December 1st is World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as December 1st , and this has been in place every year since 1988. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and honoring those who have lost their lives to this disease. Government and health officials throughout the world observe this day and take it as an opportunity to educate others on AIDS prevention and control. Each year we honor a different theme—the 2017 theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.”

Tria Health would like to take this opportunity to educate you on a few HIV and AIDS related items.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. While no effective cure currently exists, with proper medical care, HIV can be managed and controlled. AIDS is the final, and most serious stage of the HIV virus. HIV attacks the body’s immune system. Untreated, HIV makes a person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers.

The challenge—not all patients are adherent to their treatment or medication regimen.

The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.

According to a study done by University of California, adherence to ART across a group of patients was only 70%. “Only 6% of patients took their medications at the optimal level for durable virologic and clinical success”. Improving adherence improves health outcomes.

Here at Tria Health, that is precisely what our pharmacists do for ALL patients. We help patients understand all their medications, and the importance of adherence—and we make recommendations to improve their adherence to treatment so we can improve their clinical outcomes. This is not possible without physically talking with the patients and understanding their barriers. It is for this reason that Tria Health appreciates this year’s theme, “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Tria Health is honored to partner with our clients to assist them in helping their employees feel better by holding them accountable to their clinical health outcomes.

As we approach World AIDS Day on December 1st, please take an opportunity to learn more by visiting https://www.hiv.gov/.

 

Tips for a Healthier YOU this Thanksgiving (and year-round, if we’re being honest)

Close up of thanksgiving dinner
Image Source: iStock.com/shironosov

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to sabotage your diet OR your weight! Let’s be honest … we all love mom’s cooking at our holiday celebrations. And, during holiday season we tend to have a lax attitude toward diet and exercise. With more social gatherings, so we’re tempted to eat and drink excess calories. But—if we’re being honest—aren’t these temptations always here?

We all have birthdays, weddings and various celebrations throughout the year. So, the truth is, we must be cognizant of these things year-round if we expect to see results from a healthy diet and exercise program.

The best advice to be a healthier version of YOU is to follow these tips throughout the year, not just during this holiday season. It is proven that the best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is to adopt real life changes and stick with them.

Our clinical team here at Tria Health invite you to enjoy these tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday (and every day) WITHOUT feeling guilty!

Be Active

Create a calorie deficit by exercising BEFORE you indulge this holiday season!

However, this should be a year-round event. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150-minutes of moderate activity each week. An easy way to remember this is 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, but three 10-minute periods of activity are as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.

Eat breakfast

This Thanksgiving, don’t save up your calories for the main event! Try a light and nutritious breakfast with protein and fiber—this will fill you up and have lasting effects so it’s easier to make better choices about what goes on your plate.

This doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving either. The Mayo Clinic reports that eating breakfast allows you to eat more vitamins and minerals, control your weight and blood sugar, eat less fat and cholesterol and perform better at work.

Try Lighter Recipes

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a dish or two to share, try making your recipes a little lighter by using fat-free broth, sugar substitutes, reducing butter and oil, or adding plain yogurt in your creamy casseroles.

Our advice for year-round is that healthy food doesn’t have to taste like you’re eating diet food. Yes, focus on the veggies and watch your portions, but for a lifestyle adoption, eat a well-balanced diet.

Be Selective

Try spending your calories on items that are only available during the holiday season. Or better yet, stick to the lighter options like white turkey meat, plain veggies, roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. However, if you keep your portions small, eat what you like!

Throughout the year, practice prior planning to balance your calories. Know you’re going out with the girls or catching the game with the guys? Eat lighter that day so you don’t have to feel guilty later.

 

Skip the Seconds

Try to resist a second helping, and know that you’ll have an extra day of leftovers. Besides, who doesn’t love leftover Thanksgiving dinner? If you practice this all year, what effect might that have on your physique?

Savor the Flavor

Eating slowly and putting your fork down between bites will help you feel satisfied stopping after your first plate. This works every day, folks—not just on Thanksgiving Day!

Go Easy On Alcohol

Don’t forget that these calories count too! Try drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and feel full—again, all year long!

