Friday, September 26, 2014


With Family Health & Fitness Day approaching (September 27th), we are excited promote the positive impact that exercise can have on multiple aspects of a child’s life such as improving memory and test scores. Here are some tips on how to make this year’s Family Health & Fitness Day the best it can be:

Schedule time

In today’s busy world, we so often rely on our calendars as a reminder. That being said, adding time to exercise with your kids is a great way to make it happen. However, that exercise doesn’t always have to be a trip to the gym or track. On Saturday mornings when the weather is nice, bike to breakfast. Another idea is to have a daily idea jar, where your child can pick the activity once a day. It could be a family whiffle ball game, or a walk in the park. Exercise is medicine – take your daily dose.

Less screen time

Take your child’s favorite video game outdoors by creating an obstacle course with different levels and challenges to keep your child engaged. If you are watching TV, have a commercial break challenge – during commercials dance, do push-ups or sit-ups. 

Invite friends to join

Exercise doesn’t have to be between just you and your child. Now that all the kids are back from summer camp and family vacations, you could have a monthly neighborhood hike or kickball game. The more the merrier! Even a trip to the local park can create an opportunity to get kids moving with their parents. Frisbee, hide and seek or playing a game of tag. The key is to keep it fun!

Use healthy foods to fuel your child

Exercising with your child can also lead to a talk about making healthy eating choices. Try celery with peanut butter (no sugar added) instead of cookies, or carrots with hummus instead of potato chips. Also when exercising remember to bring water to hydrate!

Simple Self-Tests That Can Save Your Life

These at-home, do-it-yourself exams can often reveal more about your health than high-tech diagnostics. 

Doctors often tout the high-tech diagnostics that now comprise much of the practice of medicine. These include lab analyses of tissue and blood, ultrasounds, angiograms, magnetic imaging, thermal imaging, visual scopes, and all manner of rediologic scans. 
But sometimes a simple at-home, do-it-yourself exam can reveal more than the most advanced (and expensive) screenings. You don't have to be a doctor to perform these tests. You simply need to know what to look for.
The best part?
Because these self-tests are so easy to do, they can catch medical conditions early, before they become serious, even potentially saving your life. The other big advantage besides convenience is that they cost absolutely nothing. 
Of course, if you do find something suspicious, you'll want to consult your doctor for confirmation and treatment. 
Keep in mind that self-tests don't replace proper physicals and diagnosis by your doctor.

Check Fingernails

Nails that are white near the cuticle and red or brown near the tip can indicate kidney disease. Fingertips that are blue or clubbed can b a symptom of lung disease. This would likely be accompanied by other symptoms such as breathing impairment. These signs also can occur in toenails.

Hand Test

Put your hands together in a prayer position with the palms and all fingers pressed flat against each other. If you can't do that, or the pinky fingers wont lay flat, it may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Finger-to-Nose Test

Sit or stand and hold one arm straight out in front, index finger pointing forward. Close your eyes and touch your nose with your index finger. Then do the same with the other arm. Try it a few times, when you're rested and alert and have not been drinking. If you keep missing, it may be a sign of a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or Huntington's disease.

Stretch Test

For people who are middle-aged or older, this is a quick way to test the flexibility of arteries, which is important for heart health. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front, toes pointing up.  Bend form the hips and try to touch your toes. If you can't get anywhere near your toes, you may be at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, or deep vein thrombosis.

Pulse Test

Put two fingers on your pulse on the wrist and tap the rhythm with your foot for a minute. Or place two fingers on the side of our neck and tap out the rhythm with your other hand A rhythm that is irregular, skipping beats, pounding, or fluttering, is called arrhythmia.
Most often, it means that blood flow is restricted by plaque in the arteries and the heart has to work harder to pump blood, or there can be an electrical malfunction in the heart.
Either way, it's a sign of increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Irregular heartbeat can often be controlled by medications. 

Breathing Test

The ability to exhale is an indication of lung health, and you can test yourself in two ways. Light a match in a room without drafts and let it burn halfway down. Hold it six inches away and, with your mouth wide open like you were at the dentist, try to blow it out. If you can't, there could be a respiratory problem.
Another test: Take a deep breath and exhale as quickly as you can, emptying all the air in your lungs. Taking more than 5 seconds to exhale not counting the time to breathe in) means it's time to get checked by your doctor. 

