Why Are Diabetic Shoes Important?

Diabetes patients often need special shoes

Diabetic shoes come in a variety of styles to fit your health needs and personal fashion.

Proper foot care is essential for diabetes patients. If you have diabetes, you may also have peripheral neuropathy, a common effect of diabetes that causes loss of feeling in the feet due to nerve damage. You could step on objects or develop blisters without feeling pain in your feet.

Peripheral neuropathy puts you at an increased risk for developing foot complications. A small nick or blister could lead to an infection, a troublesome ulcer or worse. In order to properly care for your feet, you should inspect your feet for damage daily and wear properly fitted shoes.

Foot Care. Think about foot care as part of your morning and evening hygiene routine. Soon it will become automatic. Check your feet for:

• Corns, blisters or calluses

• Pressure areas

• Ingrown or broken toenails

• Redness, swelling or warm areas

• Scratches or lacerations

• Objects embedded in the foot

• Check for objects in your shoes before you put them on (small toys, rocks, pins, etc.)

If you are physically unable to inspect your own feet regularly, ask your healthcare provider, a friend or a family member to check them for you. This small change in your daily routine may spare you a painful, long-lasting foot injury and hundreds of dollars in treatment.

Diabetic Shoes. Many people worry that diabetic shoes will make them look stodgy. However, diabetic shoes have become trendier and more attractive in recent years. You can find a wide range of styles to accommodate your health needs and your personal style.

It’s a good idea to visit a diabetic shoe specialist to help you select the right style and fit. Shoe specialists at CarePro Pharmacies will make sure that:

• The shoe provides the support and protection you need

• Good circulation is maintained in your feet

• Your skin is allowed to breathe

• The shoe is comfortable and complements your lifestyle

Wear the socks you plan to wear with your new shoes when you are fitted. That way, you’ll be sure to get a proper, comfortable fit. Your foot shape and needs change over time, so it is important to have your shoes inspected and replaced periodically.

CarePro Pharmacies accept Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurances. Your provider may cover your diabetic shoe purchase. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to call or email your local CarePro Pharmacy, or stop in to talk to a footwear specialist. We’re happy to help you with your diabetic shoe needs.

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A Versatile Lotion for Dry Skin and Diabetes

dry skin, diabetes, winter

Remedy Skin Repair Cream is perfect for dry skin in the winter, or for use all year round.

Diabetes affects all areas of the body, including your skin. If you have diabetes, your skin may dry out easily. That means your skin is likely to break open if you scratch it. Abrasions in your skin leave you more susceptible to infections, which can be hard to treat if you have diabetes.

Caring for your skin is very important, especially if you have diabetes. Remedy Skin Repair Cream is specially formulated to moisturize your skin without feeling greasy. The lotion is packed with vitamins and antioxidants to nourish your skin. It is also hypo-allergenic and non-irritating, which makes it perfect for dry, sensitive skin.

Remedy is gentle enough for everyday use and is effective for many skin conditions beyond diabetes. You can use Remedy on your whole body, including your feet, elbows, knees, face or other areas that are dry or irritated. It feels great on skin that is chapped due to the cold or sore from a sunburn. It is also ideal for people who are dealing with skin irritation from radiation therapy.

Remedy is a perfect holiday gift, too. It is lightly scented and is perfect for people who wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently (like teachers, nurses and new parents). You can save 20% on Remedy during the month of November at CarePro Home Medical in Cedar Rapids and Coralville, and at CarePro Pharmacy – Pavilion in Cedar Rapids.

Remedy is gentle enough for everyday use, but strong enough to help combat the pain and irritation that comes with dry skin. If you have questions about Remedy, please feel free to contact us by phone or email. We’re happy to help you with your skin care needs year round.

BONUS: In December, CarePro Advance Health is hosting an education session about natural skin care options. Click this link for more information!

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Diabetes and the Flu Vaccine

flu vaccine for people with diabetes

If you have diabetes, it's important to get vaccinated against the flu.

If you have diabetes, it’s important that you get vaccinated against the flu. When people with diabetes contract the flu, their blood glucose levels tend to rise, and their recovery time is often longer than that of people who don’t have diabetes.

