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Health and fitness notes

Oklahoma health and fitness briefs
by Ken Raymond Modified: June 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm •  Published: June 26, 2012


Living with a diagnosis

Thomas J. Shaw, author of “The RX Factor,” knows how difficult it is to live with an incurable disease; he has one. Shaw has hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, the same condition that causes otherwise healthy athletes to drop dead after exertion.

Shaw offers these tips for dealing with the psychological impact of an incurable disease diagnosis:

Get a second opinion. Often we take a doctor's word as gospel. It doesn't hurt, though, to consult with one or two others. Physicians make mistakes and don't possess the exact same knowledge. Seek out different treatment options.

Gather accurate information. The Internet contains many reliable sources, but there's a lot of rubbish, too. Check out university websites and sites such as

Use it as a wake-up call. Some people can't change unhealthy habits until they're slapped in the face with the consequences. Use your life-changing diagnosis as an impetus to exercise, eat healthier foods and give up things such as alcohol and tobacco.

Focus on what matters. We're all going to die. Sometimes the only way to deal with that is by focusing on what really matters: family, friends, pets, etc. A positive attitude can help you cope and thrive.

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Nose-blowing season is here

Oklahoma City is a tough place to live if you have allergies. The warm winter allowed allergens to get an earlier start than usual, so Oklahomans have sniffling and sneezing for months.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Puffs tissues offer these tips:

Be aware of triggers and traps. “Stuff nose?” the companies asked in a news release. “You can thank triggers such as dust mites, pollen, pets and mold for your discomfort.” Vacuum carpets regularly, wash area rugs often and use slip covers on furniture.

Closed-door policy. Don't bring allergens into the house. When you get home, slip off your shoes and take a shower. That prevents pollen and other irritants from spreading through the house and onto the furniture.

Treat symptoms. When your nose won't stop running, reach for soft but strong tissues; blow or ball up a small piece to block one drippy nostril, then switch out with the other as needed. Over the counter and prescription allergy medications can help, as can saline nasal sprays.

A news release for Dr. Stephen Apaliski, physician and author of “Beating Asthma: Seven Simple Principles,” mentions certain foods and environmental conditions that can trigger allergy or asthma attacks. Among them:

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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