Hernia Test

If you have chronic pain in the abdomen, here's how to tell if i's a hernia: Tense your muscles as though you're having a bowel movement and feel the painful area with your hand. If you can feel a bulge of intestines through abdominal muscles, it could be a hernia, which requires prompt medical attention.
If, on the other hand, you feel no bulge, you have strained abdominal muscles, which is usually not a serious condition. Give them a rest and the pain should go away. 

Reflex Test

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), with symptoms such as unexplained weight gain and feeling cold, especially in the extremities, is a common problem, especially in women over 60. As a test, sit on the edge of a table or chair high enough to keep your feet above the floor, and check your own reflexes.
Give a sharp tap on the tendon between the bottom of the knee cap and the shin bone. If your lower leg doesn't immediately kick upward, or takes a while to sink back to its starting position, your thyroid is to take your temperature when you first wake up in the morning If it is consistently under 98.6 degrees, that could include hypothyroidism. 

Shaky Hand Test

A thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroididm) can make you feel anxious-even panicky- and cause unexplained weight loss. This is a quick way to check: Stretch one hand out in front, palm down. Put a sheet of paper on the back of your hand and see if it shakes. Some movement is normal, but if it's pronounced, or the paper falls off, it could mean your thyroid is working overtime, especially if you have other symptoms but are otherwise healthy or under age 40.

Nail Bed Test

Most often caused by an iron deficiency, anemia means the blood is not delivering enough oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms can include feeling tired, cold, dizzy, and irritable, having a headache or being short of breath.
Here's a quick test: While holding one hand higher than your heart, press firmly on a nail bed. It will turn white- then let go. If it takes more than two seconds for its pink color to return, indicating the blood returned to that spot, you likely have anemia, especially if other symptoms are also present. 

Palm Test

Open the palm of your hand and check the deep lines. Are the creases pale?
This could be due to an iron deficiency, which is common in women, Low iron can cause fatigue, reduce immunity, and harm the ability to concentrate. 

Mole Test

Count the number of moles on your entire body. You'll need a mirror or the help of a partner. If you have more than 50, you're at increased risk for melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. This means you should see a dermatologist at least once a year for a skin check. 

Eye Test

If you notice a thick white line circling the edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye), it could be a sign of high cholesterol. Pull down your lower eyelid and look inside. If you see bumps that look like cobblestones, it can indicate an allergy, most commonly involving dust, pet dander, or mold. 

*Source: Health Radar- September 2014 Issue

Monday, September 22, 2014


By now you've probably seen Budweiser's adorable, positive anti-drunk driving commercial featuring the Budweiser puppy. If not, watch here for another great episode from Budweiser:

Budweiser Puppy Shows the Cute Side of Responsible Drinking [Video]

As Budweiser points out, when you drink and drive, you can leave your loved ones behind.  This also impacts your ability to get life insurance, and provide for your family if something were to happen to you. 
Here are a few things to keep in mind before the next time you plan on going out drinking with friends. This information should remind you to remember those you may  leave behind, and what you can do to help them if something traumatic were to happen:

Why does DUI – DWI 
Affect Life insurance?

When you apply for life insurance, it isn’t just your health history that the insurance company is looking at. They are also looking at behavioral factors, which includes potentially dangerous hobbies, a history of injuries, and prior episodes of drug and alcohol abuse. They will also look closely at you criminal background and driving histories, as these are indications of potential substance abuse sufficiently severe that law enforcement had become involved.
DUI – DWI comes under this category. It is substance abuse in combination with the operation of a motor vehicle, and this represents a high level risk factor. The insurance company must consider the possibility that premature death is greater if there have been one or more episodes of DUI – DWI.

Can I purchase 
Life Insurance After a DUI?

