changes or just don’t care for the holiday season. Don’t overextend yourself by accepting invites to parties and get togethers unless it fits into a realistic schedule.

Streamline your schedule and commitments

Let all involved know this year will be different (if it is) and why.

  • If travel is difficult, set up zoom calls to connect with family and loved ones. Zoom calls are an ideal way to connect if you or your family are dealing with a major health challenge. By doing this, you avoid extended travel, exposure to viruses and disruption to your daily schedule.
  • Invite people to your home around your schedule. Ask anyone who is sick or has been exposed to anyone ill to stay home.

Prioritize your health

Communicate your needs and what you can do that won’t stretch your limits. Overextending yourself, along with poor diet and lack of sleep can set you on a downward spiral of depressive thoughts and emotions. These emotions lower your immune system and can set you up for increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.

  • Have your prescriptions refilled in advance. You avoid lengthy waiting times in lines, exposure to seasonal viruses, and you won’t run out at the most inopportune time. It is also a great time to use your HSA (before years end) and buy a Jase Case or refill chronic medications with Jase Daily if you haven’t already.
  • Maximize your vitamin D level, either by spending time in the sun or using supplements. Vitamin D is a powerful immune booster.
  • Avoid sugar and alcohol. Both can bring on depressive moods (which, in turn, lowers immunity).
  • Take time for yourself – go for a walk, take a hot bath, shut off the phone and read – whatever you can do to energize. Your heart and immune system will thank you for it!
  • Prioritize your mental and physical health. Eat a healthy meal before you head to festivities or get togethers. If you struggle with alcohol addiction, either avoid the activity or bring an accountability partner to support and encourage abstinence.
  • Get good quality sleep. Keep your sleep schedule as close to normal as possible. Our bodies repair and rejuvenate more during our sleep cycles than at any other time of day.
  • Cold weather puts stress on the heart. Layer clothing, and pace yourself when engaging in outdoor activities.

Men and women can have a different set of symptoms during a heart attack. Download and print this pdf. Hang it in a highly visible spot of your home. Don’t ignore symptoms by wishing them away. The sooner you seek help the higher your chances of survival.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Interesting Facts About Vitamin A

When we think of food sources of vitamin A and what it does for the body we think of carrots and better vision. While this is true, there are some interesting and often overlooked facts about vitamin A.

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver for up to 4 years. It is a subclass of retinoic acids, a family of lipid soluble compounds that includes retinols, beta carotenes and other carotenoids.

  • The active form of vitamin A is called preformed retinol It is found in fish, organ meats, dairy products, egg yolks and some fortified foods.
  • Provitamin A carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A. Foods containing carotenoids are converted through an enzymatic process into vitamin A. Carotenoids are a class of  compounds yellow, orange, or red fat-soluble pigments, including carotene, which give color to plant parts such as ripe tomatoes and autumn leaves: There are more than 600 known carotenoids. Carotenoids are found in fruits, vegetables and some fish, such as in the pink color of salmon. It is also found in supplement form. One such carotenoid is beta-carotene.
  • Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A and is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are manmade or natural substances that protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals. It is converted to retinol in the wall of the small intestine.

Function of vitamin A

Vitamin A plays many important roles in health. 

Preformed vitamin A – retinol is important for vision, especially night vision, anti inflammatory, enhances immune system function, important for developing fetal endothelial cell proliferation, produces pigments in retina, maintains healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue. In food form can be protective against some forms of cancer. 

Vitamin A deficiency- 

Vitamin A deficiency is considered to be rare except in premature infants, malnourished areas of the world, gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac, pancreatic insufficiency, bile duct disorder and those who cannot convert beta carotene to active vitamin A due to a BCMO1 gene variation– which results in a poor conversion from beta carotene to vitamin A. (It is estimated that approximately 45 percent of the population may have this conversion defect.

Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency:

Vitamin A toxicity

Most toxicity isa result of supplementation and not food sources. 

Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity:

  • drowsiness
  • irritability
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • increased pressure on the brain

Supplementation 

Seek advice of a qualified health professional before supplementing vitamin A or beta- carotene. Vitamin A is stored in the liver for up to four years so there is little chance of being deficient unless you have a pre existing condition that impairs vitamin A absorption or genetic impairment.  

