Exercise Packs a Punch

Jim Roose is a former competitive powerlifter and gym owner. He is very zealous about physical fitness and healthy eating. He regularly writes about fitness secrets and much more at

4 Exercises for people with Lupus

Lupus is a disease commonly known as “the great imitator,” a chronic autoimmune disorder that can affect anyone regardless of the sex; although research shows that women are more prone to developing lupus. It can affect any organ of the body and the skin. Sometimes, the symptoms of lupus are very vague; one reason why diagnosis is hard to diagnose. Because of this, many people don’t treatment is delayed; so, their path to recovery is often more lengthy. Some common symptoms of lupus are skin ashes, skin irritations, mood swings, chronic fatigue, headaches and body pains and aches.

You might not want to go outside, breathe fresh air, stretch and do some light exercises. Even when there is some discomfort,‘stirring your stumps’ is a good  thing to do for your health. When you have a flare, you may not have a lack the desire to exercise; but if you do exercise regularly, you can get rid yourself of the stiffness and depression that you might feel after a flare; improving your sense of well-being and improving your mood. Here are a few exercises that you can do to help yourself get rid of a few effects caused by lupus or another autoimmune diseases.


Range of motion is the extent to which a joint can move. The benefits of moving your joints through their full range every morning can’t be stressed enough. Having flexible joints is essential, so try incorporating range of motion exercises regularly. 

Stretching Exercise

Stretching exercises help flexibility and makes sure that the muscles and joints are ready to be used. Start with gentle stretches all over the body. I start from my head and move to the neck and move in the direction of my toes, all the while giving a very gentle stretch to every muscle.

Endurance Exercises

Endurance exercises are also known as aerobic exercises and they might involve slow to brisk walking, jogging, running, stair climbing and dancing. They target large muscle groups and they also help with depression by releasing endorphins (the body’s ‘feel good’ chemical) into your bloodstream. They also help to improve your cardiovascular system helping to decreasing progression of disease. They reduce the blood cholesterol, increase HDL, and also helps to improve your sugar levels.

Our amazing stair stepper guide might help you out on this.

Strengthening Exercises

When you have pain in your joints, just thinking about moving, hurts; but if you don’t move them, the muscles surrounding the joints become weak and atrophy. Atrophy results in more disability, dysfunction, joint pain, and sometimes increased dependence on others to do what you’re unable to do because of weak muscles. Strengthening exercises should be a part of your everyday routine.

Lupus patients are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis due to the use of steroids medications. Patients with lupus are at a much greater risk of developing brittle bones which often result in painful bone fractures. One way to prevent this is by doing daily strengthening exercises such as light weightlifting, squat, leg press with light weights and wall squats.


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Do I need a Primary Care Physician?

Many people think that now they are adults, they don’t need a primary care physician; when, in actuality, the important role that this doctor plays can’t be overstated. 

Besides doing your yearly physical, your primary care physician is often your first stop in identifying autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome, psoriasis, lupus, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis and more.

Think again if you feel that only children need regular check-ups. Adults need them, too. They need regular visits to their primary care physician or to Los Gatos Doc’s primary care physicians. These visits result in better health care management because during them, you get to know your doctor and vice versa. They also result in better health care management because of the chronicity of autoimmune diseases. Your primary care physician can give you ideas which will result in a better quality of life!

A relationship with your primary care physician often gives both patient and doctor a chance to get to know each other. The relationship becomes special and built on a foundation of trust. Nurture the relationship now because it might be much easier to discuss possibly uncomfortable health issues later if you have developed a bond with your primary care physician. 

Research has shown that people who visit their primary care physicians regularly experience the benefits of better overall health, lower health care costs and have more satisfaction with their health care and lives. It is especially important to discuss how lifestyle changes can have a major effect on autoimmune disorders.

A major benefit of your relationship with a primary care physician is that it’s so much like having your own ‘health care hub’. Other physicians in the practice can access, provide vital information and coordinate all of your care in one place.

