This post will be a regular feature of my blog. It’s a round-up of all the recent health news affecting people in our age group and older.
New shingles vaccine
In January, the FDA approved a new shingles vaccine and it is now becoming widely available. It’s called Shingrix and it is much more effective than the older vaccine, Zostavax. Whether or not you have had a shingles shot before, you should definitely get this one. It’s done in two doses, up to six months apart. Having shingles is horrible and the protection this new vaccine offers is so much better than before; you should get it as soon as possible. If your doctor doesn’t have it (ours doesn’t), try the local CVS or Walmart.
This is an especially critical issue for baby boomers – our generation has, by far, the highest incidence of Hep C (although no one is exactly sure why). It can result in severe damage to the liver, including liver cancer. Any of us may have been infected years ago and not know it because Hep C often displays no symptoms. It is curable, however, so it’s very important to get tested (just a simple blood test) as soon as possible so the complications can be avoided.
Magnesium may be the one element most of us don’t get enough of. It’s important in so many ways, including both brain and heart health, strong bones and teeth, and lower rates of kidney disease. The minimum daily requirement, as recommended by the National Institutes of Health, is 400-420 mg for senior men and 310-320 for senior women. Even if you take a daily multi-vitamin such as Centrum Silver, you are most likely not getting enough magnesium. Foods we all should be eating: leafy green vegetables such as spinach, almonds, cashews and other nuts, avocados, and beans.
Things you should never eat
Yes, we’re inundated every day with dietary advice and much of it is conflicting. Especially with the recent un-demonization of fat and the re-demonization of sugar, it’s really hard to know what to choose to eat to ensure good health. However, most experts today agree that there are things that should never pass your lips:
Brody has been a health columnist for The New York Times for many years and her articles are usually outstanding. One, in particular, written in 2016, is one I reread regularly. It’s chock full of great advice: “Thriving at Age 70 and Beyond” can be found at https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/thriving-at-age-70-and-beyond/?em_pos=small&emc=edit_hh_20180320&nl=well&nl_art=2&nlid=679208emc%3Dedit_hh_20180320&ref=headline&te=1.
I'm Linda Fleit. My husband and I were lucky enough to retire when we were 61, about nine years ago. We love being retired and want to share all that we've learned over the years about this wonderful stage of life.