In addition, a large scale study called the ATBC study— over 29,000 smokers who supplemented with beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A) was stopped abruptly because of the high incidence of lung cancer that developed during the study.  The researchers concluded that all smokers should not use beta carotene supplements due to this increased risk of lung cancer. 

Measles management in children

Excerpt from Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice:

“In November 2019, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases convened a summit that included multidisciplinary subject matter experts from across the United States to discuss the use of vitamin A in US measles management. The resulting Summit recommendations include that all children in the United States presenting with measles should receive an age-appropriate dose of vitamin A as part of a comprehensive measles management protocol. Multiple studies in populations in which vitamin A deficiency is prevalent have shown that this simple, quick means of improving vitamin A status can dramatically reduce the risk of serious complications and death from measles, with minimal detectable incidence of adverse effects.”

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Keeping you informed and safe.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, and sometimes called “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol.” Steroid hormones are derived from cholesterol and are lipid-soluble molecules. Examples of steroid hormones include the sex hormones (androgens, estrogens, and progesterone) produced by male and female gonads and hormones of the adrenal glands (aldosterone, cortisol, and androgens). It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus. Both are necessary for building bone. Vitamin D also plays a role in bolstering the immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria. In addition, research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in downregulating autoimmune disease. In addition a randomized 5 year clinic trial of high vitamin D supplementation reduced the incidence of advanced cancer without a diagnosis of cancer at the beginning of the study. Much interest and research is ongoing in this promising field of study.

Vitamin D is found in two main forms:

Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) – The main source is from plants. Mushrooms, when exposed to UV light produce D2. Fortified cereals are usually fortified with vitamin D2

 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – The main source is from animals- Sources of D3 are egg yolks, cod liver oil, fatty fish-salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, beef liver. In addition, when skin is exposed to sunlight vitamin D3 is produced. The body only produces enough vitamin D3 from sunlight as it needs then stops producing it.

The liver metabolizes vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 and form the active compound known as calcifediol. A study done by the National Institute of Health on post-menopausal vitamin D deficient women showed that vitamin D3 yielded twice more calcifediol than an equal amount of vitamin D2.

Excess Vitamin D3 is stored in the bodies adipose tissue and liver and is converted by the kidneys to the active form of vitamin. Excess vitamin D is almost exclusively from supplement sources.

According the NIH:

The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg) and International Units (IU):

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 12 months 10 mcg (400 IU)
Children 1–13 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
Teens 14–18 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
Adults 19–70 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
Adults 71 years and older 20 mcg (800 IU)
Pregnant and breastfeeding teens and women

15 mcg (600 IU)

 

The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test (a blood test) is the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body.

Factors affecting vitamin D deficiency

  • Older adults skin doesn’t absorb vitamin D as well as younger population. Dark skin also doesn’t absorb vitamin D very well either
  • Some diseases- celiac, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitits, limit absorption of fats and vitamin D
  • Obesity and gastric bypass may need more vitamin D

Signs of vitamin D deficiency- up to 42 percent of the US population is deficient

  • Rickets in children
  • Osteomalacia in adults
  • Not sleeping well.
  • Bone pain or achiness.
  • Depression or feelings of sadness.
  • Hair loss.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Lowered immunity to infections-viral and bacterial

Signs of vitamin D toxicity

Vitamin D toxicity is not common, except when extremely high doses of vitamin D is taken in supplement form for a long time (months).

  • Hypercalcemia
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Can progress to bone pain and kidney stones

How to Improve Your Vitamin D Status

In addition to adequate sunlight exposure, vitamin D requires other nutrients and minerals to work properly. It is always best to get your nutrition from food sources, however long winters and low sunlight may require supplementation. If supplementing with vitamin D, it is best to take with fat since it is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Vitamin K2(MK-7)- activates osteocalcin, which integrates calcium into the bone. Activates matrix GLA protein (MGP) to bind excess calcium and promote arterial flow and flexibility. Food sources include fermented foods, natto

Magnesium- helps convert vitamin D to active form. Food sources include leafy greens, beans, legumes, almonds, cashews