Some of the services provided by your primary care physicians can include:

  • Autoimmune disease management
  • Preventative care; disease prevention and screening
  • Checking for hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Checking for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar/diabetes)
  • High cholesterol
  • Checking for cancer
  • Depression
  • STD’s
  • Help manage your chronic conditions
  • Give recommendations
  • Discuss sensitive and private concerns
  • Make referrals to specialists
  • Inoculations
  • Physicals

Your primary care physician is quite knowledgable in all of these areas and many more. Discussing preventative measures and developing strategies for dealing with health issues is one of the biggest reasons for making regular visits to Los Gatos Doc’s family clinic  or to your primary care physician. When we know who you are what your baseline is, we can easier detect changes or patterns which make diagnosing more accurate.

A major advantage of having a primary care physician is in having a team organizer, the hub of a health care wheel. The primary care physician has the ability to identify a patient’s need for a specialist. If you need an allergist and/or a pulmonologist, your primary care physician will point you in the right direction and assist you in understanding what your part might be as you  work together to achieve your health goals. Your primary care physician might also point you towards a rheumatologist who he/she has worked with before, if you need this specialty.

When you go to Los Gatos Doc’s primary care physicians, we treat you as a person and not a disease. If you want to live longer and have better health we are here to advocate for you, to treat you with compassion and to help guide you through your individual health care journey.

About the Author: Arun Villivalam, MD is a concerned and caring family physician and primary care doctor serving the community of Los Gatos, CA. Dr. Villivalam attended Thomas Jefferson University, where he received his medical degree, and completed his residency in family medicine at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Villivalam provides a variety of services to ensure the health and wellbeing of his patients, including physicals for all ages, chronic care management, stress management, urgent care, medicare wellness visits, school physicals and more.


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Celiac Disease for caregivers of the elderly

Celiac Disease and Aging

Olivia Jones is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs, Teo and Mia. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Some autoimmune diseases aren’t accurately diagnosed until the ‘golden years;’ Celiac Disease is one of these. People may have had symptoms for years, but the symptoms may have been too vague to make a definitive diagnosis.

Caregivers of Celiac patients need to recognize many of it’s nearly 200 symptoms, reporting them to the doctor. If you are the caregiver or if you are new to Celiac Disease in older adults, read on to find out ways to help older adults manage this disease.

Know the symptoms

As people age, Celiac’s gastrointestinal symptoms (bloating, diarrhea and cramps, amongst others) are often attributed to normal aging or an upset stomach, so they may have received sub-optimal treatment. Also, since many medication can cause an inability to absorb nutrients properly, the Celiac patient’s health may decline.

Throughout the years, this mis-management may have led to unnecessary medications being added. Studies have shown that many subtle and not-so-subtle symptoms go unnoticed, disregarded or poorly managed for 17 years on average.

Diet changes

The most significant dietary change involves gluten: it just became a ‘no-no-.’ What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in many grains. As the caregiver who is likely to be doing the marketing you’ll need to be very careful when reading food labels, ensuring that every ingredient on the menu is truly labeled as “gluten-free”. Seeing a professional nutritionist is mandatory.

Elderly patients often take nutritional supplements because they may have osteoporosis and nutrient deficiencies and they usually benefit from these. However, the shopper must be aware that supplements can also contain trace or ‘hidden’ gluten. Condiments, iced cream and processed foods can also be sources of hidden gluten.

There may come a time when family members need help managing this disease; your loved ones might benefit from in-home care services which offer quality meals with all their limitations. Any family gatherings may be a challenge because gatherings tend to involve food. Even though hostesses may make a gluten-free menu, seniors still want to eat their like their old family recipes. So this diet transition can be hard on them, hard on you! Please have patience with them.

Budget concerns

Another issue with the gluten-free diet is expense; especially  while seniors are still learning what to eat, what not to eat and discovering which foods they like. They may be wondering, “how am I going to afford this?

One way to lower the cost is to purchase goods online! Many websites like offer discounts and less-expensive alternatives to store-bought items. Or purchase an Amazon Prime ® membership and order from their Pantry. Some very good gluten-free bargains can be had there! Most Celiac diets revolve around plenty of vegetables and fruits, but canned (gluten-free, of course) can be just as healthy, and much more affordable.

But, seniors don’t need to stick to pre-packed and processed gluten-free products. Instead, caregivers can help find natural gluten-free foods, find proper substitutions, and help manage their budget with new dietary restrictions. They’ll really need your help as they transition to a diet with NO wheat or wheat products!

