TIP OF THE WEEK

For patients with hyperkalemia, controlling potassium levels is important. This might require replacing high-potassium foods such as bananas, melons and oranges with low-potassium foods such as apples, grapes and berries. Here are other considerations to think about:

- Impact of salt substitutes. While salt substitutes have their appeal for many reasons, some carry very high levels of potassium. Before using such a substitute in meal preparation, it is important to thoroughly read the label.

- Various treatment options exist. Doctors can speak with you about potential treatments including water pills and potassium binders. Only your doctor will know the best choice for you.

- Supplements and remedies. Many herbal remedies or supplements could create more problems because of their high potassium content. Patients should consult their healthcare provider before taking any supplement or remedy to learn more about how the solution could impact their potassium levels.

HEP C

Veterans at higher risk for hepatitis C

Data suggest that veterans are at a higher risk for hepatitis C exposure. In fact, one out of every 20 veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration has hep C - more than three times the infection rate of the general U.S. population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA has treated more patients for hep C than any major health care system in the U.S. Approximately 357 veterans are started on treatment every week.

The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has joined forces with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, to increase awareness of hep C and provide free antibody testing for veterans and their communities. Visit legion.org/hepC to learn about the disease and get information about free testing.

SAFETY

Tips to protect your ‘tail’gate

With these tailgating tips from www.preparationh.com, you can keep the good times rolling and make sure you aren’t sidelined on game day. The only worry you’ll have is whether your team will score.

Eat in moderation: Enjoy yourself in moderation by remembering that you don’t need to eat and drink everything in sight.

BYO … cushion: No one wants “bleacher back” or “stadium seat soreness.” Bring your own seat cushion to make the experience much more comfortable, even if your team is down.

MEDICARE

Open enrollment tips

For most people enrolled in Medicare, the annual open enrollment period (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7) is the only opportunity to make changes to your existing coverage.

Dan Klein, president and CEO of the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, a charitable organization that helps people afford the out-of-pocket costs for their treatments, offers the following tips:

Do your homework. There may be a plan better for your needs that could save you hundreds of dollars in the upcoming year.

Make sure your doctors are in-network. If you visit a provider outside of the network, you will likely have to pay more.

Make sure your medications are covered. It’s important to ensure that your plan covers the medications you need.

Determine how you will pay for your out-of-pocket costs. You may be eligible for a co-payment assistance program like PAN.

- Brandpoint