Besides its own unpleasant side effects, the flu can lead to other severe ailments, including dehydration and pneumonia. According to Mayo Clinic, people with diabetes are three times as likely to die from the flu and pneumonia than people who do not have diabetes.

You may be afraid that you will catch the flu from the vaccine. Fortunately, you cannot catch the flu from most formulations of the flu vaccine. The most common side effects of the vaccine are minor, and they only last a couple of days. The side effects include pain and redness around the injection site and a low fever.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu. Children, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions (including diabetes) and people with lung, kidney or heart disorders are more likely to experience serious side effects if they contract the flu. It is important for people in these high risk groups, and for those who live and work with them, to be vaccinated against the flu every year.

Everyone should take these basic precautions to help keep each other healthy through the flu season:

• Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.

• If you do get the flu, stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever ends to avoid infecting others.

When you live with diabetes, you know that it is important to be proactive with your health. Visit your local CarePro Pharmacy for a flu shot soon. No appointments are necessary- we’re happy to help you when you stop by.

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4 Categories for Halloween Safety

Kids safety Halloween pumpkin carving

Play it safe when carving pumpkins with kids this Halloween.

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many kids and adults alike. It’s fun to get out of the daily grind, and trick-or-treating is a fun way to get active with your family. However, Halloween can quickly become hazardous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Use our quick tips to have a safe, fun Halloween.

1. Clothing

  • Wear costumes that fit! Make sure costumes are not too long to avoid tripping
  • Plan for extra layers if it’s cold out (you never know in Iowa!)
  • Stick reflective tape on costumes and bags to be visible to cars
  • Skip decorative contacts to avoid serious eye injury (inflammation, scratches, infections, pain)
  • Test makeup on a small area of skin to avoid a full-face rash if you’re allergic
  • Secure accessories (swords, wings, crowns) properly, and avoid sharp edges or points

2. At Home

  • Kennel your pets- don’t risk a frightened pet injuring a trick-or-treating child
  • Clear any tripping hazards (dog tie-outs, garden hoses, loose stepping stones, etc.)
  • Light walkways with fresh bulbs (avoid candles or open flames)
  • Take over carving duty for young kids. They can use a marker to draw a face and you can cut it out for them

3. Candy

  • Inspect treats for open wrappers, tampering, expired candy and choking hazards (small pieces, toys, hard candies, etc.).
  • Pass on homemade treats:  you can’t verify their ingredients or the cleanliness of the kitchen in which they were made
  • Send older kids with a group or with a trusted adult, and set a family curfew/meeting place. Kids under age 12 should not trick-or-treat without an adult
  • Feed the family a healthy meal prior to trick-or-treating to prevent excess munching

4. Parties

  • Eat treats sparingly. Empty calories add up, and you may end up with a sick stomach
  • Arrange a designated driver if you plan to drink. This one is self-explanatory!
  • Avoid driving in a bulky or cumbersome costume, especially one that blocks your vision

For more family Halloween safety tips, visit the CDC website or the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

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5 Healthy Tailgating Food Swaps

Tailgating equals football, friends and FOOD. While the first two are great, the third can throw a wrench in your healthy eating progress. Thankfully, there are many tasty snacks that are healthy, too, so you don’t have to stick to salad and water on game day.

boneless wings substitute game day snack

These tasty, spicy snacks are sure to please your hot wing-hungry friends on game day.

1. Choose thin crust pizza instead of thick crust pizza. Less bread means fewer empty calories that fill you up temporarily, but are devoid of nutrition.

2. Wrap hamburgers in lettuce leaves and ditch the buns. Each bun you skip saves 100 or more empty calories.

3. Trade potato or tortilla chips for snap peas. Snap peas have the crunch you crave without the trans-fats that come with frying.

4. Swap hot wings for buffalo cauliflower (yes, it’s a thing, and it’s delicious). This recipe from Rachael Ray omits the grease and gives you the spice and texture you crave.

5. Grill seasoned Portobello mushroom caps instead of burgers. Savory, juicy and delicious- everything you’d get in a burger for an eighth of the calories!