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4 tried and true tips for enjoying the season!

Hailey Hudson is a young author, blogger, and freelance writer from the mountains of north Georgia. She loves softball, Harry Potter, and her beagle puppy, Sophie. Click here to buy her debut book and follow along as she pursues her career in writing and children’s ministry by following her blog:

When I was younger, Thanksgiving and Christmas were my favorite times of the year. I loved the parties, the lights; anything and everything associated with the holidays. But two years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic fatigue illness, and things changed. Many times, I was just too tired to enjoy all the holidays. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered a few tips to help me: I’d like to share them with you with you in the hope that what works for me might help you enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Have an escape plan. You may need to have an escape or a backup plan for the season. Tell everyone that your plans need to be tentative and why: over partying and stress bring flares. Never missing an opportunity to educate, explain why committing to everything can be stressful and how stress affects you.

Or, you may need a backup plan for each event. For example, if I have a party or an activity in the evening, I try to get someone else to drive me, because I know I might be too sleepy to drive when the party ends.

Tell people what to expect Do you need a nap each afternoon? Do you have food sensitivities? Does your medicine need to be taken exactly thirty minutes before a meal? What a tremendous opportunity to educate other people. For example, while assisting the hostess prepare hors d’oeuvres, you can tell her that you’re unable to eat ‘x’  because it affects how a medication that you take, works. Bu, tell her that that won’t affect her because you brought a few things that you can pop into the microwave.

More than likely, people will be happy to accommodate you so you’ll enjoy the festivities. If you’re on a restricted diet and have enough energy, bring food so that you know you’ll have at least a few things to eat.

As much as possible, try to space things out. I do this all year round—if I have an all-day event, I know that I’ll need to rest for the entire next day. So, I try to leapfrog days when I’m planning out my calendar. For example, if I have the option of a holiday party one night and breakfast with a friend the next morning, ideally I would choose only one of those events so that I don’t get too run down. No one will mind if you miss something in order to rest. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself, even if that means sitting out on something fun. You, more than anyone else, knows when your body needs rest. Today’s sniffles could be tomorrow’s full-blown flu without proper care.

Self-care is important—but don’t put it into a box. I spent many evenings forcing myself to take a bubble bath and drink tea and calling it ‘self-care’ because that was what everyone preached—completely disregarding that I disliked both! Finally, I wised up and realized that self-care is not synonymous with a bubble bath—self-care is anything that relaxes you. I began reading and painting in the evenings, and found it much more relaxing than sitting in a tub of water; the water is bound to get cold!

Only you know your body. How you relax is 100% your call, but if you’re like me, in an attempts to be everything to everyone, you’ll forget YOU. So, make sure to make time for whatever relaxes ‘you;’ write it on your calendar if you need to. If you’re not proactively taking care of yourself, you will crash and burn and regret it. I’ve been there and trust me, it’s not pretty!

The bottom line here is this: the holiday season is hectic, but make your health a priority. If you take care of yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holiday, and you’ll love the season and all it has to offer once again. Happy Holidays!






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Autoimmunity took my teeth and mouth hostage!


How Autoimmune Disease Impacts Oral Health

Did you know that people who suffer from immune diseases have an increased risk of developing oral health conditions and gum diseases? Numbered below are common immune diseases and how oral health is impacted by them:


The inflammation caused by lupus affects the mouth and tongue. This inflammation, can cause sores on the lips, palate and inside the cheeks. In extreme cases patients may also experience burning of the mouth and lack of saliva. Since saliva normally washes away food, sugars and bacteria, a lack of it can result in dry mouth and an increase in dental caries. Dry mouth increases the risk of decay and yeast/fungal infections of the mouth. Tooth decay can incrase the need for fillings, the need to extract teeth, dentures to replace missing teeth or ineffective chewing which can result in stomach and digestive problems


Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients can experience inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ patients experience extreme discomfort while performing any activity using their mouths: chewing and talking, opening their mouth at the dentist, eating. They may also experience facial pain, headaches, earaches, locking of the jaw, worn teeth and ringing in the ears. In a few cases, TMJ is caused by misalignment of joint and often expensive orthodontic treatment is needed to lessen or prevent the symptoms.

People suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis can also have Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease of the salivary and tear glands. Sjogren’s causes severe dryness of the mouth; thus creating problems with chewing and swallowing  and dryness. Because of this dryness there can result in heavy plaque deposits on the teeth. This in turn increases the chances of tooth decay and periodontal gum disease. Because of oral dryness and food not being completely digested when it leaves the mouth and difficulty swallowing,Sjogren’s patients also experience pneumonia because they choked on food. .

     3.SCLEORDERMA (Progressive Systemic Sclerosis)

Scleroderma is known for it’s hardening of the skin; often the lips and tongue are involved. As the effects of this increases, the mouth becomes narrower and the lips and tongue grow more rigid. A tightened mouth makes it difficult to open or move the jaw, thus causing difficulties cleaning the mouth. This increases the risk of developing tooth and gum infections, including periodontal disease or tooth caries.


Thymic hypoplasia, (DiGeorge’s syndrome) causes abnormal growth of the thymus and parathyroid glands, leading to a white blood cell deficiency. Therefore, people with thymic hypoplasia are prone to viral and fungal infections, especially in the mouth. Oral Candidiasis, thrush, and herpes are some of most common fungal infections that affect those suffering from Thymic hypoplasia. In extreme cases, Thymic Hypoplasia affects the mouth and jaw, resulting in improper development of the palate resulting often in a cleft palate, a split uvula, a receding chin, or a shorter-than-normal distance between the nose and the upper lip.


Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory muscle disease that causes unusual skin rashes. It affects women more than men and can affect people at any age. Muscle weakness in the head and neck are the more common signs of dermatomyositis. This is especially concerning as it can also lead to difficulty in swallowing and chewing, and those suffering from Dermatomyositis may have hard bumps inside their face and tongue.

As you can see, each of the above mentioned diseases can have adverse impacts on the health of your mouth. Since the condition of your mouth directly impacts the functioning of your mouth and digestive system, the above mentioned diseases can drastically affect your overall health. If you have been diagnosed with any of the diseases mentioned above,  I can’t stress enough the necessity of meeting with your dentist, explain the concerns you have about your mouth and find out what you need to do to avoid the chances of complications due to oral dryness.


Author Bio:

Emily found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA. She believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily that she solves by researching and writing about. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!















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The 4 Best Exercises for a Healthier Heart

Ida Jones

There are many exercises that contribute to the health of the heart.  Following are four of the best exercises that will keep your heart healthy. Have a look at them:

Circuit training

Circuit training is all about movements, and there is no better way of improving the health of the heart other than circuit training. Start working out and add circuit training to your daily ritual. It is that one exercise which involves very high-intensity workout, and it helps the heart to pump the blood better and fast. That ‘cardio’ workout can keep the heart AND the lungs a bit more elastic and increase the contractility of the heart muscle. Circuit training is well-known for increasing the elasticity of the heart especially the arterial wall. It will help the arteries to stretch themselves which results in better blood supply. 

Weight training

weight training

Weight training is another amazing exercise for the health of your heart. For everyone who is suffering from cardiac issues or immune system issues, weight training is meant for them. Other than the heart, weight training is great for your bones as well.

In considering the bones which are made less porous by the steroids often necessary in autoimmune diseases, strengthening the muscles around he joints can percent the need for premature joint replacements caused by osteonecrosis.

Don’t feel like going to the gym every day? Buy a weight bench and a set of dumbbells, creating a mini gym of your own at home. You can check your body’s weight bearing capacity and set the weights according to that. Another little suggestion here might be to try modified push ups with your knees bent to prevent pressure on your shoulder joints. Tendon tears and osteonecrosis of the shoulder are known side effects of steroids used to treat many autoimmune diseases. Otherwise, regular push-ups could be added to your regimen.   


Running is again one of the best exercises for the heart. It will improve the health of your heart by improving the circulation of blood in the body. By improving the circulation it also improves the pathways of blood circulating through the lungs and strengthens the muscles supporting the whole thorax.