A couple factors your underwriter would take into consideration are how often you drink now and your GGT (Gamma Glutamyl Transferase) levels from your blood profile. There is a question on every life insurance application that asks how often you drink alcoholic beverages, what type, and how many ounces. Normally, if you say that you have a glass of wine 5 times per week with dinner, that’s fine, but if you once had a DUI, that could be a red flag for the underwriter.
Then from the blood work, they do a GGTP test, which measures the level of irritation in the liver. If you take a lot of medication or drink a lot, your GGT level may be elevated. According to, normal levels are from 2-65 U/L. If your number is above 65 and you had a DUI, your underwriter could look at that as an indication that you drink more than you are owning up to on the application. Then he/she would most likely order a CDT. If that is positive, you’ll be declined.
But if your DUI was a one time incident more than 5 years ago and you rarely drink now, you should still qualify for the best rates with most carriers. There are a handful of carriers who won’t allow a DUI in the last 10 years, such as Minnesota Life and Lincoln Benefit. Stay away from these two carriers if your DUI was between 5-10 years ago. AXA is another super stringent carrier on this issue.

Will I be Declined 
Because of My DUI?

Most insurance carriers stipulate that if you have had a DUI or DWI in the past 5 years, you cannot qualify for their best health ratings, such as preferred elite or super preferred, or preferred. Some examples of these carriers are American General, Banner Life, Genworth, ING, West Coast Life, and Met Life. If your DUI or DWI was more than 5 years ago, however, it will be overlooked, so long as all signs point to you being a responsible person who doesn’t abuse alcohol.

DUI – DWI and 
Life Insurance Rates?

In order to deal with the increased risk that DUI – DWI poses for insurance companies, your life insurance premium rates will be adjusted accordingly. If you have had a previous episode, rates will be based on the following:
  • The number of DUI – DWI events in your past
  • The severity of those events
  • How recent the last episode was
  • Any efforts at rehabilitation since the last occurrence
Obviously, the more recent and more frequent the episodes are, the higher the premium rates will be. A recent episode, in combination with one or more previous events, could result in prohibitively high life insurance premiums.

For more information about 
DUI-DWI's impact on 
Life Insurance, contact your 
local insurance representative.

*Source: Why Does DUI - DWI Affect Life Insurance?; DUI- DWI and life insurance rates, term life insurance saver- Kevin Mercadance
*Source: Can I purchase Life Insurance After A DUI?; Will I Be Declined Because of My DUI?, How a DUI Affects Your Ability to Get Life Insurance, Huntley Wealth Insurance Agency, Chris Huntley

Friday, September 19, 2014


Managing sports concussions properly can prevent long-term damage.

*Photo credit: Robert F. Bukaty, Maine high school football panel develops four-class proposal:

Sometimes, just watching a football tackle can make your head hurt. And all those hard hits can take a toll on even the best athletes in the form of concussions. "A concussion occurs when the brain moves forcefully inside the skull, resulting in temporary impairment of overall neurological function," says J. Britten Shroyer, MD, Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon, University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.
While there are ways to reduce the risk of concussion by wearing proper-fitting helmets, athletes may not be able to avoid them entirely. Here, our experts answer some common questions about this injury.

QUESTION: How is a concussion diagnosed?

ANSWER: "A concussion is often assessed on the sidelines by a coach or team physician asking a series of questions that can help evaluate orientation, memory and ability to concentrate," Dr. Shroyer says. "We grade them on a scale of 1 to 3. In some cases, a physician may perform a CT scan to check for a brain bleed, which could require surgery."

QUESTION: What are the treatment options?

ANSWER: If the concussion is significant, brain rest may be recommended.  "Typically that requires no school-work or screen time for a few days to a week, depending on the severity of the concussion," says Dan Ellenberger, Director of the EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute at UH Ahuja Medical Center.

QUESTION: When is it safe to start playing again?

ANSWER: Athletes shouldn't return to play until they are fully recovered and a physician releases them, Ellenberger says, "After that we do a graduated return to activity to test how players are doing until they are able to fully return to their sport," Ellenberger explains. "This helps minimize the chance of multiple concussions."
Source: myUHAhujacare- Fall 2014- Keep Your Head in the Game

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Can Diet Soda Make You Fat?


A recent story published by NBC thinks so. 

Researchers trying to figure out whether artificial sweeteners really do make people fat think they’ve found a possible explanation — they may disrupt the bacteria in some people’s bodies.
Their findings may shed light on why studies often contradict one another, with some finding that people who drink lots of diet drinks are more likely to be obese, with others finding they may help people keep weight off.
Their answer: it may depend on what kind of gut bacteria you have to start with.
They found clear evidence that artificial sweeteners, including saccharine and sucralose, can affect gut bacteria, which in turn affect how food is digested and metabolized. Mice and a very few people given artificial sweeteners for the first time showed distinct changes in the way their bodies processed sugar.
It’s not a final answer, but the study, published in the journal Nature, may point research in a new direction. “Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight,” they wrote in their report.