We hope you enjoyed our tips to a healthier you this Thanksgiving. All of us at Tria Health are wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe, be well and cheers to a healthier YOU!

FDA Warns Consumers About Kratom, Citing 36 Deaths

The FDA has issued a public health advisory warning “consumers to stay away from the herbal supplement kratom, saying regulators are aware of 36 deaths linked to products containing the substance.” The use of the supplement has increased in recent years as a treatment for anxiety, depression, pain, and opioid withdrawal. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that kratom is not approved by the FDA for any use, and that there is no “reliable evidence” to support the claim that kratom is a safe treatment for opioid abuse or addiction. Gottlieb also said that the substance can have similar effects as opioids, “and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and, in some cases, death.”

At Tria Health, our pharmacists counsel patients on all their prescription medications AND over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements. It’s imperative to understand exactly what each item is supposed to accomplish for your health, AND whether there are any potential drug interactions.

If you are taking kratom, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about this potentially dangerous herbal supplement.

For more information, visit the FDA website here.

November 16th is The Great American Smokeout!

Cigarettes spelling out STOP
Image Source: iStock.com/Vladographer

Each year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event. Encourage someone you know to use this day to create a plan to quit! Quitting smoking is an important step toward a healthier life and reducing cancer risk.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately “36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.”

A Tria Health Solution S.T.O.P. 

Stop Tobacco by Optimizing Pharmacists

Tria Health provides personalized chronic condition management (CCM) to help employers and health plans mitigate risks and control health care costs. In addition to our Pharmacy Advocate program, Specialty GuardRx and Rx Plan Protection Suite, Tobacco users impose significant excess cost to private employers. tria stop logo

Tria Health’s S.T.O.P. program has an overall 42% success rate of getting members to 90 days tobacco free! Tria pharmacists develop a personalized quit plan which helps to improve success because every smoker has unique needs. They base the plan on many factors including: level of motivation, barriers to quitting, treatment options, and more. They provide on-going support to members to ensure success.

 

Tria STOP stats

If you or someone you know are still smoking cigarettes, all of us at Tria Health encourage you to use The Great American Smokeout on November 16th to create a plan to quit!

 

November 14th is World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 1991 along with the World Health Organization (WHO) due to growing concerns about the increasing health threat posed by diabetes. With the passing of the United Nation Resolution, World Diabetes Day became an official UN day in 2006.

World Diabetes Day is November 14th, and this day was chosen to honor Sir Frederick Banting, the gentleman who co-discovered insulin. In 1922, Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin and revolutionized the treatment of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day aims to:

  • Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.
  • Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.

Each year the IDF chooses a new focus area to celebrate World Diabetes Day. The 2017 World Diabetes Day chosen theme is “Women and diabetes—our right to a healthy future.

Why a focus on women in 2017?

  • 1 in 7 births is affected by gestational diabetes.
  • 1 in 10 women are living with diabetes. Many do not have access to proper screenings, education, treatment or care.
  • There are 199 Million women in the world with diabetes. That is expected to increase to 313 Million women by the year 2040.
  • Diabetes is a leading cause of death in women, and the IDF is working to help all women with diabetes get affordable access to care and education to better manage this chronic condition.

Tria Health is Making a Difference in Diabetes Care

Tria Health has an innovative telehealth solution that improves overall care for patients  by educating patients about their disease state(s) and medication regimen to improve clinical outcomes. Each patient has unique needs. At Tria Health, we counsel the whole patient, not just one condition. Our wireless meter and strip program allows the patient to share real time glucose readings with our pharmacists and other providers, as well as calculating the precise insulin needs for users. Our program improves care for patients and reduces costs and waste for employers.

At Tria Health our pharmacists are CDE’s, Certified Diabetes Educators. The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators defines a CDE is a health professional who possess comprehensive knowledge of and experience in prediabetes, diabetes prevention and management. A CDE educates and supports people affected by diabetes to understand and manage the condition. We strive to do more than our part to manage the risks of diabetes to our patients and employer clients.

 

“Act Today to Change Tomorrow”

For more information, go to: www.worlddiabetesday.org