Category: Uncategorized

September 16, 2018

September 2018 marks the 7th annual World Alzheimer’s Month. The international campaign aims to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a term that describes an overall group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.[1]

Currently, there are close to 50 million people worldwide living with dementia. By the year 2050, that number is set to triple.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. Come join the ActivMed team as we take the part in both the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Andover, MA on September 16, 2018 at the Andover Landing at Brickstone Square, and the Seacoast Area Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 23, 2018 at the Little Harbour School in Portsmouth, NH. Stop by our table and learn about getting involved in the fight to end Alzheimer’s!

Participating in fundraising events is only part of the journey to finding a cure. Volunteers are needed more than ever to help find new treatments and ultimately a cure. ActivMed is currently looking for volunteers to participate in a device research study for Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss at our Methuen, MA and Portsmouth, NH locations. Study-related office visits, tests, and assessments are provided at no cost to those who qualify and participate. Reimbursement for travel expenses is also available for qualified participants.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of memory loss or has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, contact ActivMed Practices and Research today to learn more about study opportunities that may help.

[1] https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia

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August 21, 2018

Clinical trials play a key role in helping to advance medical research. Clinical trials are scientific studies that ultimately aim to find better ways to prevent, treat, and diagnose diseases. If you have ever considered volunteering to participate in a clinical research trial, it’s important to understand how clinical trials work.

Clinical trials are done in different phases. Each phase has different criteria and a different purpose.

  • Phase I studies are meant to assess the safety of a drug or device and usually include 20-100 volunteers. About 70% of drugs will pass this phase.
  • Phase II studies are designed to test the effectiveness of a drug or device, while continuing to monitor and assess safety. Several hundred volunteers may take part in phase II trials and they can last from several months to two years. About one-third of drugs successfully complete phase I and phase II studies.
  • Phase III studies involve several hundred to several thousand volunteers. The purpose is to test effectiveness and to monitor for any adverse reactions. About 25-30% of drugs will make to the next phase.
  • Phase IV studies test the safety and effectiveness of treatment and carried out once the drug or device has been approved by the FDA.

No matter the phase, each clinical trial is led by a Principal Investigator, or PI. The PI, who is often a board-certified physician, works with a medical team and follows a master plan called a protocol. The protocol explains detailed information about what will be done during the clinical trial. Even if the same study is being conducted in a different part of the country, the exact same protocol will be followed.

Before deciding whether or not to participate in a research study, volunteers are provided with key information that explains the details of the study. This is called the informed consent process. Informed consent is more than just signing a document, it involves providing appropriate time for potential participants to ask questions and discuss any questions and concerns before deciding to participate.  Throughout the study, informed consent is maintained with participants through the disclosure of any newly discovered potential risks, and the ongoing disclosure of information as the research progresses.

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is a very personal decision. Participating may give you the opportunity to access potential new treatment options and give you a better understanding of your condition. ActivMed understands the importance of clinical research and the value that participants bring to the advancement of medical knowledge.  ActivMed is currently enrolling for studies in a variety of conditions. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more about how you or someone you love may qualify to participate in a clinical research study at ActivMed, click HERE.

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August 8, 2018

August brings the arrival of Psoriasis Awareness Month. A chronic, systemic disease of the immune system, psoriasis most often appears on the skin as raised, itchy red patches. Living with psoriasis can seem like an uphill battle, but it’s important to know that if you’re struggling with psoriasis, you’re not alone.

The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that as many as 7.5 million American have psoriasis. Included in that number are people like you and me, but also people that many look up to, even idolize, like Kim Kardashian and Cyndi Lauper.

Cyndi Lauper is an icon is the music world, known for many hits that are still popular today. She revealed to PEOPLE magazine her psoriasis struggle that began back in 2010 with irritation on her scalp that she simply chalked up to bad hair dye.

Unfortunately, her scalp irritation then turned into an entire body rash complete with itchy, scaly skin over the next couple of years. Her immune system suffered as well. It took a toll physically and emotionally, and affected her ability to perform. Now, Lauper has found a treatment plan that helps her to manage her symptoms. She also avoids eating and drinking things that are associated with inflammation.

Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S. and not every treatment is a good fit for each person struggling to mange systems. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with psoriasis, ActivMed is currently enrolling studies for potential new treatment options at the Portsmouth, NH and Beverly, MA sites. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see if you qualify for a study at our Portsmouth, NH location, CLICK HERE. For our Beverly, MA location, CLICK HERE.

