Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder

An eating disorder is a severe mental health condition that can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s physical and emotional health. It’s estimated that around 9% of the U.S. population will have such a disorder at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, such disorders can be difficult to recognize, and many people who have one may not even realize it.

What Are Eating Disorders?

These psychological disorders are characterized by an unhealthy preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape. Such disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: a disorder characterized by extreme weight loss due to an obsession with being thin, which can lead to malnutrition and other health complications.
  • Bulimia nervosa: a disorder characterized by an obsessive need to purge calories, often through excessive vomiting or laxative use.
  • Binge-eating disorder: a disorder characterized by binging on large amounts of food in a short period of time, followed by guilt and shame.

How to Spot the Warning Signs

The following are a few signs that you or a loved one might be suffering from a disorder with eating:

  • Significant weight loss, such as if the person is below 85% of their ideal body weight (remember that some of these disorders don’t always result in weight loss).
  • Obsession with food, calories, and dieting.
  • Avoidance of social activities related to eating.
  • Constantly making negative comments about their body weight or physical appearance.
  • Suddenly developing a dislike for foods they once liked.
  • Developing eating rituals, such as cutting food into tiny pieces or eating in secret.
  • Engaging in secretive behaviors, such as hiding food wrappers or visiting the bathroom after.
  • Developing physical symptoms, such as hair loss, gray skin, fainting spells, disrupted sleep patterns, dental erosions, low blood pressure, constipation, and more.

To help spread awareness about the disorder, February has been designated as Eating Disorders Awareness and Screening Month. If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the warning signs, it’s important to seek professional help in California right away. For more health advice, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Shining a Light on Low Vision: Why Awareness Matters

Low vision is a visual impairment that affects millions of people around the world. People with low vision have difficulty seeing even with corrective lenses, and this can impact their ability to perform everyday tasks, such as reading, driving, and using electronic devices. Low vision can occur due to a variety of reasons, including aging, eye diseases, and genetic conditions.

Low vision can be a challenging condition to deal with, as it can impact a person’s independence and quality of life. However, with the right support and tools, people with low vision can continue to lead fulfilling lives.

One of the most important things when it comes to low vision is awareness. Many people do not know what low vision is, or what kind of support is available to people who have this condition. By raising awareness about low vision, we can help people to understand what it is, and to be more supportive of those who have it.

One way to raise awareness about low vision is to share stories from people who have this condition. By hearing about their experiences, people can gain a better understanding of what low vision is, and how it impacts people’s lives. These stories can be shared through social media, blogs, or other online platforms.

Another way to raise awareness about low vision is to provide information about the condition and the resources available to those who have it. This information can be shared through public service announcements, educational campaigns, or other outreach efforts. There are many organizations that provide support and resources to people with low vision, and it is important to make sure that people know about these resources.

In addition to raising awareness about low vision, it is also important to take steps to support people with this condition. This can include making changes to the physical environment to make it more accessible, providing assistive technology and devices, and offering training and support to help people with low vision navigate their daily lives.

Overall, low vision is a condition that affects many people, and it is important to raise awareness about it in order to provide support and understanding to those who have it. By sharing stories, providing information, and offering support, we can help people with low vision to live full and independent lives.

Contact The Benefits Store today for you and your families Vision Insurance needs!

What Causes Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Causes

Glaucoma is a condition characterized by damage to the eye’s optic nerve. Glaucoma causes vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting over 60 million people. Understanding what causes glaucoma can help you recognize the signs and get early treatment. It’s why January has been designated as Glaucoma Awareness Month.

What Are the Symptoms That Glaucoma Causes?

Early detection is key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you get treatment in California before damage occurs. Symptoms of glaucoma may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Eye pain, redness, or irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Adjusting to dim lighting

What Causes Glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when fluid pressure builds up in the eye, damaging the optic nerve. That happens because of a breakdown in the drainage system that allows fluid to escape from the eye. The increased pressure can cause vision loss, and if left untreated, it can lead to severe damage and permanent blindness.

