Health in the News: Luke Perry’s Death Sheds Light on Strokes

March 13th, 2019

FAST Test signLuke Perry known for his roles on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Riverdale” died on March 4, after suffering a massive stroke days prior.

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

Each year more than 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Signs of a stroke can include:

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination

If your symptoms go away after a few minutes you may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Although brief, a TIA is a sign of a serious condition that will not go away without medical help.

F.A.S.T. Test

During a stroke, every minute counts. Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that a stroke can cause. That’s why it is important to remember the F.A.S.T. Test:

  • F-Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S-Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
  • T-Time: If you see any of these signs, call 911 right away.

The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptoms.

Strokes are responsible for about one out of 20 deaths in the United States, making it the fifth leading cause of death among Americans.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to know the signs of a stroke and how to detect when a stroke is happening to someone. IAA knows that when it comes to strokes, timing is everything, so if you believe someone is having a stroke, take action right away.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!

March 17-23 is National Poison Prevention Week

March 6th, 2019

Hazard warning signIn 1961 Congress established National Poison Prevention Week to raise awareness, reduce unintentional poisonings and promote poison prevention.

Signs and Symptoms of Poisoning

Poisoning signs and symptoms can mimic other conditions such as, seizures, alcohol intoxication, stroke, and insulin reaction. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Breath that smells like chemicals, such as gasoline or paint thinner
  • Burns or redness around the mouth and lips
  • Confusion or other altered mental status
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness   
  • Vomiting

If a poisoning occurs, call for help and have this information on hand:

  • Victim’s age and weight
  • Container or bottle of the poison
  • The time of the poison exposure
  • The address where the poisoning occurred

It’s important to remember that young children may be poisoned by things not typically thought of as poisons, such cosmetics and personal care items like shampoo and body lotions.

Poison Prevention Tips

Simple steps can help you keep your home safe from accidental poisoning.

  • Keep cleaners and other toxic products out of reach
  1. Store all household products out of children’s sight and reach. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Any bleach, detergents, dishwasher liquid or cleaning solutions that are kept there should be moved.
  2. Install child safety locks on cabinets where you have stored poisonous items.
  3. Read product labels to find out what is hazardous to children.
  4. Don’t leave poisonous products around while in use.
  5. Keep cleaning products in their original containers. Never put a potentially dangerous product in something other than its original container (such as a plastic soda bottle) where it could be mistaken for something else.
  6. Throw away old medicines and other potential poisons.
  • Check your purse for potential hazards: Be aware of any medications or makeup that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of children.
  • Keep medicines up and away
  1. Make sure that all medications, including vitamins and adult medicines are stored out of reach and sight of children.
  2. Put medicine out of reach after every use

It is also a good idea to add the poison help number to your contact list.

What IAA has to Say

Take the time to help make others aware of National Poisoning Prevention Week by sharing this blog post with friends, family and colleagues. Insurance Administrator of America knows that a little support can go a long way!

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Study Shows Children Go Untreated for Mental Health Conditions

February 27th, 2019

Teenager leaning against wall, head in handsNearly one in seven kids and teens in the United States have a mental health condition, and half go untreated, a study says.

New Study

Researchers analyzed data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, a nationwide survey administered to parents of children and teens. Of the 46.6 million children ages six through 18 whose parents completed the survey, 7.7 million had at least one mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Only half received treatment or counseling from a mental health provider in the 12 months prior to the survey.

The number of children with a mental health condition varied widely from state-to-state.

There are two issues that seem to be stopping these children from getting help. One is stigma and the other health coverage. According to the data from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the majority of the country faces a severe shortage of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists, with fewer than 17 providers available per 100,000 children.

The study was published February 11 in the journal “JAMA Pediatrics. “

Mental Disorders in Children

Mental health disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day.

