June 2019
In this issue

Self-care measures and over-the-counter remedies can lessen your misery if  you suffer from a seasonal allergy. The article's concluding information about immunotherapy, administered via tablets or shots, may be of interest if your symptoms are especially severe. 

Applying a moisturizing lotion is only one of many measures that can relieve itchiness due to dry skin. If your skin itches but is not dry, you may want to learn about other causes.  
What should you say - and not say - to someone who has lost a family member or friend to suicide

The World Health Organization has released new guidelines on physical activity and sedentary activities (including screen time) for children under age five

Sun, heat, and sweat cause bicycle helmets to degrade. They should be replaced every five years - and immediately after any crash, even if it looks okay. If you are considering a new one, you might like to learn about newly available technologies that improve
bicycle helmet effectiveness.
Monitoring Type 2 Diabetes

When type 2 diabetes is well-managed and not being controlled with insulin or another fast-acting medication, daily monitoring of blood sugar is often unnecessary. You can find an example of specific recommendations for test frequency in the Endocrine Society's overview of glucose monitoring. Other expert groups issued similar recommendations earlier this decade.
However, a recent study found that many, many people who could safely test less frequently are checking their blood sugar every day - or even multiple times a day. You will find this issue helpfully discussed in a New York Times article.
If you believe you meet the criteria for less frequent monitoring, discuss this information and your test routine with your doctor to see if you could safely monitor less often. You may also need to inquire whether your HMO or health insurance provider mandates daily blood glucose testing to prove compliance. 
Limit Your Use of These Drugs
Some medications are beneficial in the short-term but can cause problems if used longer. Depending on the drug, "too long" can be a few days, weeks, or months. For most people, the following should be taken for a limited time. Be sure to consult with your doctor before you stop taking one he or she has prescribed for regular use.
  • Sleep aids (over-the-counter or prescription)
  • Opioid pain relievers (Oxycontin, Percocet, oxycodone, or other generic)
  • Heartburn drugs (Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, or generic)
  • Decongestant nasal sprays (Afrin, Dristan, Vicks Sinex, or equivalent store brand)
You can find information about these medications and many others on MedlinePlus.gov. 
The Other Talk
Are you worried that you may someday need to make medical decisions for a family member, but you are unsure of asking what choices he or she would like you to make?

Have you been meaning to discuss your own wishes for end-of-life care with your loved ones, but you can never find the right time and words?  
The resources in our guide to Later Life Planning offer several ways to broach these sensitive issues. Watching online videos, with your loved ones or individually, might be an easy starting point, while playing the online "Go Wish" game together can help each of you prioritize your care preferences. Printed "Conversation Starter Kits" and worksheets provide vocabulary and scenarios for clearly describing what matters to you.
Bone Health & Elliptical Machines: A Correction
Contrary to a statement in our May issue, working out on an elliptical machine is good for your heart and your bones. Though less effective than high-impact activities, elliptical work-outs do help bones stay strong and have two advantages over most other bone-healthy exercises: they are usually well-tolerated by individuals with joint pain and provide a workout for both the lower and upper body.  
If you are curious to learn more about these devices, here is a quick primer on using and shopping for them. 

All events are open to the public. Some require pre-registration.
Presentations & a resource fair for seniors (click "Details" for the East San Jose event)
San Jose - Sat., 6/1
Sunnyvale - Thurs., 6/6
Schizophrenia (see p. 1)
San Jose - Tues., 6/11
Mountain View - Tues., 6/11
Gilroy - 3-session class begins Wed., 6/12

San Jose - Wed., 6/12

High blood pressure (scroll down)
Palo Alto - Thurs., June 13

San Jose - week of 6/24-6/28

Mountain View - Tues., 6/18

Eating disorders treatment
Mountain View - Wed., 6/22
Campbell - Sat., 6/29

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