May 2018
In this issue

Here are tips for eating healthfully on a budget.

You can save a lot of money and be much kinder to the environment by having a " green funeral."

What is known about the safety and efficacy of kratom, a dietary supplement often touted as an opioid substitute or aid for opioid withdrawal?

There are many issues to consider when shopping for a medical alert system. A few additional concerns, plus specific details about nine widely used systems, are listed here.

A combination of acetaminophen and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, appears to be the most effective, safest oral medication for pain after dental surgery.

What's the nutritional "skinny" on carrots

Local Mental Health Resources
Individuals with mental health conditions and their loved ones can discover support groups, walk-in clinics and crisis assistance, educational programs, and other local services via the website and resource guide of the Santa Clara County chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Surgeons & Surgery Costs
Consumers' Checkbook has a free guide, " Getting the Best Care," for prospective surgery patients. It includes tips for finding and choosing a surgeon, plus ratings of surgeons who perform 12 common surgical procedures. Poor outcomes were much more likely among the worst-rated surgeons when compared with the best-rated surgeons. Not all local surgeons are included, but the ratings will surely be of interest if your surgeon is listed or if you need a recommendation for one.

These tips may enable you to lower the cost of an elective (non-emergency) surgery.

If your preparations for a surgical procedure will include putting aside money in a flexible spending account (FSA), or if you are concerned about the billed cost, you may want to know what the procedure typically costs in the area where you live. Uninsured and privately insured individuals can research this via the estimator. (The accompanying videos are helpful.)

Cognition After Surgery
Cognitive difficulties are very common after surgery, with seniors being especially susceptible. For most patients, postoperative cognitive dysfunction subsides within a few weeks or months, but it lingers much longer for a significant percentage of people.

Metabolism & Weight Control
What affects your metabolic rate and how much control do you have over it?

A well-designed, large study examined how successfully people lost weight on either of two diets. Did they have better results with the low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet?

The ketogenic, or keto, diet is one of the best-known low-carbohydrate diets. For many years it has sometimes been used by people whose epilepsy is poorly controlled by medication. Recently it has been popularized as a way to treat diabetes or lose weight. How well might a ketogenic diet help you control your blood sugar or weight?

Rx Prices
Costs vary dramatically at different pharmacies, so it can definitely pay to shop around for your prescription drugs. You will find many more money-saving strategies described by MedlinePlus and Consumer Reports. If you can safely cut back on or eliminate a drug, that would save the most money, of course, but be sure to discuss this possibility with your doctor before making any changes.
Chronic neuropathic pain...
... also known as neuralgia, is caused by nerve damage stemming from shingles, diabetes, and other conditions. This overview of common neuralgia symptoms, causes, and treatments may be helpful. Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat, but a variety of approaches can be tried. A series of brief reports addresses the effectiveness and side effects of treatments ranging from topical creams and acupuncture to antidepressants and opioids.

All events are open to the public. Some require pre-registration.
.....* Fee for participation
.....^ Scroll down the linked page

Palo Alto - Thurs., 5/3

Palo Alto - Thurs., 5/3

Mountain View - Fri., 5/4

San Jose - Sat., 5/5

Mountain View - Sun., 5/6

Palo Alto - Mon., 5/7

San Jose - Tues., 5/8

Mountain View - Tues., 5/8

Palo Alto - Tues., 5/15
Gilroy - Sat., 5/19
Campbell - Sat., 5/19
Stanford - Sat., 5/19
Los Gatos - Tues., 5/22
Palo Alto - Tues., 5/22
San Jose - Thurs., 5/24
Palo Alto - Thurs., 5/24
Cupertino - Sun., 5/27
Palo Alto - Tues., 5/29
Anti-inflammatory diet
Palo Alto* - 5/29
Los Altos - Thurs., 5/31
Los Gatos - Sat., 6/2
Mountain View - Sat., 6/2
Mountain View - 8-session class begins Mon., 6/4
Palo Alto - Tues., 6/5
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