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    • Women's Health
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Understanding the Reasons Behind Heavy Menstrual Cycles

    While menstrual cycles can be an annoying inconvenience for many women, heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) is not normal and can disrupt your life. A few days of heavy flow at the start of your period is usually nothing to worry about. However, if you’re frequently experiencing very heavy periods, you should discuss it with your gynecologist or primary care provider.  Dr. Megan Fish, an OB-GYN with Renown Women’s Health, discusses various reasons, evaluation and treatment methods when it comes to heavy menstrual cycles.  What is classified as heavy menstrual bleeding?  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers heavy bleeding to be any of the following signs: Bleeding that lasts more than 7 days. Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row. Needing to wear more than one pad at a time to control menstrual flow. Needing to change pads or tampons during the night. Menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger. What are the most common reasons for heavier periods?  A variety of reasons why someone might have heavy periods. Fortunately, most of these problems are treatable. Because each woman's period is unique, only a doctor can definitively determine the cause of your heavy periods. Some of the most common issues that cause heavy periods include: Hormone imbalances such as anovulation, thyroid disease and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Structural abnormalities in your uterus such as polyps or fibroids.  Precancer and cancer such as uterine, cervical, vaginal, ovarian or endometrial hyperplasia.  Infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, endometritis or vaginitis. Other medical conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Medications such as blood thinners and aspirin, hormone replacement therapy, Intrauterine devices (IUDs), birth control pills and injectables. Pregnancy-related problems such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

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    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Primary Care
    • Vaccine
    • Screening
    • Expert Advice
    • University Health

    6 Healthcare Action Items for the LGBTQIA+ Community

    Every patient, regardless of how they may identify, greatly benefits from preventive healthcare and early detection. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community face unique considerations when it comes to their health, and a proactive approach to preventive screenings and vaccines is important in order to address their individual health needs.  Dr. Karen Thiele, Family Medicine Physician with University Health and Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, breaks down key steps that LGBTQIA+ patients should take to safeguard their health.  PrEP and PEP  Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a strategy to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It is an important measure for those who are HIV-negative but may be at risk of contracting it. The highest risk sexual practice is receptive anal intercourse, due to the relative fragility of rectal tissue. This medication can stop HIV from spreading in the body and help patients maintain their HIV-negative status. PrEP is available in both pill form, which is taken every day, and injection form, of which the first two injections are initiated one month after another while all other injections are initiated every two months.  Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an antiretroviral drug regimen taken after potential HIV exposure to prevent an HIV-negative individual from converting to HIV-positive status. PEP is only for emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours of exposure – sooner is always better than later – and must be taken for 28 days.  PrEP and PEP are available in many ways, including visiting your primary care provider (PCP) or an urgent care location.   HPV Immunization  All genders and identities can protect themselves against human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can lead to the risk of cervical, mouth, head, neck, throat, anal, vaginal, penile and vulvar cancers. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people, regardless of sexual orientation and practices, will be exposed at some point in their lifetime.  The HPV vaccine (common brands include Gardasil and Cervarix) is a safe and effective method to prevent HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This vaccine protects against infections that can lead to HPV-related cancers and precancers, as well as genital warts. While patients should start receiving the vaccine at 9 years old years old, unvaccinated adults up to the age of 45 can also receive the vaccine through their PCP – better late than never!  STI Testing  Sexually-transmitted infections form from bacteria, viruses or parasites that can be transmitted by person-to-person sexual contact through semen, vaginal, blood and other bodily fluids. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 20 million estimated new STI cases across the nation each year.   Luckily, most STIs are preventable. Annual STI testing for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis is important to stay on top of your sexual health. Because these STIs may sometimes have no symptoms, screening is recommended regularly and with any change in sexual partners. Depending on the specific condition, tests for these infections include urine, swab and blood tests. Speak with your primary care provider on a screening schedule that works best for you.  Prostate Exams  Prostate exams look for early signs of prostate cancer in patients who still have a prostate. The CDC recommends those who are at least 55 years old get regular prostate screenings; however, for patients with a family history of prostate cancer, screenings may be recommended as early as 45 years old.  These exams are done via two common methods – a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE). Your provider can help you determine your risk and when you should start getting screened.  Pap Tests and Pelvic Exams  Patients of all genders who have a cervix, uterus, vagina and/or ovaries will benefit from regular pelvic exams and Pap screenings. A pelvic exam consists of a provider looking inside the vagina and at the cervix for anything unusual. A Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, involves your provider using a small, soft swab to collect cervical cells to check for early signs of cancer.  Generally speaking, people with these organs should have a Pap test every three years starting at age 21 through the age of 30. After age 30, patients should receive a Pap test with HPV co-testing every five years until age 65. These recommendations are changing based on new research, so it is important to have a conversation with your PCP about the current guidelines so you can make an informed choice about what schedule you should follow. A gynecologist or your primary care provider can counsel you and perform these screenings.  Mammograms and Breast Exams  People with breast tissue, especially dense breast tissue, are at risk for breast cancer, and regular breast screenings are your best line of defense. At-home breast self-exams are the first step – you will want to check your breasts for any lumps, changes, fluid leaks, irregular tissue thickening or anything else that feels unusual.  The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment tool, provided by the National Cancer Institute, is a good place to start to identify your risk. Talk with your primary care provider about the risks and benefits of starting screening at age 40 so you can make an informed decision about when to start. If you have any family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your PCP will offer you genetic testing for BRCA 1 and 2 mutations. Nevadans over the age of 18 can also get BRCA genetic test for free by enrolling in the Healthy Nevada Project.  Mammograms are important screening tools, but for a significant portion of people with breast tissue, density of the breast tissue may make mammograms less helpful in detecting cancer. Your primary care provider can help you decide what additional imaging (such as breast ultrasound) might be best for you.

