National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
What Can I Do to Get Involved?
There are a lot of different ways you can get involved with National Nutrition Month. You can either participate alone or with a group, here are a few ideas on how you can get started:
Commit to trying a new fruit or vegetable each week during National Nutrition Month.
Start a vegetable garden by planting seeds indoors or outside.
Take a trip to a farmers market or local farm.
Organize a healthy potluck, making sure each of the food groups is represented.
If you have a chronic condition, a carefully planned diet can make a difference. With certain diseases, what you eat may reduce symptoms. In other cases, diet can improve health. Although your diet might differ depending on your condition and lifestyle, there are three keys to a healthy eating plan that will work for diabetes, heart health, cancer prevention and weight management:
Eat meals and snacks regularly (at planned times).
Eat about the same amount of food at each meal or snack.
Choose healthful foods to support a healthy weight and heart.
Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.
February is American Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association. This month is designed to raise awareness about heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. One in three deaths in the US is caused by heart disease and stroke.
Your friends at Tria Health want you to understand your personal risks, and what you can do to prevent heart disease in yourselves and your loved ones.
Know Your Personal Risk Factors
Knowing your numbers could potentially save your life! We encourage you to talk to our clinicians or another healthcare provider about your personal risk factors for heart disease.
Blood Pressure Below 120/80
Blood Sugar fasting blood sugar of less than 100
Body Mass Index less than 25
You Have the Power to Control Some of Your Risk Factors
There are many risk factors for heart disease, some within your control and others outside your control. The risks you CAN control include:
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Lack of regular activity
Obesity or overweight
The risks outside your control are:
Previous heart attack or stroke
How to Live Healthy
The American Heart Association recommends that to live a healthy lifestyle, you must:
Eat Smart: Make healthy, delicious choices wherever and whenever you eat.
Add Color: Make life more colorful with fruits and vegetables.
Move More: Infuse more movement into your life for optimal health.
Be Well: Create balance, vitality and wellbeing through self-care.
Wear Red and Raise Awareness About Heart Disease for Women
National Wear Red Day is February 2nd. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement that advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement also challenges people to know their risk for heart disease and act to reduce their personal risk.
Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk
Not only can you wear red to raise awareness but you can also take steps to reduce your own risk. The American Heart Association has developed an online tool called My Life Check. My Life Check allows you to find out your heart score and see if you’re at risk based on Life’s Simple 7:
Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease and stroke are two of the many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!
Heartburn isn’t fun—anyone who has had it will tell you that it can be very painful. Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion or acid reflux, is a burning sensation in the central chest or upper central abdomen. The pain sometimes rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck, throat or angle of the jaw.
Physicians will often prescribe a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) to treat chronic heartburn symptoms for their patients. However, these medications are also available over-the-counter, without the careful watch of a physician. Unfortunately, this could be potentially dangerous.
In 2010, the FDA issued a safety announcement about PPI’s that stated while PPI’s are effective in treating a variety of gastrointestinal disorders, the long-term use of PPI’s may be harmful to the body.
The FDA wants consumers and healthcare professionals to be aware that for many conditions including simple heartburn, PPI’s should only be taken as directed for 14 days, no more than three 14-day treatment courses in one year. Chronic daily use of PPI’s should be limited to serious gastrointestinal disorders such as recurrent bleeding stomach ulcers or erosive esophagitis. If you are taking an over-the-counter PPI, you should carefully read and follow the enclosed instructions.
At Tria Health, our pharmacists discuss all medications a patient may be taking—both prescription and over-the-counter. Our pharmacists review PPI use to determine appropriateness of therapy and identify patients that are good candidates for drug discontinuation. We then work with their physicians to confirm if discontinuation is appropriate and recommend alternative treatment options, when needed.
Your friends at Tria Health want to ensure your safety. If you have been taking a PPI long-term, please talk to your physician or pharmacist.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 30 million Americans, including 8.1 million people who are undiagnosed. Another 86 million more—one in three adults—have prediabetes and 15-30 percent will develop diabetes within five years without change.
The Scary Statistics
People with type 2 diabetes have more than two times the risk for developing heart disease
People with diabetes live 7-8 years less
Two out of three deaths in people with type 2 diabetes are attributed to cardiovascular disease
Less than half of people with diabetes are aware of their risk of cardiovascular disease. This lack of awareness prevents people with diabetes and their health care providers from addressing risks and improving health.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease states that “the increased co-occurrence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease demands greater awareness to save lives and health care dollars.”
At Tria Health, that’s precisely what we do—we manage the whole patient, and discuss all their conditions, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and their lifestyle. Our pharmacists educate their patients about their medications and make recommendations to the patients and their prescribing physicians to improve clinical outcomes.
A Tria Health Patient Success Story
During an initial pharmacist consultation, it was documented that the patient’s HgbA1c was too high – indicating poorly controlled Diabetes. In addition, the patient had significant financial difficulties affording certain medications increasing medication non-adherence. The patient was initially prescribed Metformin, but stopped taking the medication due to stomach problems without replacing it with any other diabetes medication. The pharmacist recommended a prescription of Glimepiride since it is inexpensive, very effective, and generally well tolerated. The patient’s physician agreed with the recommendation and the patient has achieved a HgbA1c of 8% in one year
In addition, the Tria pharmacist recommended switching from brand-named Benicar-HCT, a blood pressure medication, to a similarly available generic blood pressure medication called Losartan-HCTZ. The generic version saved the member $40 every 30 days and the patient’s blood pressure remains well controlled on Losartan-HCTZ.
The patient initially had success and then set-backs with smoking cessation. The Tria pharmacist worked with them to achieve sustained smoking cessation and improved health by identifying appropriate therapies and by providing ongoing education and coaching.
This success story illustrates that by managing the whole patient, and all their conditions, can and will improve clinical and financial outcomes.