“I think we must stress that by no means are 

sugary drinks healthy."

“By no means do we believe that based on the results of this study are we prepared to make recommendations as to the use and the dose of artificial sweeteners,” said Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, who worked on the study. But, he added, “In none of these experiments have we seen any beneficial effects.” He said the findings should at least prompt closer examination of the very widespread popularity or artificial sweeteners.
How could artificial sweeteners, which have no calories, affect metabolism? Segal pointed out that bacteria in the guts of both mice and people digest compounds that animals normally cannot, and they could thrive on chemicals that would not normally be used as food by people or animals.
It’s another example of how the microbiome — the population of microbesliving in and on our bodies — can have huge effects on health.
Most of the study was done in mice. They fed the mice large amounts of sweeteners of all kinds and measured their gut bacteria and tested their metabolisms. Bacteria living in the intestines and colon are known to help digest food, and more and more studies are showing they can affect obesity and even appetite, as well as a tendency to disease.
Mice fed the sweeteners had definite changes in both gut bacteria and metabolism. Sugar did not have the same effect. To make sure it was the gut bacteria, the researchers removed bacteria from mice that had not eaten sweeteners, and grew them in lab dishes along with artificial sweeteners. They then put these sweetener-fed bacteria into new mice. The new mice began to show the same changes in metabolism as mice directly fed sweeteners.
The main flaws? Artificial sweeteners seemed to encourage a group of bacteria called Bacteroides and seemed to kill off another group called Clostridiales. Scientists are just beginning to understand what kinds of bacteria people have living inside their digestive systems and what balance might be healthy. But having too many Bacteroides and too few Clostridiales is a pattern sometimes seem in people with diabetes.
The researchers used mostly saccharine in their controlled experiments, but they said in early tests the mice responded the same whatever sweetener they used – saccharine, sucralose, aspartame or others. This baffled them, because the sweeteners are chemically very different from one another.
It’s worth more research, they said.
Mice are different from people, of course, but they tried the experiment in a small group. Seven people who did not normally use artificial sweeteners were given large amounts for a week. In four of them, their blood sugar shot up and they had other changes to metabolism associated with weight gain and pre-diabetes.
Larger studies have also suggested similar patterns – some people are adversely affected by sweeteners, while others are not. It may be a very individual thing, Segal said.

"Water is the best drink 
to control our blood sugar.”

“We are identifying many foods which are considered as healthy food to have potential adverse effects for large subsets of individuals,” he told reporters in a telephone briefing. Genetic differences already demonstrate that some people can smoke tobacco with little effect, while most develop heart disease or cancer.
“What was super-striking and interesting to us was that we could predict ahead of time (who would be affected by the sweeteners),” Segal said. They profiled the microbiomes of their volunteers and found two distinct patterns. While everyone’s microbiome is different, there were larger overall patterns, and these predicted who would be affected by the sweeteners, Segal said.
“I think we must stress that by no means are sugary drinks healthy and that sugary drinks should be brought back as a healthy part of our nutrition,” added Eran Elinav, who led the research.
Researchers not involved in the study were skeptical, but most said it’s worth looking into more.
“The study is based primarily on mouse experiments and only sevenhuman subjects were studied,” said endocrinologist Dr. Katarina Kos of the University of Exeter in Britain.
“Meanwhile, these findings support the widespread understanding that water is the healthiest drink option and that we should avoid sweet and sweetened drinks. Water is the best drink to control our blood sugar.”

*Source: How Can Diet Soda Make You Fat? Study May Explain It- Maggie Fox, NBC News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Get Healthy. Drink Some Tea.


Tea is one of the more commonly consumed beverages worldwide, and it's also one of the more extensively researched 
due to its potential health benefits. 

Tea leaves consist of thousands of bioactive compounds which have been identified and researched. Although many of the compounds serve as antioxidant flavonoids, not all of the benefits are believed to be entirely from antioxidant activity. 

Tea for Hearth Health

Many studies indicate that tea supports heart health as well as healthy blood pressure, and seems to be linked to a reduced cardiovascular disease risk, including heart attack and stroke.