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    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Surgery

    Sepsis: Causes & Symptoms

    According to the Global Sepsis Alliance, 1 in 5 deaths worldwide are associated with sepsis. If not recognized early and treated promptly, sepsis is the final common pathway to death from most infectious diseases worldwide, including viruses such as COVID-19. We spoke with Jeremy Gonda, MD, a critical care physician from Renown Health’s Sepsis Committee to increase public awareness of this preventable medical emergency. What is sepsis? Sepsis is a response to infection—bacterial, viral or fungal—and can start anywhere in the body and spread into the bloodstream. The body is trying so hard to fight an infection that it begins releasing chemicals into the bloodstream that cause inflammation and the shutdown of multiple organ systems. “It carries a very poor prognosis in general unless you catch and treat it very early,” said Dr. Gonda. “Any infection can lead to sepsis. Typically your immune system takes care of the infection. It doesn’t progress, but in cases where the infection becomes severe, or the immune system doesn’t function properly, people can certainly die. So there’s, unfortunately, a very high mortality rate associated with sepsis.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year at least 1.7 million adults in America develop sepsis. While you can recover from sepsis if caught early, many sepsis survivors suffer from long-term physical and psychological effects. What are the signs of sepsis? One way to spot sepsis is to use the acronym SEPSIS: S – Slurred speech and confusion E – Extreme shivering or muscle pain/fever P – Passing no urine all day S – Severe breathlessness I – “I feel like I might die” S – Skin mottled or discolored Keep in mind that sepsis symptoms can vary depending on where the infection starts. “Patients may experience urinary burning if they have a urinary tract infection or a cough and shortness of breath if they have pneumonia first,” said Dr. Gonda. “However, often symptoms are more generalized or subtle such as fevers, confusion and malaise.” How do you develop sepsis? When germs enter your body, they can cause an infection. If you don’t stop that infection, it can cause sepsis. Areas of infection that more commonly result in sepsis include: Lungs, such as pneumonia Kidney, bladder and other parts of the urinary system Digestive system Bloodstream (bacteremia) Catheter sites Wounds or burns Who is most at risk? People with compromised immune systems are at greater risk for sepsis, such as “The very young, the elderly and any people who may have conditions that suppress your immune system,” said Dr. Gonda. “For instance, if you have diabetes or if you’re an organ transplant patient who is on immunosuppressant therapy, you’re at somewhat higher risk.” Sepsis is often considered a hospital-acquired infection, but a study in The Journal of American Medical Association found that 80% of sepsis cases occur outside of a hospital. That’s why it’s especially important to remember any infection can lead to sepsis, and anyone can develop sepsis from an infection. What do I do? Timing is critical in the case of sepsis and septic shock. According to a study on septic shock patients, there is a 7.6 percent decrease in survival for each hour treatment is delayed. On the other end, if treatment is given within an hour of the first drop in blood pressure, the survival rate is 80 percent. Because sepsis can be so deadly, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. “If you’re not getting any better, if you think symptoms are progressively worsening – you should definitely be evaluated by a doctor,” said Dr. Gonda. You can help #StopSepsis by getting involved at worldsepsisday.org.

