9 Ways To Prevent Arthritis Flare-Ups

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It’s difficult to predict when a flare-up may occur, but you may be able to reduce them if you know your triggers.

​9 Ways To Prevent Arthritis Flare-Ups

One of the most difficult things I have come across as I manage my arthritis symptoms is predicting the possibility of flare-ups. While I can’t always keep them from occurring, I have learned how to reduce my chances of having a flare-up.

Here are nine things I do to help me to keep arthritis flare-ups at bay.

Plan Ahead

I often think ahead because I know that my daily habits help me to manage my life with arthritis. I plan ahead in everything I do from shopping to being prepared for an upcoming event because I never know when fatigue and pain will take over.


Review of In Your Hands by Dr. Larry Berkelhammer



I have struggled to cope with chronic illness and I have often felt like healthy living was out of my control as many of you have. From the moment I picked up In Your Hands by Dr. Larry Berkelhammer, I realized that I did not need to feel a loss of control and or that there weren’t enough answers.

There was a time when Dr. Berkelhammer had usual symptoms that no one could explain so he knows firsthand what feels like to be sick and not know why.  Like many of you, he had to continue on with his life despite not feeling well and not having a diagnosis.  In Your Hands narrates the doctor’s journey towards finding answers and trying to maintain a positive attitude so as to feel better physically better along the way.  Eventually Dr. Berkelhammer got a diagnosis but, as reminiscent of this book, that was only a small part in his journey towards healthy wellbeing despite illness.

Dr. Berkelhammer is here to inspire us in kind and nurturing way. He knows we try hard to manage our illnesses and we do so day in and day out so he wants us to make the best use of our coping skills. He also knows that all of this has an effect on self-esteem and can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. It is hard knowing that there are no cures for our conditions and that we cannot predict our lives day to day.

But Dr. Berkelhammer shows us a different way of living. He does this by gently nudging and encouraging you to think about all the ways in which you can live your life fully.  He uses proven methods to teach you how to take charge of your health and emotions so that you become a master at your own health and wellbeing.

About Larry Berkelhammer, PhD

Larry Berkelhammer, PhD, is an author, educator, speaker, and talk show host whose work focuses on the mind’s impact on health. You can find out more about him at his website.


Larry Berkelhammer, PhD


You can purchase In Your Hands through the following online retailers.


Barnes & Noble

I did not receive compensation for this review.  I did, however, receive a free copy of the book.

Five Common Misconceptions About Asbestos

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Most people know that asbestos is lethal. Most people know that when it is inhaled, it can cause painful diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. But decades of misinformation have helped give rise to many myths about asbestos that persist to this day–and helped conceal the fact that asbestos is more dangerous than many people realize.

MYTH: In small amounts, asbestos is harmless.

REALITY: According to the EPA, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. While the risk of side effects increases with the level of exposure, inhaling even a few fibers can be dangerous. Once lodged in a person’s lung tissue, the fibers can remain there indefinitely, and a small amount can still lead to adverse side effects and fatality resulting from asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Read more.

Chronic Illness: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Job

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Know your options, know your rights

Chronic Illness: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Job

Chronically ill workers in the United States face uncertainty because they worry about their health, in addition to their jobs. Protections offered to them by the government are quite vague, adding more insecurity.

A study out of the Center for Economics and Policy Research found that even through the United States is one of the 22 richest nations in the world, it is the only one that does not guarantee paid sick leave for employees. While paid sick leave is available to most employees for a short-term illness, such as the flu, the waters can be quite murky for people with chronic illnesses.

Three Ways to Protect Your Job

Job protection can help provide relief for people with chronic illness. Here is what you need to know.

Employer’s Policies. It is your responsibility to learn about your employer’s time-off policies. You can learn this information through your company’s handbook or intranet or by speaking with your employer’s human resource department. Your employer may have several options available to you, including paid sick leave, family and medical leave, and short- and long-term disability.


Guest Post: The Importance of Mammograms

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According to Cancer.org, more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. For women ages 40 and up – or even younger if recommended by a doctor –mammograms can help reduce breast cancer deaths.