Bonus swap:  Drink a glass of water between beers or pops to feel fuller, save calories and stay hydrated as you enjoy the game.

Do you have other strategies to save calories on game day? Tweet your ideas to @CareProHS, or email them to us at info@careprohs.com.

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Avoid the Flu – Get Vaccinated!

Flu vaccination, flu vaccine, influenza shot

Getting a flu vaccine is a great way to protect yourself - and your family - from the flu this fall.

Now is the time to plan for your family’s flu immunizations. The annual flu season usually peaks between December and March, but it can begin as early as October and last through May. The earlier in the season you get your flu vaccine, the better your chances of protecting yourself, your family and your coworkers from the flu.

Common symptoms of the flu include:

  • fever and chills
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • headaches
  • runny or stuffy nose.

The flu can also lead to dehydration, pneumonia and other severe ailments.

Some people avoid getting immunized for fear that they will get the flu from the vaccine. Fortunately, you cannot catch the flu from most formulations of the flu vaccine. The most common side effects of the flu vaccine are minor and only last a few days. These include pain and redness around the injection site and a low fever.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be immunized against the flu. Children, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions (such as asthma and diabetes) and people with heart, lung or kidney disorders are more likely to experience serious side effects if they catch the flu. It is important for people in these high risk groups, and for those who live and work with them, to be vaccinated against the flu every year.

Everyone should take these basic precautions to help each other stay healthy through the flu season:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • If you get the flu, stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever ends to avoid infecting others.

If you have any questions or concerns about the influenza vaccine, talk to your pharmacist or physician. You can read more information about flu shots from the CDC or the Iowa Department of Public Health websites. Vaccinations are quick, easy and can help you stay healthy. Flu shots, as well as other vaccines, are available at your local CarePro pharmacy. Our pharmacists are happy to answer your vaccination questions- connect with us today!

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Treating a Sprained Ankle

Ankle Brace for Adults

Be sure to choose a brace that fits well and is designed specifically for ankles.

Fall sports are underway! That means lots of practices and meets, after what may have been a sedentary summer. If you or your child sprain an ankle, it’s important to take action quickly to keep the injury from becoming worse.

A common treatment for acute injuries like sprains is the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest will allow your ankle to heal properly without additional strain. Stay off your foot as much as possible for a few days.

Ice can help ease your pain and prevent swelling. Wrap the ice in a towel to avoid blistering your skin, and apply it for only 15 minutes per hour.

Compression (wrapping your injury) can help control swelling. Wrap your ankle tight enough that it feels firm, but loose enough that you can still move your foot. If you use a brace, make sure you select one that is designed for ankles, and is the proper size to avoid rubbing, blistering and increased swelling. The staff at CarePro Pharmacies or CarePro Home Medical can help you choose an ankle wrap or brace to fit you.

Elevation is another way to keep swelling under control. Lay on the couch with your foot propped up on a few pillows, just above heart level. If you don’t experience pain relief after two days of using the RICE method, see your physician- your injury may be more serious than a sprain.

How can you prevent sprains this fall? Start by using proper shoes for your activity (don’t go running in shoes designed for volleyball). Replace your shoes if they’re worn or have become uncomfortable. Warming up before exercise is important, too. Think of your ligaments and tendons as if they were rubber bands. If you try to stretch a cold rubber band, it will snap (unpleasant, right?). If you stretch a warm rubber band, it will likely be more flexible.

Most importantly, listen to your body. If you feel intense pain, it is best to stop and pinpoint the reason for your pain. You can decrease your chances of suffering a chronic injury by paying attention when your body signals that it needs a break. Remember, trophies can be won and lost, but severe injuries can sideline you for good!

Resources:

http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/tips_for_preventing_foot_and_ankle_injuries/
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/rehab/a/rice.htm
http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/beating-injury/injury-first-aid—the-rice-method/150.html

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Attention new and expectant moms!

benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with your newborn. CarePro has the supplies you need to get started!

Both moms and babies can benefit from breastfeeding.

Benefits for babies:

Breast milk contains antibodies and hormones that keep them healthy. Breastfed babies often have lower instances of:

  • Ear infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory infection
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

Breast milk is often easier for babies to digest than formula. Many formulas are derived from cow’s milk, which can take a while for your baby’s stomachs to get used to.