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July 23, 2018

Gluten-free diets have become a popular trend over recent years. Whether it’s in hopes to boost energy, lose weight, treat some health ailment, or just to improve general overall health. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine,  while gluten-free diets are on the rise, celiac disease diagnoses continue to remain steady with little fluctuation year to year.

While that’s not to say those following gluten-free diets don’t have a gluten sensitivity, a gluten sensitivity is not the same as celiac disease, and would not be detectable in a blood test. Living with celiac disease is much more than just living a gluten-free lifestyle. Eating gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine and can lead to some pretty undesirable symptoms. Let’s explore a little further.

People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten. If you’re wondering what exactly gluten is, it’s a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The immune response that happens in the small intestine when gluten is consumed can damage the lining of the intestine over time, and prevent absorption of nutrients.

This damage can also cause symptoms like: abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, weight loss, and even anemia. Although, many people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms.

Currently, the only treatment for those with celiac disease is a strict, 100% gluten-free diet to help manage symptoms. ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for potential new treatment options. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with celiac disease, you may be eligible to participate in a research study. Qualified candidates who and participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, CLICK HERE.

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June 20, 2018

Psoriasis is a disease that causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It typically occurs on places like knees, scalp, and elbows, but can really show up anywhere. The uncomfortable rash can sometimes itch or burn. Psoriasis doesn’t stop at the skin. While the physical struggles associated with psoriasis can be considerable, the disease can also affect your mental and emotional health.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, people with psoriasis are more likely to suffer from depression. It’s even been said that depression is the number one comorbidity of psoriasis. Why is that? Some doctors believe that biological changes that cause psoriasis may play a part. The stigma associated with visible psoriasis can also make people depressed.

For most people with psoriasis, the red, scaly patches can be embarrassing. Many people will opt to wear long sleeves to conceal their psoriasis, and in the summer this is especially hard as heat and sweat can make psoriasis worse. While you may be anxious about showing too much skin, you don’t want to allow yourself to become overheated.

Many people with psoriasis will notice that their symptoms seem to improve during the summer months. While you may notice a reduction in your skin patches with added sunlight, remember to limit your sun exposure! Getting burnt could trigger a flare.

While psoriasis is one of the most common skin diseases, there is no cure. If you or someone you love is struggling to manage psoriasis symptoms, ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study at our Beverly location click HERE or at our Portsmouth site, click HERE.

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May 30, 2018

It felt like one day I was a healthy, normal woman and then…I just wasn’t. Nothing had happened to me. I wasn’t subject to infidelity, depressed, or unhappy with my husband. It just suddenly felt like one of my most basic instincts was gone. I simply had no interest in physical intimacy. If you’re a woman experiencing similar feelings, you may have Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), and you’re no stranger to this feeling.

At first, I was embarrassed and unsure of what to do. What would my friends think? I wasn’t sure I could confide in them. I decided to do some research myself. According to WebMD nearly one-third of women ages 18-59 suffer from a lost interest in sex. I also learned that The Society for Women’s Health Research estimates that as many as one in ten women suffer from HSDD, which I would later be diagnosed with.[i]

After doing some research and learning how many women experience HSDD, I felt like less of an outcast.  I knew it was time to face my symptoms head on and make a trip to my doctor. I explained everything to my doctor; how I was feeling, how I didn’t want to feel, and the toll I knew this was taking on my marriage. It felt like a safe zone where I could say anything. I knew that I had been making excuse after excuse for why my husband and I weren’t being intimate, when in reality, it was because I just didn’t want to.

After I left the doctor I cried because I felt bad for my husband and how I know I had been making him feel. I cried because I had a diagnosis and wasn’t sure what we were facing. I cried for the thousands of other women feeling the way I had been, and hoped they were brave enough to face their feelings.

While HSDD is a complicated disorder and doctors are searching for ways to help. Research studies are being conducted by local physicians that may help to pave the way for potential new treatment options. ActivMed is currently seeking women for current and upcoming studies to help test these new treatments. Qualified candidates who participate will receive evaluations for HSDD and study-related care at no cost. Compensation is also available to qualified participants for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for an HSDD study, click HERE.