Running also lowers blood pressure, a known causes of heart disease. In addition to helping your heart by working to lower your blood pressure, running strengthens the muscles of your legs, your entire abdominal region; speaking in generalities, it helps your body and has a positive effect  Again, muscle strength improves the support the muscles give to the bones.Try running daily for at least half hour and then gradually increase the time once you develop the required stamina.


The last but not the least, swimming is also very beneficial for the heart. For a one exercise that ‘does it all’ many turn to swimming. Swimming involves intense workout, and this is how it keeps the heart healthy. It increases physical stamina and also contributes to the body shaping and weight loss. Swimming is good for people of all ages even for the pregnant woman. It is all safe and healthy so if you don’t know how to swim, learn it and you are good to go. Muscles are developed through the ever so gentle resistance offered by the water.

I hope this guide helps you out. Stay safe and stay healthy!


About the Author:

Ida Jones is a mother of two little ones. She enjoys home-based workouts, cardio exercises, and long runs. She loves spending her vacations outdoors with her kids around nature. She believes in clean and healthy eating. She regularly writes about fitness tips and much more at

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms? Make Sure You Take NSAIDs with food!

Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you know what it’s like to wake up to stiff, achy joints. You’ll also know that NSAIDs are among the medications used to treat RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, is a common condition affecting the joints. I’ve had people come up to me asking for advice about their RA meds. Some tell me that the meds cause stomach pain, and they’re wondering what to do about it.Well, first things first! Let’s talk about RA and its symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and its Symptoms

There are many forms of arthritis and RA is among the most common. It presents as swelling in the joints of the fingers, hands, feet and knees. IN some cases, it can cause symptoms that affect other parts of the body.

The most common symptoms of RA include:

  • Tender, swollen, painful joints
  • Joint stiffness, which is especially felt upon waking up or after periods of no activity
  • Joint redness and warmth
  • Limited movement in affected joints
  • Limping and deformities
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Anemia and weight loss

Most of these symptoms start out as mild. Joint symptoms usually happen in smaller joints first, like those in your fingers. As the condition progresses, it can affect larger joints like the knee joint.

Medications and Tips to take them

There are various medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. These include NSAIDs, steroids, and drugs called DMARDs. Most patients are prescribed with NSAIDs for the pain, along with another medication to stop the disease from getting worse.

NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can help lessen the swelling and stiffness. They can also effectively block the pain. Ibuprofen (check and compare Ibuprofen price and read about risks when using ibuprofen) and naproxen (check and compare naproxen prices) are over-the-counter NSAIDs that can be useful. Other stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.

Like many medications, NSAIDs have some adverse effects. One of the most common is causing an upset stomach. This can happen especially if you take your medication on an empty stomach. Long-term use may also cause bleeding in the stomach lining. This is why it’s important to know how to take NSAIDs correctly.

Check out MeddySaid’s arthritis pain section to see which medications suit your profile and preferences. You can also read my post about Best Time To Take Medicines – Everything You Need to Know.

Useful Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Take your dose with food. Never take a NSAID on an empty stomach, as this can cause ulcers and bleeding.
  • Use the lowest possible dose. Lower doses of a medication are less likely to cause stomach upset and other risks.
  • Do not take a NSAID for the long-term. Though an NSAID can greatly help manage your Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms, it’s best to only take them during a flare-up. There are other medications that can help treat RA that is much safer in the long term.
  • Always check with your doctor or pharmacist when taking NSAIDs along with other medicines. Don’t take NSAIDs with blood-thinning medications like warfarin and clopidogrel. Be careful as well if you’re taking it with aspirin.
  • Don’t take NSAIDs if you have gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, GERD, ulcers and gastritis. Talk to your doctor for help.

NSAIDs are very effective for managing pain, swelling and other symptoms. Though they do have their own risks, they can work well to bring relief from pain. Follow the tips above and you’ll have lesser chances of horrid side effects!

About MeddySaid
MeddySaid’s team is passionate about helping you choose the right product for your health. MeddySaid was created by experienced clinical pharmacists and specialists dedicated to delivering accurate, trusted, up-to-date health and medical information. MeddySaid’s simple-to-use, the problem-solving platform helps you make the right product decision, at the best price, for yourself and your loved ones.

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