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    • Physical Rehabilitation
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries: What to Know

    If you're not taking safety precautions during mountain sports, you could be at risk for a spinal cord injury. Dr. Benjamin Pence of Renown Rehabilitation Hospital explains the best way to prevent this serious injury. Mountain sports are a big part of the winter season here in our area, but if you’re not practicing all the proper safety techniques, you could end up with a serious spinal cord injury. Benjamin Pence, MD, Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, is here to offer tips to prevent this serious injury while you’re out enjoying what the Truckee Meadows has to offer. What is the spinal cord? The spine stretches from the base of your skull to the coccyx (commonly referred to as the tailbone). Your spine is made up of 24 vertebrae—seven cervical, which are in your neck, 12 thoracic, which are in your chest, and five lumbar, which are in your lower back. There are ligaments and muscles attached to each vertebra. These facilitate back movement and protect the bones from damage. There is cartilage between each vertebra which acts as a shock absorber for your spine. Finally, the spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of the nervous tissue and support cells that is enclosed in the spinal canal and send signals from the brain to everything from your arm and leg muscles to bowel and bladder function. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system.

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    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Respiratory
    • Urgent Care

    Your Ultimate Cold and Flu Survival Guide

    While viruses can attack year-round, colds, flus and other respiratory illnesses are typically more prevalent during fall and winter. People spend more time indoors, which allows viruses to pass more easily from one person to another. The cold, dry air can also affect the respiratory system, making it more susceptible to germs. According to the CDC, flu activity in the U.S. often begins to increase in October and peaks between December and February. “Flu season” can last as late as May.  When it comes to the cold and flu, prevention and preparation are key. Getting the flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine is the first and most crucial step in protecting against these two respiratory illnesses. Preventative actions, such as washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and getting enough sleep can also help you avoid getting sick. However, despite your best prevention efforts, the time may come this winter when you start to feel a little scratch in your throat or a fever coming on. By taking steps ahead of time to assemble a cold and flu survival kit, you’ll be more prepared for whenever illness strikes, allowing you to stay home, rest and avoid spreading germs.  Tips for Managing Symptoms Keep these tips in mind to ease your cold or flu symptoms: Stay home and rest Drink plenty of fluids Treat aches and fever with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen Manage a cough with over-the-counter expectorants or suppressants  Run a humidifier or sit in a steamy bathroom to ease congestion What to Stock in Your Flu Survival Kit Be ready when a cold or the flu strikes by having a flu survival kit filled with these get-well essentials stocked in your pantry, fridge and medicine cabinet: Over-the-Counter Medications: Take advantage of over-the-counter medications to make yourself feel better and ease most common flu symptoms of fever, headache, cough, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose Pain relievers - Ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol): for fever and aches Decongestants: for sniffles and congestion Cough expectorant (guaifenesin): for a “wet” cough to help clear secretions from the lungs Cough suppressant (dextromethorphan/DM): for a severe “dry” cough to block the cough reflex Cough syrups and drops Drinks: Water Herbal tea Low-sugar sports drinks Pedialyte Foods: Chicken soup Broth Vitamin C-containing fruits and vegetables Oatmeal Toast (add some avocado, honey or egg) Miscellaneous items: Tissues Lozenges Protective mask Thermometer Humidifier When to Seek Care and Where to Go Most healthy adults who have a cold, the flu, or other mild respiratory illnesses don’t need to see a care provider and will recover at home with self-care measures. Because these are viral illnesses, antibiotics won’t work against treating them. Your care provider may be able to prescribe an antiviral medication that can relieve your symptoms and shorten the duration and severity of your illness; however, this needs to be started within 48 hours of symptom onset and is often only prescribed to individuals at high risk for developing complications from the flu or those experience severe symptoms. Primary Care or Urgent Care Contact your primary care provider or visit an Urgent Care if you are at an increased risk, including those who: Are 65 years of age or older Have chronic medical conditions Are pregnant or recently gave birth Have a weakened immune system Find a primary care provider If you are otherwise healthy and not at increased risk of complications, seek medical advice if your flu symptoms are unusually severe, such as mild difficulty breathing, a severe sore throat, coughing that produces a lot of green or yellow mucus, or feeling faint. Emergency Care Go to the Emergency Department if you are experiencing emergency warning signs such as severe pain (chest, abdomen), concern for heart attack or stroke (slurred speech, new localized weakness), severe dehydration (needing IV fluids) or severe shortness of breath.