[i] http://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-hsdd/

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May 22, 2018

Approximately 16.2 million adults around the world struggle with depression. That is a staggering 6.7% of the population! With so many affected, what’s even more surprising is that the stigma attached to depression is still a major problem.

Many people state that the reason they often don’t seek out the help they need, is for this very reason. Stigma.

9 out of 10 people also report that the stigma associated with having a condition like depression has had a negative impact on their lives. From work to relationships and everything in between, the affects can be felt in almost every way.

Stigma can also deter people from seeking treatment, which can worsen depression symptoms.  Imagine having a problem and not being able to talk to your friends or family or get the treatment and care you need. This is a serious concern for healthcare professionals and patients alike.

So for Mental Health Month, here are a few ways you can help stop the stigma.

Educate yourself. Take time to learn what you don’t understand. Read, or better yet, talk to someone about what it’s like to have depression. Education can help increase your understanding and break down negativity.

Be careful with your words. Using first person language and avoid defining people based on their mental health. It’s also important to avoid saying things like, “Be Positive” or “I know how you feel,” as these may be taken in a negative way. For a helpful guide on phrases we should stop using when it comes to depression and other mental illness, check out this article from the Huffington Post.

Support organizations that support depression awareness. Getting involved and supporting organizations like National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) or the American Psychiatric Association can help on a larger scale. Each year, NAMI sponsors local races and other events to raise money for programs that are helping to fight stigma and get people the treatment and care they need.

NAMI is also promoting the theme of “CureStigma” throughout all of their awareness events, including Mental Health Month.

This month and every month, join the fight to raise awareness and get rid of the stigma.  Together we can help to improve and save lives.

Currently, ActivMed is seeking patients to take part in clinical studies for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To find out how you can participate, visit activmedresearch.com. Help us make a difference today!

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May 16, 2018

May 20th is recognized as International Clinical Trials day, to commemorate the first controlled clinical trial, conducted by Dr. James Lind.

May 20, 1747, Dr. Lind was a British surgeon aboard the HMS Salisbury for the British Royal Navy who took the opportunity to test a better way to treat the common problem of scurvy that had befallen 12 shipmates. Lind divided the sailors into groups of two. “They all in general had putrid gums, the spots and lassitude, with weakness of knees,” he wrote in his 1753 paper A Treatise on the Scurvy. The sick men were isolated from the rest of the crew, and given the same rations. He gave different treatments to each of the pairs. The treatments were cider, a few drops of a weak acid, vinegar, sea-water, nutmeg and barley water, or oranges and lemons. After 6 days, the two men who ate the oranges and lemons were well and fit for duty. The other men were still “weak in the knees.”

In 2003, Royal College of Physicians established The James Lind Library to commemorate 250th anniversary of publication of Dr. Lind’s pioneering contribution “Treatise on Scurvy”. The publicity and popularity of the James Lind Library has made 20 May to be designated International Clinical Trials Day, because James Lind’s celebrated controlled trial began on that day in 1747.5

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April 23, 2018
COPD_Cigarette_ResarchStudy_MethuenMA

If you or a loved one struggle with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), take comfort in the fact that you are not alone! Contrary to popular belief, COPD is more than just a smoker’s cough, it is a life-threatening disease that interferes with breathing. There are an estimated 64 million people who live with COPD.

The most common cause of COPD is tobacco smoke through tobacco use or second-hand smoke. Warning signs for COPD are frequently dismissed and, usually, people think that the reason they are short of breath is due to “just getting older.”

Living Life with COPD

Living Life with COPD

Common COPD Symptoms:

  • shortness of breath (often the first sign)
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • having a tight feeling your chest
  • feeling winded going up the stairs
  • frequently needing to catch your breath.

People with COPD are more likely to have frequent colds, recurring bouts of the flu, or pneumonia and all of these can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and other symptoms. Shortness of breath and coughing can also be a sign of asthma which is why women with COPD are more likely than men to be misdiagnosed with asthma.

In the late 1960’s, tobacco companies heavily targeted women, resulting in an increase of women who started smoking and COPD now affects men and women almost equally because of increased tobacco use among women. Women are more likely to have lung damage from cigarette smoke than men are because women’s lungs are smaller and higher estrogen levels tend to worsen lung disease. Women are often misdiagnosed because COPD has been thought of as a man’s disease.