Several factors can contribute to the buildup of pressure in the eye, including:

  • Genetics – A family history of glaucoma increases your risk.
  • Age – Glaucoma is more common in people over 55.
  • Medical Issues – Conditions such as diabetes, sickle cell anemia, or high blood pressure can increase your risk.
  • Eye Injuries – Trauma to the eye can damage the drainage system, leading to glaucoma.
  • Race – African Americans and Hispanics are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Medications – Some medications, such as corticosteroid medicines, can increase your risk for glaucoma.
  • Other Diseases or Disorders – Diseases such as thyroid disease or degenerative retinal diseases can increase your risk.

An Eye Exam Is the Best Way to Diagnose Glaucoma

Understanding what symptoms glaucoma causes and taking steps to reduce your risk is important. Regular eye exams are one of the best ways to detect glaucoma early and get treatment. Early diagnosis can help you keep your vision and prevent the loss of sight. For more health information and advice, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Facts about Thyroid Disease

thyroid disease

Thyroid disease is one of the most common endocrine disorders, affecting an estimated 20 million people in the United States alone. It occurs when the thyroid gland, located at the base of your neck, fails to produce enough hormones or produces too much. As a result, it can affect your metabolism, energy levels, and overall health.

To help spread awareness of the condition, The American Thyroid Association (ATA) designated January as Thyroid Awareness Month. With that in mind, the following are some of the things you should know about Thyroid disease:

5 Things You Should Know About Thyroid Disease

Although many people have heard about the condition, few clearly understand what it is and how it can affect individuals. Here are five key facts about the disease.

  1. Thyroid disorders can affect anyone: Thyroid disorders can affect people of all ages, genders, and races. It is estimated that about 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid disorder in their life.
  2. There are several types of thyroid disorders: The two most prevalent kinds of thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, while hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too many hormones.
  3. Thyroid disorders cause various symptoms: Symptoms vary based on the type of disorder. For instance, hypothyroidism can extreme fatigue, forgetfulness, depression, and weight gain. Hyperthyroidism can cause nervousness, irritability, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, problems with sleep, vision issues, and eye irritation.
  4. Many people don’t realize they have a thyroid disorder: It’s estimated that around 60 percent of people with a thyroid disorder are undiagnosed.
  5. Women are more prone to thyroid disorders: Women are between five and eight times more likely to develop a thyroid disorder than men. Additionally, it’s estimated that one in eight women will develop a thyroid problem in their lifetime.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key

If you’re experiencing symptoms of Thyroid disease, then be sure to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician in California right away. The earlier the diagnosis, the sooner you can begin treatment. For more health information and advice, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Preventing Birth Defects: 4 Facts

preventing birth defects

Birth defects refer to physical, mental, or emotional conditions present at birth that can cause lifelong physical or intellectual developmental disabilities. Some of the most common of these disabilities include Down syndrome, spina bifida, cleft lip/palate, and heart defects.

Although many of these defects occur as a result of genetic or environmental factors beyond an individual’s control, there are things you can do when it comes to preventing birth defects.  As such, January was designated National Birth Defects Prevention Month to help spread awareness about birth defects and how to prevent them.

4 Facts About Preventing Birth Defects

Understanding the following facts about birth defects can not only help you realize how big of a risk they are, but what you can do when it comes to preventing birth defects:

  1. Babies are born with birth defects more often than you might realize. It’s estimated that around 120,000 babies are born in the U.S. every year with some kind of disability.
  2. A baby is born with a major defect every 4 and a half minutes in the U.S. That means that roughly 1 out of every 33 babies that are born in the U.S. have a defect.
  3. A lack of folic acid during pregnancy can increase the risk of defects such as spina bifida or anencephaly. Folic acid is a vitamin found in many foods such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, and fortified grains and is required by the body to form red blood cells and for tissue growth.
  4. Drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. It’s estimated that 10 percent of pregnant women have had alcohol in the past 30 days, thereby increasing their risk of giving birth to a baby with a defect. By making simple lifestyle changes and following your doctor’s advice, you can significantly reduce the risk of birth defects.

Prevent Defects at Birth By Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Pregnant women in California should be sure to stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and to add folic acid to their diets to help with preventing birth defects. For more health advice, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.