ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE ENJOYMENT FOR A HAPPY 2018

Family caregivers provide practical assistance and enhance the quality of life for frail seniors who might otherwise require placement in a long-term-care facility. Typically, caregivers are spouses or adult children, many of whom are seniors themselves. Their role involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be a heavy load.  If you are a caregiver, consider the following strategies for not only surviving but thriving in the year ahead.

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DISCOVER A LOVE OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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Eleanor sat in her doctor’s office, listening to a strange diagnosis. She had been searching for a cause for her diarrhea, irritability and depression for over four years. Had she finally found it?


“You have celiac disease,” said the doctor. “This is a serious condition. Eating wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats causes damage to the lining of the small intestines. That’s what is causing all your symptoms. You’ll be placed on a gluten-free diet. That alone is the treatment and your condition will improve. The damage to your intestines will heal over the course of the next few years, if you adhere to the diet.”


Eleanor heard the doctor with a mixture of relief and wonder. She was thankful to finally know what her problem was and how to take care of it.


Celiac disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov), is a condition where there is damage to the villi, the areas in the lining of the small intestines. The damage is a direct reaction to eating gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats. It is also found in food made from these ingredients. When the villi are damaged, they are unable to properly absorb iron, vitamins and other nutrients. This can lead to problems such as bruising, depression or anxiety, hair loss, itchy skin, missed menstrual periods, muscle cramps and joint pain.

CELIAC DISEASE IS A SERIOUS CONDITION

Celiac disease affects 1 percent of healthy, average Americans. That means at least 3 million people in the country are living with celiac disease, and 97 percent of them are undiagnosed. People with celiac disease are more likely to have autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, thyroid disease, Down syndrome, intestinal lymphoma and more.


According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center (www.cureceliacdisease.org), celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, gas, bloating and indigestion may occur in the digestive tract or there may be symptoms in other parts of the body. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, foul-smelling or oily stools or unexplained weight loss. In a landmark study on celiac disease, investigators determined 60 percent of children and 41 percent of adults diagnosed during the study were asymptomatic.


The treatment, as Eleanor’s doctor said, is to adhere to a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease should read food labels to determine if a product is safe for them to eat. There are now more than 2,000 gluten-free food items available in the United States, from cookies to pasta and more.


SOURCES

•  Celiac Disease Foundation (www.celiac.org)

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN and a freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines. Her Web site is at

www.normajean.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers