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The Union Star: Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

Recent Headlines

Friday 12/07/2018
Understanding the Risks and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

Celebrating Survivorship: Heart Attack Survivors are Not Alone
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - You’ll never forget that moment. Whether it impacted you or a loved one. It stopped you in your tracks and changed everything.

The Ins and Outs of Birth Control
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) When looking at options for pregnancy prevention, your healthcare provider will likely share details about several options, along with information about which options might be appropriate for you. More likely than not, oral contraceptives –  a birth control method that has been available since the early 1960s – will be discussed.

Decorating A Photo-Worthy Home for the Holidays
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) Seasons change, and so do rental contracts and housing arrangements. If you’re leasing, you can still make your rental feel like home for the holidays with seasonal decor.

Practical Tips to Prep for Holiday Travel
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) Planning travel around the holidays is rarely simple. Coordinating flights or ground transportation is often just the beginning, and safely arriving at your destination may feel like a gift in its own right.  

Bring a Pet Home for the Holidays
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) The holiday season – and the lead-up to it – is a popular time to bring home a new puppy or kitten.

Home for the Holidays
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) As another busy travel season approaches, road-weary parents and families can hold on to holiday cheer a little longer by counting on tech as their preferred travel companion.

Building Babies’ Brains
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

3 indoor activities to encourage fun and education

Thoughtful Gifts for Friends and Family
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) While holiday festivities bring to mind thoughts of joy and celebration with loved ones, there’s one element of the season that can be a source of stress: gifting. Make this year’s shopping trips a touch simpler with thoughtful presents that can fit any number of those on your holiday list.

Holiday Entertainment with Friends and Family of All Ages
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) Holiday entertaining is no small chore. From feeding the masses to keeping everyone happy and engaged, it can be a big job playing host during the holidays.

6 Steps to Safer Winter Driving
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) The winter season is typically one of the busiest times of the year for travelers. While millions prepare to hit the road to visit family and see sights they may never have seen before, there’s one essential travel tip that cannot be overlooked: the proper tires.

5 Tips for Coping with Chronic Pain
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(Family Features) Pain can impact nearly every aspect of your daily life from cleaning the house to going to work or playing with your kids. In fact, according to the Institute of Medicine, 100 million Americans, or more than 30 percent of the population of the United States, suffer from chronic pain, which is pain lasting 3-6 months or longer.

Thursday 12/06/2018
Revealed: The secret to ageless skin
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - Psst: Want in on a secret that can put the brakes on wrinkles and other signs of aging skin? 

Wednesday 12/05/2018
Treatment with Novel Stroke Device Has 39-Year-Old Stroke Survivor Returning to Marathon Form
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

Medical Authorities Spread the Word About Prediabetes
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(NAPSI)—One in three American adults now has prediabetes—a serious condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes. Yet 90 percent of them don’t know it. The good news is that with early diagnosis, prediabetes can be reversed through healthy lifestyle changes. Learning your risk is simple: visit DoIHavePrediabetes.org and take the one-minute risk test.

Time Is Running Out: Seven Last-Minute Tips For Medicare Open Enrollment
Updated: December 08, 2018 - 2:37 am

(NAPSI)—The last day of Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) is this Friday, December 7. eHealthMedicare outlines seven things all Medicare enrollees should know about their open enrollment choices.

The Art of the Perfect Gift
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(Family Features) Even in a world where just about anything is a few clicks away, finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can still be a difficult task. One trick to winning the holidays is bringing back the basics by choosing presents you know your loved ones need and can actually use.

Trending Gifts Topping Wish Lists this Year
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(Family Features) Nostalgia often runs deep during the holidays, and retro gifts are one way to relive the holiday celebrations of your childhood.

5 Ways to Support Your Community this Holiday Season
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(Family Features) Each year, the true spirit of the holidays can seem to get buried further beneath mountains of wrapping paper and drowned out by commercialism.

Deck the Halls for Happy Holidays
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(Family Features) Whether you opt for fresh-cut or fresh out of the box, trimming the tree is a staple of holiday decor in most homes. However, if you'll be entertaining this season, you may want to go beyond the tree and take your seasonal decorating to whole new level.

Go Exploring for These Hidden Travel Gems
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(Family Features) Discovering a region’s secret treasures is one of the greatest rewards of travel. When you embrace an adventurer’s spirit, there’s no telling just where you’ll go. From an uncharted journey back in time to new ways to appreciate unconventional art, a vacation that celebrates the unexpected is an ideal way to uncover hidden travel gems.

3 Common New Parent Questions
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(Family Features) Almost every new parent knows the feeling: It’s 2 a.m., you’re bleary-eyed and you want nothing more than everyone to get some sleep. However, you’re up, and so is your new baby.

Tuesday 12/04/2018
What to Know When You Can't Go, So You Can Get Moving Again
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - No one likes to feel held back, and in today’s busy world, it’s hard to miss a beat. So imagine if you had a chronic condition that made you feel like you had to put your life on pause – yet, nobody understood the negative impact it had on your daily life. That’s what it can be like to live with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), according to a new national survey of adults living with the condition.

Act now and learn about recommended cancer screenings
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - Cancer Screen Week is a public health initiative launched in 2017 by Genentech, the American Cancer Society, Stand Up To Cancer and Rally Health to elevate public awareness and foster understanding of the potentially lifesaving benefits of cancer screening. This year’s nationwide initiative runs from December 3 through December 7, 2018. 

Monday 12/03/2018
Beat the Bah Humbug: 6 Tips to Relieving Holiday Season Stress
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - 'Tis the season! While the holidays are synonymous with peace, love and joy for many who celebrate, the holiday season can be filled with discomfort. According to the national “Beating the Holiday Burn” survey of 2,000 Americans 18 and older, from long to-do lists to disagreements with loved ones to overeating, 88 percent of respondents noted they feel stressed when celebrating the holidays.

How You Can Take Control This Flu Season
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - The 2017-2018 flu season will unfortunately be remembered for years to come. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[i], the 2017-2018 flu season was the only season to be classified as “high severity” across all age groups. In addition, there were an estimated nearly 80,000 deaths according to the CDC — a record-breaking number by all accounts. These statistics are a devastating reminder that this viral infection can direly affect anyone. 

Empowerment through Positivity: The Journey of Two People with Brain Cancer
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - Pat Ponticelli is a 61-year-old retired registered dietitian living in Massachusetts and George “GJ” Gerner is a 30-year-old man living in New York and working in accounting. While their circumstances are very different, they both are facing glioblastoma (GBM), a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer.

How to Rekindle the Romance in Your Marriage
Posted: December 03, 2018

(StatePoint) Whether you’re a honeymooner or you’re celebrating your 50th anniversary, there’s a chance that the romantic spark that brought you and your partner together in the first place needs to be rekindled. Experts say that a continually fulfilling relationship requires establishing and maintaining a complete connection.

Friday 11/30/2018
Know The Facts: Five Biggest Myths About Diabetes
Updated: December 04, 2018 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—For 30 million Americans, diabetes is an everyday reality. Diabetes can affect every decision, including what they eat, wear and do. Yet the 24/7 management of diabetes is often misunderstood, carrying a social burden, as too many Americans wrongfully assume the disease is the result of poor choices.

Writing Off The End Of The Year
Updated: December 06, 2018 - 2:44 am

(NAPSI)—Americans are officially abandoning attempts to be healthy until 2019, according to a new study.

5 Ways to Rev Up for a Travel Adventure
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

(Family Features) Hitting the open road continues to be an increasingly popular vacation option for families. As spring approaches, the idea of exploring the country in full bloom encourages many families to begin planning an RV travel adventure.

Thoughtful, Stress-Free Gift Giving
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

(Family Features) When in need of inspiration during gift-giving season, focusing on thoughtful presents that align with the personalities and interests of your intended recipients can be a surefire way to delight even the hard-to-buy-for friends and family on your list.

A Photo-Worthy Home Decorated for the Holidays
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

Tips for creating a festive space while leasing your home

Perfect Picks for the Holidays
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

Practical presents for everyone on your list

Thursday 11/29/2018
Tips for Those Caring for a Loved One with Cancer
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - We are now well into November and entering the holiday season. The holidays are a time of year to cherish time with family and friends. It’s also a great time to recognize and give thanks to those who tirelessly provide care for those living with an illness, such as stomach cancer — the fifth most common cancer worldwide. While many are beginning to shift their attention to the holidays in November, it is also the month dedicated to raising awareness of stomach cancer.

Four Easy Tips That Will Keep You Working Out All Winter Long
Updated: December 01, 2018 - 3:08 am

(NAPSI)—Many people find that when the temperature falls, so does their motivation and the frequency of their workouts. But it shouldn’t. Research has shown that working out through the cold winter months strengthens the immune system to help fight off those cold weather blues and illnesses.

Wednesday 11/28/2018
Persistent respiratory symptoms could mean more than COPD
Posted: November 28, 2018

(BPT) - Patients experiencing the symptoms of a chronic condition often feel a sense of relief when their doctor provides a diagnosis. They are no longer left to wonder what’s wrong — there’s a name for what they’re feeling and a path forward to address it.

Make a Difference this Holiday Season
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

(Family Features) This holiday season, you have the power to change children’s lives for the better.

Selecting a Plan That’s Right for You During Medicare Open Enrollment
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

(Family Features) Each year between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7 people can make changes to their Medicare coverage options.

5 Ways to Find Your Morning Workout Motivation
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

(Family Features) For many people, hitting the gym in the morning leaves less time for excuses or interferences.

Cars to Consider for 2019
Updated: December 03, 2018 - 2:55 am

(Family Features) Purchasing a new vehicle, while exciting, can be a burden for many shoppers. A variety of options and considerations for each make and model can turn the decision-making process into a stressful situation.

Monday 11/26/2018
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Learn About the Impact of Lung Cancer [Infographic]
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - -

Laughing or crying uncontrollably? 6 signs you or your loved one may need to see a doctor
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - Laughing and crying are normal human responses to emotion, but when it becomes sudden, frequent, uncontrollable and doesn’t match how you feel, it might be a sign of a medical condition called PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA).1

What is PBA?

PBA causes uncontrollable laughing and/or crying that occurs suddenly and frequently. Symptoms of PBA happen as a result of another neurologic condition — like Parkinson’s disease; stroke; Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia; multiple sclerosis (MS); and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease — or traumatic brain injury.1

A person having a PBA crying episode may cry when they don’t feel sad or when they only feel a little bit sad. Someone having a PBA laughing episode may laugh when they don’t feel amused or when they only feel a little bit amused.1

What is it like to care for someone with PBA?

As a long-time caregiver of her husband, Jim, who has been living with Parkinson’s disease for more than 15 years, Lori is well-equipped to help him manage the ups and downs of the disease. But when she noticed Jim repeatedly laughing or crying at unusual times, even when they weren’t discussing or watching anything funny or sad, she knew she had to discuss it with his doctor.

“When he would laugh, I thought he was laughing at me, and when he would cry, I didn’t know what he was crying about or why,” Lori said.

Jim’s doctors initially thought the laughing and crying could be related to his Parkinson’s disease or to an anxiety disorder or depression. For several months, Lori watched helplessly as Jim continued to uncontrollably laugh and cry at unusual times without knowing why or how to help. Then she heard about PBA and discussed it with Jim’s doctors, and he was officially diagnosed the same year.

Jim and Lori feel that Jim’s frequent PBA episodes had a significant influence on their relationship with one another.

“We watch the news and he will start crying,” Lori said. “If I get mad at him, he will laugh at me. He doesn’t like to go out and socialize, especially with people he doesn’t know.”

Stomach Cancer: Learn the Facts [Infographic]
Updated: December 09, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - -

Eight Tips For Caregivers To Help Ease The Risky Business Of Caregiving
Updated: November 28, 2018 - 2:46 am

(NAPSI)—Millions of unpaid, family caregivers may be putting their own long-term health and financial security at risk when providing support for relatives or friends who need help taking care of themselves. Research from nonprofit Transamerica Institute® finds that 69 percent of caregivers gave little or no consideration to their own financial situation when deciding to become a caregiver, and 55 percent say their own health takes a back seat to that of the person they are caring for.

Saturday 11/24/2018
Selecting a Plan During Medicare Open Enrollment
Updated: November 28, 2018 - 2:46 am

(Family Features) Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment period started on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7, meaning this is the time for you to review your current coverage and decide if there are better coverage options for you based on changes to the current plans, your budget, and your health needs.

Friday 11/23/2018
STEM at Play
Updated: November 26, 2018 - 2:48 am

(Family Features) When children play, they often learn. Not only can playtime improve behavior and concentration, but it helps children explore with their imaginations. Both free play and adult-guided play allow kids to learn right from wrong, how to share and gain awareness of others’ feelings.

Thursday 11/22/2018
Opioids Aren’t Always the Answer for Chronic Pain Patients
Posted: November 22, 2018

(StatePoint) Decorated veteran Justin Minyard struggled for years with chronic back pain. And though his prescribed opioids provided only minimal relief, he developed a dependency on them. Unfortunately, such circumstances are common, as a growing number of patients are struggling with a choice between addictive pills or the thought of living with debilitating pain.

Medicare Open Enrollment 101
Updated: November 26, 2018 - 2:48 am

Know your options and get free help