Tea for Weight Loss

Studies on tea catechins show that they could be beneficial to maintain body weight or promote weight loss. Researchers have discovered that 24-hour energy expenditure as well as fat oxidation increased when individuals drank green tea and caffeine. Study results indicate that the caloric expenditure increase is the same as about 100 calories for a 24-hour period. Green tea and caffeine also seem to boost fat oxidation over 24 hours by about 16% or 0.02 grams per mg catechins. Researchers have also determined that individuals drinking green tea and caffeine lost about 2.9 pounds in 12 weeks, while sticking to their regular diet.

Tea for Osteoporosis

Researchers have performed studies with postmenopausal women having low bone mass to determine if adding green tea flavanols will help improve bone health markers as well as muscle strength. At the end of the six-month study the researchers discovered that 500 mg green tea extract (equal to 4-6 servings of green tea every day) improved markers for the formation of bone, reduced inflammation markers and also increased muscle strength.

Tea for Mental Sharpness

Drinking black tea improves attention as well as alertness. In a study, individuals consuming tea had been more precise on an attention task as well as feeling more alert than individuals drinking a placebo. This study supports earlier research on the mental benefits of tea.

Health Benefits of Tea: 
Green, Black, and White Tea

Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.
All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.
The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high.
Here's what some studies have found about the potential health benefits of tea:

Green Tea

Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.

Black Tea

Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

White Tea

Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.

Oolong Tea

In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.

Pu-erh tea

Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.

* Source for Tea info-graphic, Tea for Heart Health, Tea for Weight Loss, Tea for Osteoporosis and Tea for Mental Sharpness: "The Health Benefits of Tea", "
*Source for Tea Picture: Tea_Wikipedia
*Source for "Health Benefits of Tea: Green, Black, and White Tea"- WebMD- Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits

Friday, September 12, 2014

In-Network versus Out-of Network and How it Can Save You Money

You may have heard that one of the best ways for your clients to save on health care costs is to "stay in network". It's important to educate your clients on what that term actually means and how it can help them save money.

“In network” means we, Solidarity Health Network, have a contract with health care providers. It includes doctors, specialists, dentists, hospitals and other facilities. These health care providers also have a contract with us.  
As part of the contract, the health care providers offer services to our members at a lower rate. This contract rate is usually much lower than what the doctor would charge if he or she is not an Aetna, Anthem or another carrier with an agreement with Solidarity Health Network.  The network doctor then agrees to accept the contract rate as payment. Members pay their coinsurance or copay, along with their deductible, if applicable. View the Aetna Ohio brochure for some examples of how much your clients might save by staying in network.
So what does this all mean? It means members have access to the care they need at a lower price. And the difference in cost can be huge — for the same type of service or procedure. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Study Finds Americans Have One of the Lowest Doctor Visitation Rates

Americans Dont Like Visiting the Doctor

How often do you pay your doctor a visit? Depending on your nationality, this question can have wildly different answers. On average, an American visits the doctor four times a year, substantially less than in other countries. In Japan, people usually go to their doctor 13 times a year. 
Why? It isn't so much a case of being scared of the doctor, it really boils down to price and trying to save a few extra bucks. Healthcare is outrageously expensive in the United States. As opposed to Germany, doctors earn a service fee in America- every service provided to the patient ranging from a prescription for a cold knee replacement surgery requires that fee.
It isn't just the price of the doctor's consultation driving patients away. Everything related to healthcare is expensive, way more expensive than in comparable countries. Take the price of Nexium, for example, a heartburn medication. Its average price in the United States is $215 dollars- in Spain, it's just $58. Even though it might give you relief from heartburn, as long as you're American it's sure to burn a hole through your wallet as well (Forbes, 2014).
Americans visit doctors and specialists more readily than some other countries, such as Canada and France, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a Washington-based health policy foundation. Eighty percent of Americans who needed to see a specialist were seen in less than four weeks, trailing the results in only Germany and Switzerland. In Canada, the number was 41 percent.
The survey, published online in Health Affairs, also found that the United States fell behind seven other countries in both the percentage of adults who can see a doctor or nurse the same day they needed care- 57 percent of adults- and the percentage that had to wait six days or more to see a health care professional- 19 percent. Only Canada, Norway and Sweden did not score higher than the United States in those categories. 
In addition, 1 in 3 American adults skipped a doctor visit, did not fill a prescription or get other care in the past year because it cost too much, according to the survey. More Americans skipped care because of cost than adults in any other of the countries surveyed. 
Twenty percent of Americans said they had a serious problem paying their medical bills in the previous year, the highest percentage of any of the countries. Second was France, with 9 percent. A higher proportion of Americans also spent more than $1,000 out-of-pocket for health care and experienced problems with their health insurance, including disputes over bills (KHN, 2010). 
*Forbes: Americans Visit Their Doctor 4 Times A Year. People in Japan Visit 13 Times A Year- Niall McCarthy, September 4th, 2014
*Kaiser Health News: Compared to Other Countries, U.S. Patients Have More Access To Specialists, Less TO Primary Care

Going to the Dentist is Linked with Overall Well-Being

A recent study of over one-thousand American adults found that people who the dentist at least once a year are more likely to feel better about their life overall.  

In fact, " Americans who go to the dentist at least once a year are 22% more likely to report their overall well-being- their physical and emotional health-as good or better compared with those who seldom visit the dentist."
Not surprisingly, people who visit the dentist more often also tended to report better oral health. Americans who visit the dentist at least once a year are 37% more likely to report their oral health as good or better versus those who infrequently find themselves in a dentist's chair.   
The survey also found that income and education play an important role in getting to the dentist. For example, 86% of Americans making $100,000 a year or more visit the dentist at least once annually compared with 46% of Americans making less than $25,000. About eight of 10 college-educated adults (83%) had regular dental visits. For those Americans without a college degree, about six of 10 (59%) visit the dentist once a year.
The survey also showed some regional differences. For example, Americans in the Northeast (75%) visit the dentist more often than those in the South (60%), though that doesn't translate to statistically significant differences in reported oral health.
Dental coverage is also a significant factor in dental visits and overall well-being. Nearly eight of 10 Americans (78%) with dental coverage visit the dentist at least once a year versus only about half (52%) who don't have coverage.
In addition, Americans who have dental coverage are more likely to say their overall well-being is good or better compared to those without dental coverage. 
Half of Americans rate their oral health as very good or excellent, according to the Delta Dental study. Only 19% of Americans rate their oral health as fair or poor. Stronger reported oral health is linked with income, education and age. Younger Americans- those ages 18 to 24 and those ages 25 to 44- are more likely to rate their oral health highly than older Americans.

Despite the relatively strong 
oral health findings, 
several oral 
health challenges remain:

  • More than one of four Americans (27%) say they have open oral health issues that they'd like to resolve. The biggest reason for not addressing the problem is ability to pay for the work (cited by 62% of those with unresolved issues), while nearly a quarter (23%) mentioned fear of the treatment.
  • More than 1 of 5 Americans (21%) say they have been advised by a dentist that they have gum disease.
  • About 1 of 6 Americans (16%) say they have missed work due to oral health issues beyond regular treatments and cleanings.
*Article source: Health Insurance Underwriter- June 2014, Noteworthy
For more information about the benefits of Dental Insurance and the different options available, please contact Solidarity Health Network directly.

Health Radar

More and more health professionals are coming forward-stating by taking too many antibiotics and medicines, people are actually putting themselves at a greater risk of become ill.

By taking antibiotics for every illness, including the common cold, remedies taken to cure an illness actually reduces the amount of your body's bacteria- good and bad, killing off good bacteria your body naturally needs to support itself. 

A current study reveals that within the past two decades, the increase in antibiotics usage has had a direct relationship to the rise of several diseases including:

1. Obesity
2. Asthma
3. Diabetes
4. Celiac disease 
5. Autism 

Research into what can be done to replace the missing bacteria in your body's system is underway, however healthcare professionals suggest starting with these simple steps:

1. Limit antibiotic use- ask yourself, "Do I really need an antibiotic for this ailment?"

2. Keep hand sanitizers and antiseptic cleaning   products to a minimum- only use these products during flu season or after someone has recovered from an illness.

3. Eat your way to a healthier microbiome- start with apples, pears, legumes, and other sources of foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics 

4. Take prebiotic and probiotic supplements

*Source: Health Radar- Vol. 4, Issue 6