 

 

People are often diagnosed with COPD between age 50 and 60 when symptoms are so obvious that they can no longer be ignored, but COPD actually can begin to develop around age 40.

To find out if a patient has COPD, a doctor will have a patient breathe into a tube hooked up to a spirometer which measures how much air the patient exhales. More primary care doctors use this simple method to test anyone who is at risk for COPD, even if they don’t have symptoms.

COPD is the 5th biggest killer worldwide and is estimated to kill over 250 people worldwide. Although there is no cure for COPD, it can be found early and steps can be taken to help manage the disease. With medications, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and social support, many people diagnosed with COPD are able to live long lives.

Enjoying Life with COPD

Enjoying Life with COPD

How to Get Involved: 

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with COPD, a medical research study may be an option. ActivMed is currently seeking participants for several current and upcoming studies. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see if you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.

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April 16, 2018

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes glucose, a kind of sugar in your blood. It is the most common form of diabetes, with over 30 million people suffering from this condition in the United States alone.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body may not use insulin properly, your body may not produce enough insulin, or insulin receptors may not be working correctly. While diabetes is a widespread disease, not everything you hear about the condition is true.

 

 

Myth: If you’re overweight, you will develop diabetes.

Fact: While being overweight is definitely a risk factor for developing diabetes, it’s not the only factor. Things like age and family history also play key roles. Many overweight people never develop diabetes and many people with diabetes are normal weight or slightly overweight.

Myth: Diabetes isn’t a very serious disease.

Fact: Diabetes nearly doubles your risk of having a heart attack. It also causes more deaths per year than AIDS and breast cancer combined.

Myth: You get diabetes by eating too much sugar.

Fact: Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. However, being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes and any diet high in calories will attribute to weight gain. The link between myth and fact here gets a little blurry because research has actually shown that drinking an abundance of sugary drinks or consuming larger amount of alcohol on a daily basis,  is linked to in increases in glucose levels.  The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should avoid intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes.

Myth: You’ll know if you have diabetes by your symptoms.

Fact: Type 2 diabetes often goes undiagnosed because it can have few or no symptoms, especially when it first develops. It is estimated that out of the 30 million people that suffer from type 2 diabetes, over 7 million are undiagnosed.

More than one in every 10 adults who are 20 years or older is struggling with type 2 diabetes. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a research study may be an option. ActivMed is currently seeking participants for several current and upcoming studies. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.

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April 9, 2018

Dementia is a term used to describe a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Many people have issues with memory, which doesn’t necessarily mean they have a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There are many different causes of memory problems. If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss symptoms, a memory screening is a great option. Learn more about signing up for a free memory screening at our office HERE.

People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, like keeping track of their keys or wallet, leaving their neighborhood, paying their meals, and preparing food. Many dementias are considered to be progressive which means symptoms start out slowly and eventually get worse over time. Early diagnosis is key to making a plan for the best treatment with the available options and coping for what’s to come.

There are three main stages of dementia. The first stage, mild dementia, may result in sadness, anxiety, and loss of interest in activities the person diagnosed once loved. You may notice that they have difficulty with remember words or names and have a tough time with new information. As a family member or caregiver, you may be unsure of where to go or how to manage the diagnosis yourself. In the early stages, be prepared to make decisions together regarding the future and their care.

Moderate dementia is the second stage of dementia. Physical function and judgement are affected at this stage. This can be very physically and emotionally challenging for a caregiver. They may make accusations towards loved ones or get aggressive with behavior or speech.  It’s important to remember that they are not doing this on purpose. Trying to identify the root of the issue and what has triggered the behavior may help to prevent or change the outcome in the future.

The third stage is severe dementia which may require around-the-clock care. At this stage, those suffering from dementia may have trouble recognizing loved ones or caregivers. They may have limited mobility and may lack control and require assistance when it comes to restroom habits, eating, etc. This can be a very stressful time for both loved ones and caregivers.

While dealing with dementia can be difficult, research studies for potential new treatments may be an option. If someone you love is suffering from dementia, ActivMed currently has enrolling studies for those seeking new treatment options. Candidates who qualify and participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and find out how you or someone you love can get involved, click HERE.