Red flags that parents should look out for include:

  • Abandonment or lost of interest in favorite pastimes
  • Changes in school performance
  • Excessive sleeping beyond usual teenage fatigue
  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Loss of self-esteem

Parents looking to keep ahead of these situations should remember to:

  1. Keep communication constant, open and honest: You have to be committed to broaching topics of concern and do so openly. Let them know they are not alone and their anxieties are not unique.
  2. Understand that mental health disorders are treatable: Arm yourself with information about the most common mental health disorders among adolescents.
  3. Be attentive to your teen’s behavior: Adolescence is indeed a time of transition and change, but severe, dramatic or abrupt changes in behavior can be strong indicators of serious mental health issues. 

ADHD, behavior problems, anxiety, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in children in the U.S.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that discussing mental health issues with a teenager can be difficult, but the talks are important. IAA encourages you to open a dialogue on mental health with your children.

Interested in reading more from this topic? Click here!

FDA Sends Warning Letters Regarding Nutritional Supplements

February 20th, 2019

Dietary supplements in bottleOn February 11, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent 12 warning letters and five online advisory letters to companies whose products are being illegally marketed as unapproved new drugs to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.

FDA Sends Warning

The warning letters, some written in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission, were sent to companies including:

  • Blue Ridge Silver
  • Earth Turns
  • Gold Crown Natural Products
  • John Gray’s Mars Venus
  • TEK Naturals

The FDA announced that it was starting what it called one of the most sweeping modernizations of dietary supplement regulation and oversight, in 25 years.

A study published in October found that nearly 800 dietary supplements sold over-the-counter from 2007 through 2016 contained unapproved drug ingredients, based on an analysis of FDA data. More than one unapproved pharmaceutical ingredient was found in 20 percent of these supplements.

Three quarters of American adults and a third of children regularly take a dietary supplement, the FDA noted.  The industry is now worth more than $40 billion, producing up to 80,000 products.

The Role of the FDA

The FDA is responsible for:

  • Advancing the public health by helping to speed product innovations
  • Assuring cosmetics and dietary supplements are safe and properly labeled
  • Protecting the public from electronic product radiation
  • Protecting the public health by assuring that foods (except for meat from livestock, poultry and some egg products which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) are safe, wholesome, sanitary, and properly labeled; ensuring that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products, and medical devices intended for human use, are safe and effective .
  • Regulating tobacco products

The FDA does not review dietary supplements before they hit the market, but it can intervene when products are deemed unsafe or carry false, misleading or unproven claims about their health benefits.

What IAA has to Say

We all take our daily vitamin, but Insurance Administrator of America wants you to be aware of false advertising on other supplements.  Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!

New Alternative Treatment on Horizon for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

February 13th, 2019

Diabetes testing kitsAn alternative to pancreas transplantation may be available to patients in the future to treat Type 1 diabetes, a study says.

New Potential Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes arises in childhood and kills the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin (beta cells), which normally regulates the blood’s glucose levelsDamage to the beta cells from Type 1 diabetes throws the process off. Glucose doesn’t move into your cells because insulin is not there to do it. Instead, it builds up in your blood and your cells starve.

Treatment for Type 1diabetes usually requires regular shots of insulin with meals, but often, that’s not enough.  That’ when people turn to a pancreas transplant.

Researchers grew healthy beta cells to transplant into patients without having to wait for a pancreas or islet transplant.

The researchers were able to convert stem cells to act like healthy pancreatic beta cells. In the experiment, these cells were able to produce insulin when they interacted with blood glucose.  

The study was published this month in “Nature Cell Biology.”

Signs and Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms can appear relatively suddenly and may include:

  • Bed wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme hunger
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in your belly
  • Unintended weight loss

Risk factors for this condition are:

  • Age: Although Type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two noticeable peaks. The first peak occurs in children between four and seven years old, and the second in children between 10 and 14 years old.
  • Family history: Anyone with a parent or sibling with Type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Genetics: The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.
  • Geography: The incidence of Type 1 diabetes tends to increase as you travel away from the equator.  

According to the American Diabetes Association, roughly 1.25 million people have Type 1 diabetes in the United States.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to know what is going on in the world of health. Keep up to date with IAA! Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here and here!