Benefits for moms:

Moms can enjoy these perks while feeding their babies:

  • Convenience- fewer bottles to warm up, no formula to mix and carry
  • Accountability for a healthier lifestyle- what you eat and drink is essentially what you are feeding your baby
  • Saving money- you don’t have to buy formula (or only a little, if you choose to). This is a substantial savings- depending on the brand and type, formula can cost anywhere from $10 – $40 per can or more.

CarePro carries equipment to make breastfeeding your baby as easy as possible. You can find breast pumps and accessories for purchase at CarePro Home Medical and CarePro Pharmacy – Pavilion.

If you prefer to rent a breast pump, visit CarePro Pharmacy – North Liberty. Our North Liberty location also carries comfortable, stylish nursing bras (Ameda, Medela and Bravado brands).

Questions about breastfeeding equipment? Connect with us at info@careprohs.com. We’re happy to help you!

For breastfeeding tips and nutrition information, visit Mayo Clinic or Medela online.

Resources:

http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why-breastfeeding-is-important/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/breast-feeding/art-20047138

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Four Easy Tips for a Healthy School Year

Vampire sleeve

Teach your kids to sneeze into the crook of their elbows as opposed to on their hands. This technique keeps germs off of their hands and out of the air.

Back-to-school time means dealing with an abundance of germs. Every high-five, drink at the water fountain and shared box of crayons could lead to a cold for your child. Stay ahead of the game this school year with four simple tips to help your kids stay healthy.

  • Show your child the “vampire sleeve” (bend your arm across your face, like a vampire would hide his face with his cape, to cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve). This move keeps sneeze germs out of the air and off of your child’s hands.
  • Have your child wash her hands before and after school, eating and using the restroom. Basically, teach her to wash her hands whenever she can! It’s one of the best ways to keep your child healthy and happy this fall.
  • Teach your child to use hand sanitizer when soap isn’t available.
  • Make sure your child brushes his teeth regularly. The mouth is a portal for germs to move in and out of the body. Brushing twice a day will help keep that activity to a minimum, along with providing minty fresh breath!

Kids will be kids- they won’t remember to wash up, cover their sneezes or brush their teeth without constant reminders from you. Just remember- it’s better to remind them and keep them healthy than to have them down and out with a cold!

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Corridor Seniors Give Back!

Senior citizens are a valuable part of communities in the Corridor.

Senior citizens are a vital part of Corridor communities.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan deemed August 14 National Senior Citizens Day to honor the contributions of senior citizens to society.

Senior citizens are a valuable part of communities in the Corridor. Their contributions provide much needed assistance and opportunities for their families, friends and neighbors that may be otherwise unavailable.

Corridor seniors have ample opportunities to contribute to society after retirement. Three areas in which senior citizens make a big impact are volunteering, mentoring and providing care.

  • Volunteering:  Leaving the workforce does not mean bowing out of society! Volunteering is an opportunity for seniors to use their natural talents and professional skills to continue doing what they love after retirement. Many seniors keep their skills sharp by reading to children at local schools, assisting patients and visitors at hospitals and taking active roles in community organizations, including neighborhood watch groups, delivering Meals on Wheels and helping with beautification projects.
  • Mentoring:  Seniors have a distinct advantage over younger generations- they have many years of passion and experience to share! Their life experience and wisdom are invaluable to young professionals seeking to build their careers. When seniors transfer their knowledge, they equip the next generation with the confidence and resources to be successful.
  • Providing care:  Many older Americans are active in the daily lives of their grandchildren. They often help their own children by providing deeply discounted or free childcare during working hours. Many seniors also spend a lot of time caring for their ailing spouses, friends or family members. Whether a senior is a full-time caregiver, providing respite or offering companionship, their time and compassion is priceless.

Here’s to all the senior citizens in the Corridor! Thank you for all you do to make our communities great places to live, work and play!

Here are a few local resources if you are interested in volunteering:  United Way of East Central Iowa; Horizons, A Family Service Alliance; Mercy Medical Center; Unity Point Health – St. Luke’s.

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