Zinc– synergistic effect- vitamin D enhances zinc action and homeostasis and zinc enhances vitamin D absorption. Food sources include oysers, red meat, poultry

Boron– increases vitamin D in the blood. Food sources include coffee, milk, apples, dried and cooked beans, and potatoes

Cold water fish– salmon, herring, sardines, tuna

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Join Our Newsletter

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How do Antibiotics Work? Part 4

The best way to take antibiotics is to never need them. But that isn’t always an option. However, there are some steps you can take to strengthen your immune system so that you and your loved ones can fight off illness. The recent outbreak of deaths from group A strep– which is usually treated with Amoxicillin, is currently in short supply. This highlights the fragility of our nations drug supply. Check this site for current drug shortages- if a medication you are taking is on the list contact your care provider to get your medications refilled, and if available ask for a years supply of your meds.

8 tips to strengthen your immune system

  1. Get good quality sleep

According to the Sleep foundation good quality sleep enhances both the innate and adaptive immune system responses. Non rapid eye movement, known as NREM is deep sleep slows the body’s processes allowing more energy to be directed at healing. Sleep is such an important topic that it really needs its own post.

  1. Cut back on sugar

Professor of immunobiology at Yale, Ruslan Medzhitov performed experiments on mice- after infecting the mice with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes he fed one group fat and proteins. They lived. The group he fed simple carbohydrates died.  Conversely, when the mice were infected with an influenzas virus and fed fats and proteins, they were more likely to die compared to the mice fed simple carbohydrates. In other words, balance is the key. If unsure if you have a viral or bacterial infection it is best to just cut out excess sugar.

  1. Increase fresh fruits and vegetables

Up to 80% of our immune system is housed in lymphoid tissue in your intestines, It is called gut associated lymph tissue (GALT) By eating fiber rich foods the beneficial bacteria help the immune system do its job. In addition, a study found that eating a diverse diet high in fiber rich foods can help combat antibiotic resistance. There needs to be more research in this area of study, however initial results are promising.

In addition, several varieties of mushrooms are known to improve immune system function and are being studied for their cancer fighting properties.

  1. Drink plenty of water

Water helps flush toxins out of the body, both through elimination and mucus membranes.

The bloodstream is comprised mostly of water. To help the body fight infection keeping hydrated helps the white blood cells do their job- fight infections.

  1. Avoid alcohol and smoking

Both can decrease immunity

  1. Keep your vitamin D levels up

Vitamin D is well known to help fight infections. Be sure that when you take vitamin D (which is really not a vitamin, it is a steroid hormone) be sure to add vitamin K2, also known as MK 7, This is important, because this helps avoid calcium buildup in your arteries.

  1. Reduce and manage stress

Stress raises our cortisol levels which in turn suppresses the immune response to pathogenic invaders.

  1. Exercise to boost immunity

Research shows that 20–40 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day is adequate to provide a positive boost to the immune system. Exercise helps circulate the infection fighting cells in the body.

If you still need an antibiotic Jase has you covered

The 5 antibiotics in the Jase case can cover a wide range of bacterial illnesses. If in doubt contact Jase provider for guidance, part of the outstanding service Jase offers is unlimited follow up for questions about antibiotic use.

 Let’s take a look at some of the infections Jase antibiotics cover:

  • Amoxicillin-clavulanate 875 mg tablets (28 tablets)

When amoxicillin is not available due to current shortages this antibiotic can be substituted. Other uses include group A strep, sinusitis, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and infections of the skin

  • Azithromycin 250 mg tablets (6 tablets)

Bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, skin infections, Travelers diarrhea, urinary tract infection

  • Ciprofloxacin 500 mg tablets (28 tablets)

Bioterrorism infections from anthrax, Tularemia or plague exposure

Travelers diarrhea

  • Doxycycline 100 mg capsules (120 capsules)

Bioterrorism infections from anthrax, Tularemia, or plague exposure

Skin infection, tetanus, bites (animal or human)

  • Metronidazole 500 mg tablets (30 tablets)

bacterial vaginosis, diarrhea (caused by giardia and clostridioides difficile), giardiasis, tetanus, and trichomoniasis

 

- Brooke Lounsbury

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Join Our Newsletter

Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!

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