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    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Screening
    • Vaccine

    Prevention Against STIs Matters

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 20 million estimated new sexually transmitted infection (STI) cases in the United States each year, with rates continuing to increase.  What you may not know is most STIs are preventable. We talked with Renown Adolescent Medicine Specialist, Caroline Barangan, MD to learn more about STIs.  How Can You Get an STI?  The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says that STIs are acquired through sexual contact. There are bacteria, viruses or parasites that can cause an STI which may pass from person to person in blood, semen, vaginal and other bodily fluids.  How Do You Know if You Have an STI?  STIs can have a range of signs and symptoms such as:  Warts, bumps or sores on or near the penis, vagina, mouth or anus Swelling, redness or severe itching near the penis or vagina Discharge from the penis Vaginal bleeding that’s not your period Painful or uncomfortable sex Vaginal discharge that has an unpleasant odor, causes irritation or is a different color or amount than usual  Weight loss, diarrhea or night sweats Aches, pains, fever and chills Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) Painful or frequent urination  Sore throat if you engage in oral sex It’s important to know that the majority of people who have an STI commonly have no symptoms at all, which is why it’s important to get regularly tested once you have had any sexual activity. Young people less than 25 years of age should be screened on a yearly basis at minimum.

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    • Sterling Silver Club
    • Diabetes
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Type 2 Diabetes: What You Should Know

    Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, is on the rise for adults and children in the United States. Although genetics play a role, you can take steps today to lower your risk of developing this life-altering condition. Michael Raymund Gonzales, MD with Renown Endocrinology answered our questions about Type 2 diabetes and gave us some useful tips for prevention. What effect does diabetes have on the body? And who’s most at risk? First, it’s important to know the difference between the two most common types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to make insulin, which is a hormone your body needs to be able to use sugar, or glucose, for energy. Type 1 is not preventable, and people who have it were either born with it or they developed it later in life due to an autoimmune process that attacked the pancreas that went unrecognized. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body makes the insulin hormone, but it might not make enough or work well enough for the body to use sugar for energy. This is called insulin resistance. This condition usually develops later in life but is preventable with proper diet, exercise and weight loss. However, due to the obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes is occurring more often in younger individuals.  Diabetes hurts the body’s ability to break down glucose, so rather than it being used for energy, glucose stays in the bloodstream, which can cause problems. But with early detection and the help of your doctor, diabetes can be managed so that complications are avoided. Left unmanaged, however, diabetes can affect major organs and lead to heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, skin conditions and more. Type 2 diabetes also results from risk factors that you can’t control, including your family history, race and age. However, there are a few risk factors that you can watch out for, such as being overweight, inactivity, diet choices, having high blood pressure and high cholesterol and triglycerides.