Here, learn how the new federal healthcare laws will affect your access to mammograms, as well as the steps you can take to make your mammogram a stress-free experience.

Can I Afford a Mammogram?

Many women may be confused about what health services are covered under the new Affordable Care Act. Under the Affordable Care Act, a woman’s annual preventive healthcare services, which include mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer, are covered by most health plans. The Affordable Care Act also makes recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare. More those on Medicare, mammograms must be given without a co-pay or deductible for all plans started after August 1, 2012.

What Does This Mean for Me?

It means you should take advantage of the services that are provided. The Affordable Care Act understands the importance of preventative care. When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key, and mammograms are an essential part of identifying breast cancer in its early, treatable stages. In the case that an abnormality is found, a diagnostic mammogram may be prescribed to take additional images and further diagnose the issue.

According to Mammographysaveslives.org, mammography has helped reduce the breast cancer mortality rate in the U.S. by nearly 33 percent since 1990. It’s proof that regular mammograms can truly save lives.

Simple Mammogram Tips

Whether it’s your first or tenth, it’s normal to feel nervous before your mammogram. Here are some simple tips that can help make the experience more efficient and even more comfortable:

  • Many women experience tender breasts during their menstrual cycles, so consider scheduling your mammogram within the two weeks after your menstrual period ends.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove from the waist up.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages before your appointment. Caffeine has been shown to cause small lumps or discomfort in breasts.
  • Do not wear deodorant, antiperspirant, powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts. These substances have been shown to potentially cause inaccuracies in the X-ray film.
  • Consider taking an over-the-counter pain medication prior to your appointment.
  • Be up front with your doctor. Let your doctor know if you have had any issues or concerns since your last mammogram, have breast implants, or any medical history that might affect your mammogram or your overall health.
  • Always voice your questions and concerns. Your doctor is there to help you and welcomes any questions that you have.
  • Before you leave the doctor’s office, be sure to schedule your next annual appointment.

Remember, screening mammograms could be the difference between life and death.  It’s an important opportunity to take control of your health. Make your annual mammogram appointment educate others about the importance of mammograms.

This article was contributed by NorthShore University HealthSystem, a comprehensive, fully integrated healthcare delivery system that serves the Chicago region. With leading hospitals in Chicago and the surrounding area, NorthShore provides screening and diagnostic mammogram procedures to help prevent and diagnosis breast cancer.

9 Ways to Laugh and Be Joyful Despite Chronic Illness

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Did you know that the best medicine for chronic illness is laughter?

9 Ways to Laugh and Be Joyful Despite Chronic Illness

A giggle a day can help you to cope and even reduce your pain because it promotes relaxation. Further, laughter releases feel-good endorphins that people living with pain really need.

Recent research has found that laughter holds great benefits for people who live with pain and illness. But, as you know, living with illness and pain isn’t fun and finding reasons to laugh can be difficult.

Here are nine ways to laugh and be joyful despite chronic illness.

  1. Don’t take life too seriously. Chronic illness can bring with it challenges that can get the better of you. When you start stressing about your challenges, it is hard to find solutions. If you focus on not taking life and challenges too seriously by laughing rather than stressing, you give yourself a confidence boost that can help you overcome hurdles. Smile, laugh and don’t be too critical of yourself.


7 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Rheumatologist

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Building a relationship with your rheumatologist can be beneficial for you and your doctor

7 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Rheumatologist

Arthritis patients do best when they have a rheumatologist they can communicate well with. A strong doctor-patient relationship can improve patient outcomes, promote a better quality of life and increase compliance with treatment.

Your rheumatologist only has an average of about fifteen minutes to spend with you during your visit and if communication is lacking, the experience can be confusing and frustrating. Here are seven tips to help you to improve communication with your rheumatologist.

  1. Prepare. Before your appointment, write down the concerns you want to share with your rheumatologist so that your conversation is focused and your concerns are addressed. You should also carry a list of all the medications you are taking because you cannot rely on memory. Your list should include all prescribed medications, over the counter medications and any supplements and vitamins. Before leaving your rheumatologist’s office, take a look at your notes to make sure you’ve covered everything.


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