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March 19, 2018

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Some psoriasis sufferers say that the rash is painful and can be itchy. It most commonly appears on parts of the body like elbows, scalp, and knees, but it can affect any location.  There are more than 7.5 million people in the United States alone living with this condition. While dealing with the physical bearing of psoriasis can be a struggle, the emotional toll can have quite the impact as well.

Many people have an inaccurate belief that psoriasis is contagious skin disease. Since psoriasis is often highly visible and marked by red, raised, scaly patches that may cover large areas, it’s easy for misconceptions to be formed. Others may simply not know what psoriasis is and come to conclusions based on what they see. This has led many people with psoriasis (40% according to the National Psoriasis Foundation) to take to wearing long sleeves and long pants year-round. This seems to depend on how severe the psoriasis is and how comfortable those that have it are with the condition. Others talk about covering up in certain situations like a first meeting with a client, or a first date.

One of the best ways to deal with psoriasis through relationships and social situations can be facing it head on. If someone is looking at your psoriasis, or asks about it, telling them confidently what it is may help to put you both at ease. A short, simple answer can help to educate people about the condition, and also help to reduce the stigma.

When it comes to romantic relationships, talking openly about your psoriasis is key. While it can be uncomfortable to talk about, being open and honest is vital to any relationship and will ultimately be important in having your partner’s support through more difficult times. Open communication can also help when it comes to easing any anxiety surrounding intimacy.

While coping with psoriasis isn’t easy, open communication may help to expel the many misconceptions associated with the condition and make your relationships stronger. If you or someone you love is struggling with psoriasis, ActivMed currently has enrolling studies for those seeking new treatment options. Candidates who qualify and participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.

Our blog provides general information about health and related subjects. This content should not be interpreted as medical advice.

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March 1, 2018

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, and chronic cough. COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs, the frontrunner being cigarette smoke. Substances like air pollution, dust, and chemical fumes can also be causes.

Historically, COPD has been considered a disease contained to white men. This is because they started smoking earlier and tended to smoke at much higher rates than other groups. Although, this stigma is changing and shocking statistics from the American Lung Association support this change. The ALA estimates that there are 7 million women diagnosed with COPD and even more living with symptoms that are undiagnosed. Since the 1980s the number of women whose lives have been lost as a result of COPD has quadrupled. So why are females becoming increasingly diagnosed?

Women are more genetically prone to developing COPD than men, and they are likely to experience more intense symptoms. A woman’s body is different than a man’s in that women have narrower airways and smaller lungs, making irritants more toxic when inhaled.

Women are now 37% more likely to develop COPD than their male counterparts. Many women began smoking in the 1970s and 1980s and COPD symptoms generally take 20-30 years to develop. Many experts believe that this influx is due to marketing done by tobacco companies.

So, what can women do? Stop smoking, today. According to the CDC, after just two hours of not smoking your heart rate and blood pressure should return to almost completely normal levels. Between one and nine months after quitting smoking, your lungs dramatically begin to repair themselves. After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer, throat cancer, and other major organs decreases by approximately half that of a traditional smoker.

If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, you’re not out of options. If you or a loved one is currently struggling to manage symptoms associated with COPD, ActivMed is enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study at our Portsmouth, NH location CLICK HERE or at our Methuen, MA location by CLICKING HERE.

Our blog provides general information about health and related subjects. This content should not be interpreted as medical advice.

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February 22, 2018

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Pimples, blackheads, and bumps on the face, chest, and back are all typical of acne. Acne is most common in teenagers and young adults, but can present at any age. Dealing with acne can be incredibly frustrating and embarrassing. You’ve probably heard an overwhelming number of tips and tricks for getting clear skin. Let’s talk about which of those tips hold some truth and which are simply myths.

Fact: If you’re prone to acne breakouts, excessive touching of your face can trigger breakouts and exacerbate acne symptoms. Every time you touch your face you’re introducing whatever germs your hands have come in contact with to your skin, so remember – hands off!

Myth: Don’t wear sunscreen; it will trigger a breakout. It’s all about choosing the right sunscreen. If you’re acne prone, steer clear of chemical sunscreens and opt for physical sunscreens which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect UV rays. Physical blockers are made of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and are great choices for people with sensitive or reactive skin.

Fact: Popping pimples does more harm than good. We think that popping a pimple will make it go away more quickly when in fact squeezing or picking can push bacteria further into the skin and lead to scarring.