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    • Primary Care
    • Urgent Care
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Make Hydration a Priority for Your Health

    As the temperatures skyrocket and we return to more outdoor activity, one thing is certain: you must hydrate to stay cool, healthy, and functional. But how much water do you need, and what are some easy ways to ensure you are getting enough? Aurosis Reddy, DO a family medicine provider with Renown Medical Group, shares what you need to know.  How Much Water Is Enough?  Experts agree that recommended daily water intake can vary depending on different factors such as your weight, metabolism, location, diet, physical activity, and health. As a rule of thumb, women should aim for a daily fluid intake of 91 ounces, and men should aim for 125 ounces. It is important to listen to your body and recognize when you might need to increase your water intake. For example, if you’re partaking in strenuous exercise, or spending time outside in the heat, you’ll want to give your body more water and electrolytes to function properly.  How Can I Tell If I Am Dehydrated? Decreased coordination Fatigue Less urination Dizziness Dry, sticky lips and mouth Increased thirst Headache

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    • Dermatology Services
    • Skin Care
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Preventing Skin Cancer A Doctors Tips

    Want to protect yourself from skin damage from the sun’s harmful rays? Dr. Angela Walker, dermatologist with Renown Medical Group, shares what you can do to prevent skin cancer. What can people do to prevent skin cancer while enjoying the outdoors? There are several steps you can take to protect your skin from the sun. “I caution all of my patients to avoid the sun during the hours of 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. I also encourage people to wear sleeves on cooler days. And don’t forget that we still need to wear sunscreen on cloudy days! UV rays can still cause sun damage on cloudy days. Preventing skin cancer also entails wearing sunscreen of at least SPF 30 everyday.  Are hats also a good idea for skin protection? Yes, of course! Choose a wide-brim hat that shades the face as well as the back of the neck for extra protection against UV rays. When it comes to identifying skin cancer, what should people watch for? We use easy-to-remember letters when checking for spots on the skin; it’s called the ABCDEs: How often should people go to a dermatologist for a full-body skin check? People with a family history of melanoma or who have already had skin cancer need to be screened at least once a year. Those who are younger and use sunscreen daily don’t need to be seen as regularly. Their primary care provider can do a yearly screening. And remember to do self-screening at home to keep an eye out for unusual looking spots. Is it best to visit a care provider with an expertise in skin with questions or concerns? Absolutely. As a dermatologist, I see a lot of people coming in with a changing mole or brown spot that looks irregular. I can assure them it’s benign or get them the treatment they need. We can even use photography to monitor skin spots and have the patient take photos at home. We also perform biopsies as needed.

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    • Dermatology Services
    • Prevention and Wellness

    5 Easy Winter Skincare Tips

    Winter skin alert – cold temperatures can put your skin into chaos. We asked for skin tips from Heidi Nicol, an esthetician with Renown Dermatology, Laser & Skin Care. She shares how to keep your skin glowing through the frosty months ahead. 1. Re-think your shower Few things feel better on a cold day than a long, hot shower. But hot showers can lead to dry skin because they strip your skin of its natural protective oils. Avoiding them altogether is best – choose a lukewarm, or warm, shower instead. If you have an occasional hot shower, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests keeping it at five to ten minutes. Nicol recommends using a gentle cleanser and avoid using too much. Moisturizing after a shower or bath while your skin is still damp is also a must. Slathering on your favorite lotion helps your skin hold on to precious moisture. 2. Stay away from smoke and fire Although sitting close to a roaring fireplace can feel good, it is drying to your skin. Smoking and exposure to smoke also harms your skin. Smoking reduces healthy blood flow to the skin. This also causes your skin to wrinkle faster, making you looker older. Additionally your skin heals much slower if you smoke. 3. Consider a humidifier Cranking up the thermostat dries out indoor air. Skin is our largest organ, and in general, heat is very drying to your skin. To clarify, over time dry air degrades your skin’s natural moisture (lipid) barrier leading to flaking, peeling and cracking. Your skin can overcompensate for the dryness by producing even more oil. In other words it is possible for your skin to be both oily and dehydrated at the same time. Even oily skin needs a daily lightweight, non-pore clogging moisturizer. 4. Use SPF daily The sun’s rays damage your skin even on cloudy days. Sunlight contains UVB (burning) and UVA (aging) rays. Although UVB rays are less strong in the winter, the UVA rays are same strength all year. And snow can reflect almost 90% of UV radiation. With this in mind make sure you have suitable skin and eye protection when going outdoors. 5. Take care of your hands and feet Don't forget your fingers and toes when moisturizing. These areas tend to be drier than other parts of the body. Gloves help to protect hands from winter weather and lock in moisture. Similarly, putting lotion on your feet before your socks will keep them your skin from flaking and cracking. Follow the tips above to make sure your skin is at its best, despite the winter weather.