Myth: Eating chocolate gives you acne. The role of chocolate and how it affects acne remains somewhat controversial. While studies don’t show that chocolate itself worsens acne, some studies have indicated milk products may influence acne because of the hormones and bacteria present in milk.

Fact: Tanning is not the answer. While evidence exists to show that sun exposure can improve acne symptoms, UV exposure is associated with a number of other dangerous drawbacks such as accelerated skin aging and an increased risk for skin cancer.

Myth: Acne is contagious. Unlike most bacterial infections, it is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.

While dealing with acne can seem like an uphill battle, being familiar with some important key facts may help when it comes to managing this condition. If you or someone you love is struggling with acne, ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study at our Portsmouth, NH location CLICK HERE or at our Beverly, MA location by CLICKING HERE.

 

Our blog provides general information about health and related subjects. This content should not be interpreted as medical advice.

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January 31, 2018

Everyone has experienced some type of sadness at some point in their lives. Hard times at home or work, personal loss, and relationship problems can all lead to feeling sad. It is a normal human emotion that we will continue to experience at various times throughout our lives. The good news is, the feeling of sadness will go away. Once the problem has resolved, or the hurt that we have experienced has faded, our sadness fades too.

Depression is different than sadness. Depression is a mood disorder that affects all aspects of life, making everything less enjoyable, less important, and putting a strain on the body. Depression may cause you to feel impatient and quick to anger. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks.

Depression can interfere with working, sleeping, school, and life in general. It’s important not to give up and focus on strategies to help manage this condition.

First off, know that you’re not alone. Many other people are fighting similar battles. Some of us are experts at putting on a happy face to conceal what’s really going on behind the mask. Social media is a good example of this.

Secondly, spending time alone (as most who are depressed tend to do) isn’t the best choice. Alienating yourself from the support of friends and loved ones is the last thing you need during this time. Make sure to keep your relationships intact. Joining a gym together or attending a workout class is a great option. Not only are you spending time with a friend, but studies have shown that exercise has a positive effect on your mood.

Finally, know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. While you’re not going to feel good all of the time, we as humans are capable of making changes. Our brains can form new, positive habits which can have long-term effects.

Millions of people around the world are experiencing, or have experienced, depression. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with depression and feel like you are out of options, a research study may be an option. ActivMed is currently seeking participants for several current and upcoming studies. Qualified candidates who qualify and participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE. 

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January 11, 2018

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe a group of chronic lung diseases that cause symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and refractory asthma are all part of the COPD family.

COPD symptoms typically don’t appear until substantial lung damage has occurred and will continue to worsen over time. People with COPD are likely to experience exacerbations, or flare-ups, which cause symptoms to be much worse than what they are on a typical daily basis. Being aware of some common COPD triggers can help you better manage this disease and lessen the risk of flare-ups.

  1. Cigarette smoke- While cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, secondhand smoke is just as dangerous. It’s one of the most common triggers for an exacerbation. For COPD sufferers, it’s important to steer clear of cigarettes.
  2. Other types of smoke- Burning a fire in your fireplace or cooking with a wood-burning stove can cause problems for those with COPD. They can both cause indoor air pollution, which can be a lung irritant.
  3. Dust- Dust can irritate airways and trigger a flare-up. Keeping your living space clean and clutter-free and dusting and vacuuming often can help.
  4. Strong scents- Candles, perfumes, and room sprays and be overwhelming and trigger a reaction in some people with COPD.
  5. Temperature extremes- Extreme heat or cold may be a trigger for some individuals. Staying comfortable indoors is important on days with extreme weather.
  6. Outdoor air pollution- Small particles in pollution can be inhaled and cause inflammation in the airways. Check local air quality reports and stay inside on days when ozone exposure is high.

Taking steps to avoid triggers is key when it comes to staying healthy with COPD. If you or someone you love is struggling with COPD, ActivMed currently has enrolling studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a COPD study in Methuen, click HERE. To apply for a COPD study in Portsmouth, NH, click HERE.

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December 28, 2017

Rosacea is a skin condition associated with facial redness. Small, visible blood vessels are also common along with swollen red bumps, which can cause rosacea to be mistaken for acne. Rosacea is a chronic disease that affects more than 16 million Americans. It is found most commonly in fair-skinned, middle-aged women.

Unfortunately, managing rosacea throughout the winter months can be quite the feat. For many people suffering with rosacea, symptoms seem to worsen during the winter months. So what is the reason for increased rosacea symptoms in the winter months? Cold, dry air and gusty winds are a common trigger for many rosacea sufferers.

Some other examples of common rosacea triggers include:

• Sun exposure- It is a common misconception that during the winter months sunscreen is unnecessary, when in fact the UV rays reflect from the snow making you susceptible to damage from the sun itself, and its reflection.

• Indoor Heating- The warm, dry heat that indoor heating systems push out can trigger a flare.

• Cooking/Baking- Getting overheated while cooking or baking can be the source of a flare-up. Keeping a cool towel in the kitchen can help.

• Spicy foods & hot beverages- Eating spicy foods and drinking hot beverages like coffee or tea can both prompt a rosacea flare.

• Cozying up to the fire- While the fireplace may be inviting, sitting too close could trigger a flare.

Taking steps to avoid triggers is key when it comes to managing rosacea. Keeping stress under control and making smart, practical choices when it comes to your environment will put you on the path to successfully controlling rosacea symptoms.

If you or someone you love is struggling with rosacea, ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.

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December 15, 2017

As we embrace this year’s holiday season, it’s also a time to remember the value of community and what it means to give back. It is extremely important to us here at ActivMed to build and maintain relationships within our community. Throughout the years, the notable connections we have made with volunteers, patients, and other community members have allowed us to prosper and really make an impact for future generations to come. We feel it is our duty to do what we can to help build a better community.

This year, the ActivMed office in Methuen, MA is sponsoring two families from the EMMAUS house and holding a generic toy drive. The EMMAUS house provides emergency housing, affordable housing, services and job training, and much more. Also, any non-perishable food items are being collected to help fill the local food pantry.

In Portsmouth, NH the ActivMed office is participating in the ‘Pease and Carrots’ food drive. Donations sought for this drive are healthy, nonperishable food items or tax-deductible checks made payable to Gather, which can then purchase needed items, usually at lower prices than are available to the general public. This event usually supports the Food Pantry until the spring. ActivMed has also been working with Gather a lot this year and is happy to show them support.

The Portsmouth site donated clothing to the York County Shelter. The shelter programs have evolved and developed with the goal of getting families and individuals permanently housed and productively engaged in the community.

The Beverly, MA location also donated to the Beverly Bootstraps Program that provides hot meals to those in need. With many less fortunate children and families in the area ActivMed is happy to help brighten somebody’s Christmas Day.

In addition to our involvement with local community organizations, we also provide free health screenings. We offer testing for a number of indications like: diabetes testing, depression/anxiety screenings, blood pressure testing, memory testing, cholesterol testing, and breathing testing. Simply make an appointment to come into one of our three facilities in Massachusetts or New Hampshire by clicking HERE.

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November 29, 2017

The term ‘millennials’ refers to the roughly 85 million people reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.  This group has also been deemed ‘Generation Y’ and typically refers to those born in between the 1980s and 1990s. Millennials may often be viewed by sociality as a lazy and entitled group of individuals. Yet, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 millennials suffer from depression. Why is depression among this generation in America soaring?

One reason for this epidemic is supply and demand in the workforce.  Millennials are the most educated generation in history. Unfortunately, the supply of educated millennials significantly exceeds the demand for workers. According to Forbes, the millennial unemployment rate rests at 12.8%, compared to the national average rate of 4.9%. Many that do find jobs, end up settling into low paying positions that don’t utilize their skills, or jobs that only offer part-time work.

Another factor contributing to depression amongst Generation Y is student loan debt. According to The New York Federal Reserve the total student loan debt is estimated to be over $1.3 trillion. Student loan debt in the U.S. is more than auto and credit card debt combined, only falling short of mortgage debt. The average student loan debt for a millennial is $30,000 while the average salary is less than $35,0000 annually. This may also be a contributing factor to why more than 30% of millennials are living back with their parents.

Growing up with technology on the rise and at their fingertips, millennials and are used to instant gratification. The explosion of social media created ways to filter their lives, and may not depict reality. Preoccupations with comparing each other’s lives can also lead to serious symptoms of depression.

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression and not happy with current treatment, ActivMed is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking new treatment options. Study participants who qualify are closely evaluated by a board-certified physician and research staff. Reimbursement is also available for travel in the form of travel stipends. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.

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