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    • Behavioral Health
    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Self-Care

    Healthy Aging 5 Tips to Improve Happiness and Quality of Life

    There are a few simple ways to encourage healthy aging that can translate to an improved quality of life. Here are some expert tips.  What does healthy aging mean to you? If you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to removing the negative from your life — negative energy, thoughts, people and activities that don’t contribute to your best life.  And while that’s a noble goal, too often we forget about ways to strengthen the positive parts of our lives. Expert Herbert “Buddy” Coard III, Ed.D, psychologist with Renown Behavioral Health, provides us with five positive behaviors to focus on to improve happiness and life satisfaction. Healthy Aging in 5 Easy Steps: 1. Connect – Make connections with friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. When you build strong connections, they can help enrich your life with new experiences and opportunities. Besides, having a support system to call upon when you need a favor is valuable as you age. 2. Be Active – Make time to get moving and work those muscles. Being active can include walking, practicing yoga, playing a game of pickleball or dancing. Exercise makes you feel good and keeps you health. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy, and don’t make excuses. Not only will being active help you build stronger muscles, it also helps you build strong connections with others. If you need a workout buddy, Meetup is a great resource to find like-minded people that share common exercise goals. 3. Take Notice – Be mindful and become more curious. Like a child, see the wonder and beauty of the world. Notice the things around you — the weather, the landscape, the mood and feelings of the people around you. By taking notice, it’s easier to learn to appreciate the things that matter. 4. Keep Learning – We never stop learning. Keep trying something new — a new course you’ve always wanted to try or a more challenging task someone has solicited for your help. Challenges keep us on our toes and increase our confidence and excitement in our day. OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno), brings diverse educational and social opportunities to active older adult learners (50+). EPIC (Educational Programs Inspiring the Community), offers a divers curriculum ranging from art classes to Accelerated training certificate courses. 5. Give – Be generous with your time, your knowledge and your talents by giving to friends, family and even strangers. Some easy ways to give is to show thankfulness, smile at people and volunteer. Sharing of yourself to a wider audience gives you a greater reward than just doing things for yourself. Nevada Volunteers Volunteer at Renown Health Practice these five tips to improve happiness and quality of life at any age.

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    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Food and Nutrition

    What to Know Before You Try Intermittent Fasting

    As many people search for diets to try to achieve weight loss resolutions, Kim Colegrove, Renown Dietary Educator, has all you need to know about one of the trendiest diets – intermittent fasting. What is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that switches between periods of fasting with no food or very restricted caloric intake, and periods of unrestricted eating. The diet has come into popularity as a way to help people lose weight without restricting what they eat, just when they eat. How does it work? The rationale behind intermittent fasting is that the pattern of eating promotes weight loss due to hormonal changes – namely, the decrease in insulin levels – as well as effects on your gut and overall decreased energy consumption. There are various schedules, including alternate-day fasting and time-restricted feeding. For example, one popular method involves restricting your eating period to eight hours per day and then fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Another requires fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week. What should people consider before they try intermittent fasting? Some people have found success in losing weight with intermittent fasting. However, it’s important to note that it’s not a diet that necessarily promotes sustainable habits and lifestyle changes. There’s also not enough research conducted that shows its lasting impact on health, weight, or metabolic improvement. For most, an intermittent fasting diet is just that – a diet. A person will likely lose weight because they consume fewer calories, but keeping the pounds off is an aspect of healthy weight loss that requires a permanent lifestyle change. Who should NOT try intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is not for everyone and it can pose a health risk to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with diabetes, and children and adolescents in an active growth stage. Also, it would not be appropriate for those with a history of eating disorders, as well as people with certain health conditions that require them to eat every few hours. You should always talk to your doctor before beginning a restrictive diet such as this, especially if you have a chronic health condition or are taking certain medications.

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